What is more essential: Carbohydrates or Proteins?

frech cheese - IIHere is a recent question that was placed on out blog:

“I just recently was told that I need to loose some weight
but I am not sure how to modify my diet.
Are carbohydrates or proteins more important to watch???”

Carbohydrates vs. Proteins

This is an interesting argument and every few years a change in stance appears to take place.

Let’s take a closer look!!!

Both Carbohydrates and Proteins are used for energy and are essential in good health. In addition to protein and carbohydrates, Fats are an important source of energy. For many years, loss of weight and good health have been viewed as joined together. Diets have tried to find the right balance of both carbohydrates and proteins. But nutritionally –  what occurs if we load up on one or the other?


Is there one that is specifically more healthy and beneficial then the others ????


Are not an essential food source for survival but organs such as the Brain, Heart and Kidneys are dependent on this food source for energy. Without this food source for quick breakdown, certain organs are unable to function to their capacity.

Muscle mass will decrease and brain function will slow, along with an increase risk and often occurrence of infection. These results are related to a decrease of carbohydrate as a food source.

When carbohydrates are absent from from the diet, then the body must find energy from another source. Carbohydrates are found in muscles, organs, and other tissues as proteins. These carbohydrates or glucose molecules will be taken out for energy use.

“The food source for the brain outweighs the need of other organs and tissues.”

Therefore, the breakdown of tissue and muscle when carbohydrates are withheld or unavailable can cause serious harm and strain on many organs.


Good vs Bad Carbohydrates: Certain carbohydrates in simple sugars such as chips and cookies and candies are a type of carbohydrates that can cause weight gain when eating in excess and sometimes even in moderation. But other carbohydrates such as grain products, brown rice, vegetables and some fruits are better sources of carbohydrates.


Are compounds that are comprised of amino acids that are metabolized from breakdown.

The “pieces” or chains of amino acids become the building blocks for muscles, organs, tissues such as skin, and other areas.

Proteins, through a complicated process, are broken down into carbohydrates and essential amino acids.

There are 20 standard amino acids and in most plants all 20 can be made within the plant. Animals and humans are unable to make all the 20 and therefore must get some from their diet.

Once the protein has been digested it can be broken down in the liver by a process called gluconeogenesis. The protein through this process is broken down to glucose. This is the same end product of breakdown of carbohydrates.

Dietary sources of protein include: meats, fish, seeds, nuts, vegetables, eggs, milk, cheese, and some grains.



“The key to weight loss is calories in and calories out.”

The body does not care if those calories come from carbs or proteins.

When you eat more calories through protein and/or carbs then you burn during the day – the result is weight gain.

High-Carb diets and High-protein diets are options and their opportunity to allow for a larger amount of weight loss has been argued.

Several keys to weight loss include:

1.)  Eating good carbs in moderation: 40%-60%

2.) Eat protein in moderation

3.) Replacement of bad fats with good carbs or proteins

4.) Exercise

End result of Protein vs. Carbohydrates

Obviously both are quite important and essential.  The question to answer regarding which one is more important is quite difficult.  The obvious answer is both.

But more specifically:

–  Children:  Protein is essential for muscle growth and should be consumed in greater quantities during this period

–  Pregnancy:  Increased amounts of protein is also consumed during pregnancy

–  Recovering from injury:  Increase amounts of protein

  –  High exercise diet:  may require increase Carbohydrates during that period and to replenish calories lost or used

–  Percentage of Carbohydrates is often greater in the average person than is protein

*** Remember fats are another energy source – when consumed they are ready for use….when not used though, they will then be stored in adipose tissues.

Again there is a good source and a bad source of fats!!!!

Often if you are truly seeking to loose weight, you need to meet with a proper nutritionist and an exercise trainer that can tailor a menu and an exercise schedule to meet your needs!!!
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