Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Macros & Understanding Carbs!
Fats have long been blamed for making us fat but the real issue is an excess of carbs, particularly carbs found in refined processed foods such as pasta, bread, baked goods, sodas, juice & junk food in general.
Balanced healthy diets, what I believe in, are intended to replace high carb foods & refined processed foods, with veggies, meat, fish, poultry, clean low glycemic carbs such as quinoa, brown rice, potatoes, squash & healthy fats too.
The idea is to replace the craving for carbs & sugars by eliminating them or minimizing them as much as possible in your diet.
When you digest foods high in carbs, they convert quickly to glucose (sugar), which your bloodstream transports throughout your body. A rise in blood sugar level triggers the release of the hormone insulin. The function of insulin is to bring your blood sugar back down to normal levels. The way it does this is by using some of the glucose as energy & the rest gets stored as fat.
A key point is that when the body has a choice of using fat or carbs as a fuel source, it always uses carbs first. The reason for this is that our bodies can only store half a day’s supply of glucose, whereas it can store almost limitless amounts of fat.
So its easiest for our bodies to use up the carbs first for energy, but then needs to store all of the extra carbs you don’t burn as fat.
So, when we start the day with a high carb breakfast, schedule cereal, toast, orange juice, bagels, etc, it converts to glucose quickly causing blood sugar to rise. Then insulin levels rise to deal with the rising tide of blood sugar.
We don’t need all of that glucose for energy so the extra gets stored as fat, usually around our mid section (belly).
Same thing happens at lunch since it’s typically a sandwich, wrap, pasta, rolls etc. The high sugar spike/roller-coasted, i.e. carbs converted to glucose in our blood, release of insulin, storage of excess glucose as fat, continues all day. Our sugar levels dip too low, causing the typical afternoon slump that can leave us feeling tired, in a bad mood & craving more carbs. And as a result our body never gets to use our fat stores for energy.
For someone on a low carb/low sugar diet, the level of carbs in the diet are low so the sugar spike doesn’t happen & insulin is not triggered. The carbs that you do eat are in the form of high-fiber whole foods, which convert to glucose relatively slowly so your body uses fat for fuel instead. A nice side effect of this is that you lose weight, burn fat & lean out! And because you don’t have the sugar spikes & carb crashes, your energy levels hold steady.
So do you notice this pattern in your diet? Do you think you can cut some of the refined processed foods like breads, pasta, etc & if you notice a difference? Do you need help doing this? Comment below or send me a message if you do