Do We Need Carbs?
A lot of people are confused when I tell them we don’t really need much carbs. Mostly they don’t know what to say. Even more so when I tell them in place of the carbs, we’re going to eat mostly fat like butter, lard, ghee, and olive oil. I remember the day my inlaws saw me putting MCT Oil in my coffee. They said, “Aisha..what are you doing?” But it was in a have you lost your mind tone? I told them I’m dieting. I know I didn’t have to say that, but I take things lightly and their expression is unforgettable -rather enjoyable. (I know, so bad of me).
So, back to the question. Do we need carbs? The answer is actually – No. We don’t need a lot of carbs. Since I’ve taken a course in nutrition and have studied lots of heavy sciences, I know this for sure. The body has a way to get its energy without carbs. There are whole civilizations still present TODAY that don’t eat carbs directly like in the form of what we know carbs as. They don’t have access to a lot of fruits, vegetables, or flours.
Where are those people getting their carbs from?
They are living, breathing, hunting, and managing. Now, we shouldn’t get swayed thinking they have perfect health. They do have health issues, but it’s not because they don’t have McDonalds and Pizza Hut. The Eskimos (pictured) get their limited carbs from protein. But they don’t get a significant amount like we folks do. Plus, look at their physical lifestyle. But yes, they have other health issues due to lack of some nutrients.
So, the question is do we need carbs to live? No we don’t need carbs to live. The body is simply the most amazing creation. When there is an absence of intake of foods that provide glucose, the body figures out another way – and even a third way. It has a back up of its backup.
What we need, my friends, is nutrition.
How can we get nutrition though if we don’t eat carbs? Well, for one, liver is just ONE example. I know it’s not your favorite meal. But in a teeny ween dose, there is more nutrition than you’ll find anywhere else. If you ate a tiny piece of liver everyday nearly all of your vitamins would be solved. I know it’s not what we want to eat, but I’m just saying that there are ways that people are living and doing fantastically – albeit without fried chicken. I know. I used to wonder how is that possible as well. I assure you it wasn’t too long before Kentucky Fried Chicken became Keto Fried Chicken – because I love my fried chicken sometimes.
So mainly, we need to learn a few things about nutrition so that we can choose our carbs wisely. The fact is that we could eat a bajillion carbs a day and still be malnourished. We have to keep making wise choices from among the foods we eat, and it’s especially very vital on a ketogenic low carb diet that we choose nutrient dense foods.
If we suffer from deficiencies in vitamins and minerals it is because we are either so picky that we’re unwilling to eat certain foods or we are not yet educated enough about what kinds of foods have different vitamins and minerals.
So while we don’t need so many carbs, we need nutrients which are found in some carbs. Meat has traces of carbs so there’s always that. The point is that we eat a lot of carbs just to fill up our stomach, which doesn’t last long, then we crash, and feel hungry again. There is no nutrition in flour or rice. So eating those foods is a waste of our precious carbs that we could be fueling our body with to put it in optimal health.
Budget friends. We want the most bang for our buck. We want the bigger stick. We want the best bargain. Making poor eating choices is equivalent to giving our money away despite knowing it’s just a plain ole raw deal.
We have to let go of the thinking that we’re hurting ourselves by not eating rice, or we can’t live without xyz. The fact is that we’re not going to be living well with those things.
Making these good choices will serve us well.
What happens when we don’t have carbs?
In case there are a few minds still wondering how do we live without glucose the answer to that is — we don’t actually. Like I mentioned early, we have back ups of our back ups. Here’s a quick and kind of too simplistic explanation but I just want majority to understand that there is a big process that goes on beautifully, scientifically, and fairly mathematically.
Here is the very over simplified process:
The body burns glucose, then when that’s depleted, burns glycogen, then turns to gluconeogenesis from a tiny bit of protein from the body (not concerning) and then on to fat. The fat gets turned into substances called ketone bodies, that can penetrate the brain similarly as glucose can. All of this happens in a matter of less than a week.
Don’t worry..your body will get the energy it needs. You can’t stop it as long as you have enough fat reserves on your body. And I’m pretty sure most of us do.