Learn why carbohydrates should be a part of your healthy diet.
By Toni Gasparis
With low-carb snacks and no-carb diets, figuring out whether you should be eating carbohydrates can be confusing. While many people view carbs as a negative and non-essential nutrient, they actually play a very integral part in the healthy functioning of your body. In fact, if we don’t get enough carbs in our system our body can look for fuel in other areas such as our muscles and it can even impact our liver. Dr. Oz’s trusted experts and nutritionists Maya Feller, Kristin Kirkpatrick, and Rachel Swanson are here to help explain what carbs are and why they’re important, as well as the types you should and should not be eating.
Why Does My Body Need Carbs?
Carbohydrates are “the body’s preferred energy source,” says Feller. We need them, nutritionist Kristin Kirkpatrick adds, because “our brain needs the glucose found in carbs to function.” Glucose is the main fuel our body uses to make energy. Once you consume a carbohydrate, Kirkpatrick explains, the carbs are converted into glucose (aka sugar). At this point in the process, the pancreas is signaled to produce insulin that is responsible to take the sugar from the carbs you ingested and carry them into your cells where it can be converted and used as energy in our bodies.