Understand the Two Primary Processes of Metabolism

Most of the food you eat is digested and then converted into energy through the process of metabolism. This process, experts day, involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel. Within it, there are two contrary, yet complementary, simultaneous processes:

  • Catabolism. This is the breaking-down process. Your body creates energy by deconstructing digested food or stored fat into simpler substances so it can use them in other ways. Fats are broken down into glucose, galactose, and fructose and used as the primary energy that fuels the body during the day. Proteins are broken down into amino acids, which the body uses to rebuild or repair tissues.
  • Anabolism. This is the building-up process. Your body uses energy from glucose and other molecules to build cells, move muscles, and carry out other vital functions. For instance, the glucose from carbohydrates can be used to make glycogen chains, the glycerol and fatty acids from fats can form triglycerides, and the amino acids from proteins are used to remake other proteins.

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