Sunday, April 30, 2017

Do We Have A Dietary Requirement For Carbohydrate?

According to page 275 of the National Academy of Sciences Food and Nutrition Board Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids, the answer is:  No.


The human ability to function for long periods of time with no food intake at all indicates no absolute requirement for dietary carbohydrate.  This ability is due to a metabolic capacity to adapt to using fat and protein exclusively as fuel (page 276 of the same document):


Thus it is accurate to say that humans have dietary requirements for fats and proteins, but no dietary requirement for digestible carbohydrates i.e. starches and sugars.

2 comments:

Shameer Mulji said...

Very interesting. Question is, does not need equal optimal? Otherwise, we're back to the original Paleo diet as defined by Cordain consisting of meats, non-starchy veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds.

FXScouse said...

I am not aware that either the Masai or the Inuit have a reputation for healthy longevity. On the other hand, Okinawans eating their traditional diet did. That traditional diet was 85% carbs.