The Metabolic Pathways for Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats


What is metabolism? What is the role of metabolism in the human body, and how do carbohydrates, proteins, and fats make a difference? How can we achieve a fast metabolism to manage weight and body fat index by understanding these complex relationships in the body?

First, we must understand the metabolic pathways. Books about metabolism are a great place to start. Metabolic pathways refer to the sequence of enzyme-catalyzed reactions that lead to conversions. Two types of metabolic pathways are categorized by their capability to either synthesize molecules with the utilization of energy (anabolic pathway) or break down complex molecules and release energy in the process (catabolic pathway). The two pathways complement each other in that the energy released from one is used up by the other. The degradative process of a catabolic pathway provides the energy required to conduct the biosynthesis of an anabolic pathway.

Books about metabolism discuss how nutrients within the foods we eat are used for metabolism and are converted to energy for the body. Nutrient metabolism focuses on the presentation of nutritional biochemistry. It defines the molecular fate of nutrients and other dietary compounds in humans and outlines the molecular basis of processes supporting nutrition, such as chemical sensing and appetite control. Nutrient intake leads to understanding mitochondria and their role in metabolism. Books about metabolism will also outline how carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the main macronutrients in food. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are responsible for suppling 90 percent of dry weight and 100 percent of its energy.

You will find in books about metabolism that if people consume more carbohydrates than needed, the body begins to store excess carbohydrates as glycogen and then converts the rest to fat. The excess carbohydrates can effortlessly and quickly convert to energy. For example, muscles use glycogen for extra energy needed during periods of intense exercise and workouts. The number of carbohydrates stored as glycogen can provide nearly a day’s worth of needed calories.

Books about metabolism demonstrate that proteins consist of amino acids. Because proteins, and amino acids, are complex molecules, it takes longer for the body to break them down, making them a slower and longer-lasting energy source than carbohydrates. The body requires protein to maintain and replace body and muscle tissues, function, and growth. If surplus protein is consumed than the body needs, it is broken down and stored as fat.

Fatty acids and glycerol make up complex molecules called fats. Books about metabolism outline that the body needs fats for growth and energy. Fats are known to be among the most energy-efficient form of food, but the slowest sources of energy. Each gram of fat gives the body nine calories, more than twice that provided by proteins or carbohydrates. The body deposits surplus fat in the abdomen area as visceral fat and under the skin as subcutaneous fat to use when it needs more energy. As outlined in books about metabolism, the body may deposit surplus fat in blood vessels and within major organs, where it can often cause severe disorders.

One main thread in books about metabolism is the steps we can take to help this process. First, eat a balanced diet. Secondly, get daily exercise. Thirdly, prioritize rest. This is a very critical part of a healthy metabolism. Lastly, integrate diet with nutritional supplements. Ideally, you should get all the nutrients you need for better mitochondrial function from a healthy, balanced diet. However, this may be unachievable for most people with busy, modern schedules.

To understand “what metabolism is,” studying books about metabolism is a crucial first step.