Protein is essential for repairing and building muscles, organs, bones, hair, skin, and nails. Protein is a major source of energy. If you consume more protein than you need for body tissue maintenance and other necessary functions, your body will use it for energy. If it is not needed due to sufficient intake of other energy sources such as carbs, the protein could be used to create fat and becomes part of fat cells. This is rare, because of the intense process to convert extra proteins to fat cells. A popular term in health and fitness is amino acids. Proteins are made of hundreds or thousands of amino acid units attached in a long chain.
Fats provide your body with energy and are critical in moving certain vitamins through your body as well as providing insulation for body temperature regulation. The essential fatty acids in fats play a major role in managing inflammation, blood clotting, and brain development. When fat is broken down by the liver, glycerol and fatty acid molecules are released in a process called ketogenesis. Thus we have the building blocks for the popular “keto diet.”
Carbohydrates supply energy to the body – they are the body’s preferred source of energy. Carbohydrates play an important role in metabolism but need to be combined with fats, minerals, and vitamins for optimum health. Your brain is dependent on a steady supply of glucose we get from carbohydrates.
There are three types of carbs: simple, complex, and fibrous (veggies). When speaking of carbs we will focus on the two main carbs simple and complex. Complex carbs take longer to break down in your body and produce a more moderated insulin surge. Simple carbs often known as “bad carbs” are refined (processed) foods that give you a quick burst of energy causing a quick spike in insulin.