Carbohydrates - the good, bad and the confusion

If you are like me, by now you are totally confused about carbohydrates!

 

There are apparently healthy carbs and bad carbs.

 

Then some people say "No Carbs"

 

Others "Low carbs"

 

Then there is Keto ......

 

 

 

So really what is the LOW-DOWN?

 

Carbohydrates are required by your body:

 

  • They supply brain energy.

  • They supply readily available muscle energy

  • They prevent breakdown of muscle tissue as an energy source, especially post-training.

  • Fiber-rich carbs facilitate the digestive process and help prevent digestive disorders, such as constipation or diverticulitis.

 

So you see you do need to consume carbs to remain functional as an alert and short-term energy-producing human being.

 

What matters is the type and amount of carbs you consume.

 

Good Carbs versus Bad Carbs

 

Good carbs include vegetables, fruits in moderation, beans, and whole grains (I know the paleo advocates cringe at this).

 

These types of carbohydrates offer more nutrient value and do not lead to a massive spike in insulin.

 

Which is good, because insulin is a hormone that promotes the storage of body fat.

 

Bad carbs are not recommended because they possess less nutritional value, are quickly digested, and lead to the dreaded insulin spike.

 

These include refined grains, white rice, pasta, sugar-laden foods, and most boxed or frozen microwavable meals.

 

Remember, more insulin ultimately promotes more fat stored.

 

 

Insulin spike .... Say What?

 

 

 So lets look at what each food group does ....

 

Carbohydrates

  • Tells the body to produce insulin.

  • Insulin's job is to regulate sugar in our bodies to use for energy

  • If the body has enough "energy" Insulin gets the liver to store glucose as glycogen

  • The liver can only store a limited amount of glycogen

  • Excess glycogen is stored as FAT

 

Fats

  • 0 impact on Insulin levels

  • Helps slow the absorption of carbohydrates

  • Triggers a hormone in your brain to tell the body to stop eating

 

Protein

  • Produces Glucagon

  • Glucagon helps to control excessive insulin production

So in overview

 

Carbohydrates spike insulin levels, Insulin triggers the body to store blood sugars as glycogen. Glucagon tells the body to release stored glycogen into the system and healthy fats trigger the full system in your brain.

 

 

So how does all this new found knowledge help you ....

 

Next week I will talk a little more about this, and how to I am using this knowledge.

 

I will also go more in depth about keto, why we require some carbs, and how to keep the glycogen stores in balance, so you don't store fat but also don't burn muscle when you need energy.

 

Please comment below with any questions, and share this article if you found it helpful!

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