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Why carbohydrates are essential

“What happens to proteins eating a low carb diet?”

Proteins have designated jobs when they are consumed and when there is not enough carbohydrates to provide the body with energy it will start to breakdown the protein in our blood and tissues to convert to energy (glucose). This happens during periods of fasting, low carbohydrate intake or vigorous bouts of exercise but these are all short in duration. If the body is exposed to this for too long then the proteins are being pulled from their jobs such as tissue repair, creating new calls, supporting our immune system or one of the other many important jobs they have in order to provide us with energy.

“What’s a carb?”

What we have to remember is that fruits and vegetable are carbohydrates as well as some dairy products. Breads, legumes and grains are complex carbohydrates that great sources of fiber, zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese. It is important to choose items that have not been overly processed. Naturally occurring sources of fruits, vegetables and grains are preferred. The more an item is processed the lower the density of its nutrients becomes.

Remember, high calorie intake causes weight gain, NOT high nutrient density.

How do I make sure I get all these macro and micronutrients you keep talking about?

Eat the rainbow! (no not Skittles) Eating brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and a variety of food will help you be successful. It is ok to allow yourself to indulge occasionally, that is what variety is about; just be aware of portions and frequency, and remember to enjoy it. If you are successfully eating healthful foods 80% of the time then you are doing great. Looking at your eating habits over a greater length of time is a better indicator or your success, because it can show your dedication and habits that will benefit you in the long-term.


If you have dietary restrictions due to allergy or disease and feel lost, then contact a Registered Dietician or Nutritionist. Only those who have studied the science of food, completed a university degree and practicum are allowed to call themselves and become registered dieticians or nutritionist. Be sure to check what the qualifications are in your province and don’t be afraid to ask to see their credentials. If they are honest-to-goodness dieticians/nutritionists then they will have no problem showing you. These are the people who are best suited to help you with your dietary needs and, along with a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, can assist you in reaching a more balanced and healthier lifestyle.

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