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What is a carbohydrate? What is a protein? What are fats?

pie chart of food pyramid

A carbohydrate is any food that grows from the ground.  In the scientific term they are called glucose or sugar.
There are different complexity of carbohydrates, table sugar for example is a simple carbohydrate while rice, bread, etc are complex carbohydrates.  Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly by the body and gives energy to the body immediately, while complex carbohydrates digest slower and provides energy to the body over a longer period of time.  A carbohydrate purpose is to provide energy to the body, it is the first source of energy that the body uses.  It gives the body 5 calories (amount of energy) per gram.

A protein is a food that generally comes from a animal source.  Most proteins are provided by eating a animal such as, chicken, cow, pig, etc. or eating a food that is a byproduct of a animal such as milk, cheese, etc.  Some plants are good sources of protein such as beans, spinach, broccoli.  Proteins primary purpose is to provide muscles and structure to the body.  It is important to get a adequate amount of protein when exercising which will aid your muscle growth.  When the body has run out of energy  it will break down protein i.e. your muscles to get energy, which is not the purpose of protein.  Protein has 5 calories (amount of energy) per gram.

FATS! Fat is something that scares everyone.  Fat is important in the body but as we know too much fat can be detrimental to our health.  Fats are oils in it’s liquid form, for example vegetable oil, peanut oil, etc.  and are called unsaturated fats.  Fats are also found together with proteins and are in a solid form called saturated fats.  The primary purpose of fats is to store energy.  The carbohydrates that are not used for energy, and the protein that are not used to form muscles are turned into fat.  The body does not waste valuable products like carbohydrates or protein so they are stored in the form of fat, energy for later. Fats give the body the body most energy, it is 9 calories per gram.  After the body has used all of its carbohydrates, it then uses the fats to get energy.  Fat are difficult to burn because per gram it holds the most energy, so you have to do twice the work to burn fat then to burn carbohydrates.       Everything in the body is important, and by knowing their purpose we can better utilize it to make a our body function optimally.




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