A gram of carbohydrates contains 4 calories. A gram of fat contains 9 calories.
Carbohydrates and fats are not the same things, but they are not as different as some might believe or even teach.
Fats are organic compounds that, LIKE CARBOHYDRATES, are composed of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O), arranged to form molecules.
Fats, like carbohydrates, are composed of the same elements. Their elements are simply arranged differently for a reason. Both are used for energy within the body, but for different purposes and processes in fueling and sustaining the whole human creature.
While simple carbohydrates(Carbon-Oxygen-Hydrogen) are the body’s primary source of fuel that requires the least amount of metabolic energy to assimilate, fats(Carbon-Oxygen-Hydrogen) have to be broken down into fatty acids for assimilation.
Where they differ is that fats are broken down into fatty acids to make cell linings and hormones. Carbohydrates both simple and starchy are not.
Carbohydrates are water-soluble and are the most readily available source of dietary energy for all living creatures great and small. Fats on the other hand are not soluble in water but require other organic enzymes to break them down. Fats are also the way our body stores energy for later use when carbohydrates may not be readily available.
Our body needs a lot of energy to do all of its work and it is important that we get enough of ALL of the kinds of energy that our body needs, from both carbohydrates and fats. Not just one or the other.
Carbohydrates are the simplest fuel source for our body that we can equate to gasoline for our cars. Where fats are like the crude oil that our refineries use in the refining process that ultimately provides us with gasoline for our cars. And just like in our crude oil refineries our body draws other necessary and useful elements from the fats we consume that are necessary and beneficial for overall human health and wellness. Just think of all the other wonderfully useful petroleum products we have that we take for granted from a barrel of crude aside from the gasoline that we put in our cars. Things like paint, makeup, clothing, shampoo, conditioner, and even the lenses for our glasses, just to name a few.
Carbohydrates are like gasoline and fats are like the crude oil by which gasoline can be extracted along with other useful components. This is why fats contain 9 calories per gram versus carbohydrates containing only 4 calories per gram.
And this is why it is important to get ENOUGH of the RIGHT KIND of energy sources from both carbohydrates and fats. Again, not just one or the other. If we are not consuming enough of the right kinds of fats our body cannot maintain proper cellular structure and overall cellular health, wellbeing, and ultimately the desired longevity of years free from disease.
And when it comes to functionality they also each contribute to different processes. Like different players on the same baseball team. Fats also help in assimilating vitamins like A, D, E, K, while the glucose converted by the metabolism of carbohydrates fuels this process.
Fats also assist in regulating things like hormone production and protecting organs as a whole and at the cellular level. Fats also help in maintaining a steady body temperature. Whereas, the undigestable fiber in carbohydrates helps maintain blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and is a major contributor to removing waste from our body, which fats cannot do.
So, as you can see fats and carbohydrates are both very important components in the body’s overall activities that require energy and they both serve different purposes within the bigger picture of life.
Around 20-35 percent of our dietary intake should be from fats and 60-75 percent of our dietary intake should be from carbohydrates. This amount will fluctuate based on our body’s needs at any given point in time.
There are a lot of well-meaning teachers on our modern social networks and elsewhere that suggest diets that are too low in what we call fats. As I said, they mean well, and they can be 100% correct about everything else they suggest about the foods we eat, but ultimately miss the bigger picture, leaving their students in an eventual malnourished state.
Please be sure to do your own research. Don’t just listen to talking heads and do what they simply say to do. Not even me. Invest your own time, your greatest asset of all into your own knowledge of this or any other subject. If you do, I can assure you that you will value your convictions and decisions to a much higher level than the ones that were given to you at no cost. We humans just don’t tend to value that which we do not invest in. Invest in your education, it will always pay you rich dividends.