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Carbohydrates vs Proteins


Carbohydrate and protein constitute the majority of nutrition in indian diet , scientifically carbohydrate are mono , di and poly saccharides they provide "ready" energy for the body , once consumed it assimilates in a very short time and is released in blood stream as glucose , each gram of carb 4.1 calories ( calorie is defined as amount of energy required to rise the temperature of 1 litre of water by 1 degree centigrade ) , whereas protein on the hand is the building block and is mainly made up of amino acids ( essential and non-essential ) , protein also produces energy when they break down , 1g of protein produces 4 calories of energy

The food which has carbs, protein and fat along with vitamins and minerals is a balanced diet, milk is a well-known balanced diet . The requirement of carbs and protein vary from person to person, it depends on

  • Type of work
  • Life style of a person
  • Built of a person
  • Body type
  • Miscellaneous factors

1)It goes with out saying heavy manual labours require more carbs than a normal man ( 2300-2500) calories per day and protein intake for heavy manual labors will be 1g/ kg body weight

2) lifestyle plays a major role , a fit athletic person who is a “ gym rat “ requires more carbs and protein not just to sustain the work but to maintain his muscles ( 1 pound of muscle burns 50 calories AT REST ) his carb requirement will be ( 2300-2800 cals depending upon how much muscles and how long he is been in athletics ) , his protein req is 1.5 g per pound of body weight

3) built of a person , requirements are directly proportional to the body size , for a man more than 6 ft height based on his daily activity his carb requirement will be 1900-2200 , compared to a short man of 5’6’’ who needs 1700-2000 calories based on physical activity

4 ) there are three body types ectomorph , mesomorph and endomorph . Ectomorphs are naturally skinny guys , no matter how much they eat they always stay skinny ,their food is metabolised very fast and they need high carb food . Endomorphs are the other end of spectrum , they gain weight very easily even with a low carb diet, their carb requirement is low relatively

5 When a person has disease like graves disease ( hyperthyroidism ) his thyroxine levels are going to be very high thus increasing the metabolic rate this makes the person very thin , he obviously need more carbs in diet , protein requirement remains unchanged , there are other disease like diabetes , high carb diet is contraindicated , similarly in pregnancy high protein diet is advised and in chronic renal failure high protein diet is contraindicated

When carbohydrate level falls in diet , a series of response occurs , for a normal person when carb level in food reduces constantly , he go into a state of KETOSIS , insulin level reduces , glucagon levels increase , glycolysis occurs to maintain blood glucose level , fat resources are burnt down leaving ketone bodies that are excreted in urine characterised by "fruity smell" in urine

When protein level falls in body , "wasting of muscles " occur , there is generalised body weakness , loss of strength , size of muscle reduces , tremors occur when lifting heavy weights , due to osmotic variation in blood water retention occur in peripheries causing edema , in children protein deficiency lead to marasmus ( when all nutrients are deficient) and kwashiokar ( when only protein is deficient ) usually seen in children below 5 years of age from lower socio economic status

When too much carbohydrate is consumed , glucagon level reduces and insulin level elevates , “gluconeogenesis” occur and carbs are converted into fat and stored ( sex also determines the storage of fat ) , when too much protein is consumed , protein breaks to energy and when energy in the form of ATP is not used its ALSO STORED AS FAT

Foods that are rich in carbohydrate are rice , wheat , barley , oats , white bread , potato products , cakes , flours , sugary products etc , food that is rich in protein include eggs , chicken , mutton , fish , green peas , chick peas , dry fruits , whey isolates

-Ranjith kumar