Current mainstream dietary guidelines recommend that we get 45 to 65% of calories from carbohydrates. 
In line with these recommendations carbohydrate intake has increased as people have endeavoured to avoid fat. During this period obesity increased from 14.5% to 30.9%.
It’s fair to say that macronutrient composition is only part of the story, but perhaps if we moved the carbohydrate intake back towards the ketogenic corner (along with a shift to more whole unprocessed foods) this trend would turn around again?
However more and more nutrition researchers are now saying that health authorities got it wrong about fats, and that our fear of fat has led us to the over-consumption of carbs which has caused to the current obesity epidemic.   
There are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce, such as alpha-Linolenic acid and linoleic acid, which we need to obtain from our diet. The body also needs amino acids from dietary protein which form the building blocks for the cells which it is unable to make from other nutrients.
Glucose however can be produced from protein via gluconeogenesis, and hence it is not technically necessary to eat carbohydrates.
Consequently, often asked (and debated) questions are:
- If there is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate why do we need to be eating any carbohydrates?
- If we took food insulin theory to its logical extreme, could (or should) we live off just fat and “adequate” protein?
- How low (carb) can we go while still getting adequate nutrition?
How do we find the optimal balance between obtaining adequate nutrition and energy while avoiding the negative impacts of excess insulin caused by high carbohydrate consumption?
[this post is part of the insulin index series]
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