Shuttling between endless food trends, we seem more confused now than ever. Whether it is the quantity of the food, quality of nutrition or simply taking in all nutrients capably- the debate is an eternal one on which to take – carbohydrate vs. protein vs. fat. Although, time and again it has been said that no single change alone can make a big difference and that weight loss is a process that happens with combined efforts of diet and lifestyle re-arrangement, we take a look at the most important part of a diet and their influence on weight. Let us compare carbohydrates vs. protein vs. fat.
As the old saying goes, you can’t out train a diet gone bad. The best way to fix it is to understand the myths surrounding food and making the right adjustments.Here all that you need to know about carbs vs. protein vs. fat:
Carbohydrates: The primary source of energy.
In the debate of carbs vs protein vs fat, let us see carbs first. Within Carbohydrates, there are two categories- simple and complex carbs. Complex carbs include wholegrain bread, pasta and cereals. These types of carbohydrates tend to digest at a much slower rate as compared to simple carbs. This slow digestion allows the glucose release into the blood at a much steady rate thus preventing the sugar hikes as well keeping you full for longer because of the fiber. Simpler carbs tend to provide the same amount of energy, 4 kcal per gram, but at a faster pace, that is why the effect of simple carbs wears off faster and you end up needing more energy (food). This can lead to food cravings and ultimately increased calorie consumption. Therefore, it is best to limit or avoid foods like honey, sugar, refined flour products, sugary drinks, candies and the like.
When you discuss carbs and their effect on the body, you should understand the carb vs protein issue. The carbs act as a direct source of fuel for the brain. And in absence of carbs, the next macronutrient to be converted into glucose is protein and that is how the protein stores of the body are used. However, in the efficient amount of carb consumption, it spares nutrients like proteins for other important body functions and serves as the primary source of energy.
Carbs vs protein: let us understand protein:
The next most important nutrient in the body is protein, a chain of linked units of amino acids. After ingestion, protein is broken down into these units and absorbed into the bloodstream to carry out various functions in the body. There are 20 essential and non essential amino acids out of which the body cannot make 9 essential amino acids. Therefore, the diet needs to be a source from where we can obtain these aminos. When present in sufficient quantities, protein functions to replace old cells, repair and build tissues, organs, blood, nails, hair and skin, antibodies, enzymes and hormones. That is why it is essential to not only eat protein but to eat the right type of proteins too. A diet that is lacking in essential amino acids cannot carry out proper functions and can ultimately result in protein wasting in the body. For those who cannot take in high quality protein sources such as dairy, meat, eggs and the like can invest in a good quality protein supplement that does the work.
Suggested read – All about Protein, Weight loss and How to Keep Up With Good Health
When evaluating carb vs. protein, know that carbs provide energy but protein is the real nutrient on which the body can rely.
Carbohydrate vs protein vs Fat: More on Fat
In the debate of carbohydrates vs. protein vs fat, this is one of the most misread nutrients and shamed for almost everything wrong that can happen to your body. However, fat is not entirely bad and is actually necessary since without it the diet is incomplete and important functions may not happen as efficiently.
It is the heaviest nutrient of the 3 with 9 kcals per gram and also cannot be broken down as easily from the fat stores as carbs or proteins. That is why you may notice in a state of starvation, fat is the last nutrient that the body uses for fuel. It is also the last nutrient to be digested and therefore provides a delayed satiety.
There are different kinds of fat such as lipids and fatty acids with different functions, each. Fat is not only a source of energy but also performs important functions like cell activities and structure modification, protection of vital organs, gives longer satiety, regulates hormonal balance, maintains body temperature and serves as a base for fat soluble vitamins to be absorbed.
Suggested read –What Should Be The Protein Diet Plan For Weight Loss?
For most people, it is safe to adjust carbs, protein and fat to optimize the diet for weight loss. You can try and adjust the macronutrient distribution to see what combination works best for you. Here is the standard RDA for the 3 macros as given:
- Fat: 30% or less of total calories from fat
- Protein: 0.8-1.0 gm. per kg body weight/ day or 20-25% of the total calories from protein
- Carbohydrate: 50-60% of the total calories from carbohydrate.
In the debate of carbohydrates vs. protein vs fat, be aware that you need all three for the most balanced diet. Modest amount of changes and tweaks can pass for most people, and work for weight loss especially in combination with a versatile, low carb, high protein and low fat shake like OZiva shakes that can suit any diet pattern that you choose and help get the desired results. However, for those with diabetes or kidney ailments or other diseases it is best to consult with a professional before making extreme changes to the diet.
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