Both Protein and carbs are macronutrients which means that our body needs them in relatively large amounts and is an important part of our diet. Besides that, they don’t share many similarities, each one has a different function in our body and provides certain benefits. When it comes to diet, we can’t say that protein is better than carbs, you need both in order to maintain a healthy weight. Proteins help build tissue and repair your body. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy.
In this article, we are going to discuss the main differences between proteins and carbs as well as why you should include them both in your diet.
Protein vs Carbs
Proteins are large biomolecules that consist of long chains of amino acids. They are an essential part of all living microorganisms and also help to create important body structures such as skin, hair, nails, enzymes, hormones, etc. We can get all the necessary proteins from the diet, in particular from animal sources (meat, fish, poultry, eggs) or plant-based sources (legumes, nuts, avocado). The recommended daily intake of protein for adults is 65grs.
Now let’s talk about carbohydrates, they have that name because on their chemical level they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Carbs are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in grains, fruits vegetables, and dairy products. The recommended daily intake of carbs for adults is 135grs.
There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. The simple carbs have just one or two sugars such as fructose (the sugar in fruits), galactose (dairy), or sucrose (table sugar). These types of carbs cause a faster burst of energy and can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, complex carbs have three or more sugars and are often referred to starchy foods which include legumes, potatoes, corn, peanuts, and whole-grain bread. They provide a more sustained source of energy.
Proteins and Carbs have Different Functions in our Body
Carbs are the main source of energy for our body, are the favorite fuel for our muscles during intense exercise, other parts of our body depend on carbs to work properly such as the central nervous system, heart, and kidneys. They also prevent protein from being used as a source of energy (which means that is can provide its benefits faster) and enables the fat metabolism.
Most of the carbs you eat are digested and broken down into glucose before entering the bloodstream, and glucose is used to produce a fuel molecule called ATP, our body can produce ATP from other dietary sources but carbs are their favorite. If the body has enough glucose it will store the excess glucose in the liver and muscle, known as glycogen. In the case where the glycogen stores are full, the body will convert the excess carbs into triglycerides and store them as fat.
Protein is not the main source of energy for your muscles, but it forms the build blocks of several structures in your body such as the muscles, skin, hair, cartilage, and bone. Protein is required to build, maintain, and repair tissue. It provides structures, strength, and elasticity to several parts of your body. For example, elastin is a really flexible protein that allows many organs in the body to return to its original shape after stretching or contracting. It is present in the lungs and uterus. Proteins also have an important role in several chemical functions, they form enzymes that allow metabolism reactions in the body and they make up most of the body hormones which act as chemical messengers. Proteins also help to form antibodies to help fight infections. Furthermore, they help to transport many substances throughout the body such as vitamins, minerals, blood sugar, and oxygen.
The Role that Protein and Carbs Play in your Diet
Many people avoid carbs because they believe they can be bad for your health and make you gain weight but they are actually good for your health if you eat high-quality sources of carbs and take care of the amount. Dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate that is good for you, it promotes a healthy digestive function, makes you feel full and reduce your sugar cravings it can also help control blood sugar levels and help you lose weight. When the fiber passes through your intestines, it binds to bile acids and prevents them from being absorbed so your body uses the excess cholesterol to produce new bile acids, that way it lowers your blood sugar levels.
Carbs can actually be good for your help but you need to get them from good sources, processed carbs such as refined flours, cakes, and regular bread don’t have any nutritional value and are full of refined sugars which can make you gain weight and increase your risk of suffering from diabetes type 2. Whole grains, beans, and fruits such as apples, pears, and berries.
Protein is an important part of the diet of athletes and people who are looking to lose weight because it can help build muscle mass but it can also help you to burn calories because it has a high thermic effect which means that your body burns a lot of calories during the digestion of protein and boost your metabolism so you will burn calories even if you aren’t doing anything. It can also boost your immune system and improve the appearance of the skin, hair, and nails. You should always look for the highest-quality protein sources. Legumes, fish, chicken, nuts, and avocado are the best options, processed meats like sausage are not good for you because they also contain saturated fats.
Protein vs Carbs – Proteins v Carbohydrates
Proteins and carbs are some of the most important nutrients for our bodies. While protein forms the building blocks of many structures in the body, carbs are the main source of energy for many tissues. Although many people think carbs are not good for you, they can be an excellent source of energy and improve your digestive function. If you want to be healthy you don’t to focus only on carbs or protein, it is about having a balanced diet and taking the best sources.