Our main aim is to convince you, we don’t have to depend on carbs for your daily energy needs and how can it affect our health by making some interesting points and also throughout the video we will look at some hard pieces of evidence on how carbs can contribute in causing insulin resistance which can lead to developing type 2 diabetes.
So without wasting anytime let’s get started.
Let’s get to know exactly what is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products. It is one of the three macronutrients through which our body can receive its energy or calories from.
What do people think and what is the reality
People think that they need carbohydrates mainly for energy, but the truth is you can run your body on other types of calories too. We can run our body on proteins or on fats, but necessarily not on carbohydrates. It has become a sort of a myth that we will bust further in the blog.
Carbohydrates consists of simple and complex sugars. Simple carbohydrates can be honey, sugar or maple nectar, here, it get processed in the body really fast and creates a sudden glucose spike in the blood. It can give instant temporary energy but then body goes down because then insulin hormone is released to balance it out.
Whereas complex carbohydrates have fibers that slows the breakdown of the carbohydrate in the body so it doesn’t make the same effect as table sugar. However, we can break down each specific category of foods that have carbohydrate as a sub nutrient.
The problems with fruits and vegetables
Like vegetables it contains vitamins, fiber and minerals, we need them not because of carbs but mainly for the fiber because fiber works as food for the microbes or the gut bacteria in the intestines. We can just go for the vegetables in large quantities, specifically for fiber, and don’t need to get it from bran or grains.
Some people recommend beans for go to nutrient because it doesn’t turn fast into sugar as other carbohydrates do. Beans is not a good source if you have slow metabolism and trying to lose weight, your body cannot process beans fully as it needs to be because it’s a lot of carbs also in many people, gastric problem have been witnessed when they have been put on bean diet.
Fruits have high array of glycemic index and again if you have slow metabolism you will hard time in losing weight. It’s been seen in women in their 50’s, when fruit is taken out of their diet, weight starts to drop a lot faster and easier. Typically, most fruit has too much glycemic index and thus too much carbohydrate.
Problems with Grains
Now coming to grains, here is a shocking info, you don’t need them. It is a debatable topic and we are happy to have a discussion on that. Grains have high glycemic index so it turns in to sugar fairly fast and also doctors do not recommend grains for two reasons, first there are not much more nutrients in grains and secondly there is a lot of gluten in them.
There is a good chance you might have heard about the damaging effects of gluten. Another known grain that is mostly preferred by people is wheat. According to Dave Asprey, an author of the book “Super Human – The Bulletproof Plan to age Backwards”, he says there are plenty of researches that shows that eating wheat can cause the body to age faster.
Wheat causes inflammation and other gastronomical distress, it contributes more to auto immune disease and works as a host to other issues by stimulating over release of Zonulin, a protein that controls the permeability of the cells lining your gut. With excess Zonulin the gaps between your intestinal cells open up allowing bacteria, undigested food and bacterial toxins to flood into your blood stream. These toxins are called “Lipopolysacrides” or LPS, it inflammation throughout the body. These LPS make you old and continued accumulation can impact your health more and more.
This theory of Dave Asprey can be supported by concept of BIGU or “grain avoidance”. It has been around for more than 2000 years and can be traced back to Han dynasty. Someone named Wang Xuan wrote in 680 AD that before the time of farming, ancient people did not eat grain and hence they were long lived. There is no evidence to back this data but it’s interesting to know that people in ancient times specifically avoid grains more than a millennium ago. Also, a Jin Dynasty scholar named “Ge Hong” claimed that there is not one fat person who were following BIGU for spiritual reasons. All in all theory of avoiding grains actually checks out.
Some Well-Known Books on Diabetes
Dr Richard Thomas Williamson wrote in 1898 book “Diabetes Mellitus and its treatment” that potatoes should be excluded from diet first, then bread and gradually all carbohydrates should be cut off. In 1797, military surgeon John Rollo released a book that described how he treated diabetes with a carbohydrate-restricted meat diet. In both the books we can see a similar pattern of restricting the intake of carbohydrates in all forms.
It is a known fact that extra sugars from carbohydrate turns to fat when not used by our body. What we don’t know is that carbs can actually be an adding factor to insulin resistance, a state where body cells do not respond normally to insulin and glucose cannot enter the cells easily which in turn it starts to built up in blood.
Development of Diabetes
Based on the work of Dr Ted Naiman, Dr Jason Fung and Dr Ivan Cummins the path of developing insulin resistance look something like this.
The extra energy that is stored in form of fat in fat cells, more specifically it’s not only filling up your fat cells but also pinning the fat in those cells but also preventing it from being burned up for energy. This thing filling up the fat cells is called Insulin, an anabolic hormone which has many functions, one of them being acting as a fat storage hormone.
It releases Hormone sensitive lipase, Adipose triglyceride lipase and CPT-1 hormones which inhibits the working of burning fat. In simple words, the more insulin you have floating around, the harder it is to burn up the fat and the fat builds up. As Dr Ted Naiman says, we became fat not because we ate too much fat but we suck at burning fat due to too much intake of glucose and to burn that off our pancreas release insulin. Hence the body goes in mode of converting it into fat in which insulting helps it and pin it into fat cells.
Carbohydrate contains glucose which is a form of simple sugar or monosacaride. When we consume food rich in carbs it releases glucose which later is stored in form of glycogen in muscles and liver. There is only a certain limit a body part can store glycogen. And if we do not empty the liver glycogen by not eating carbohydrate and not emptying the muscle glycogen by not exercising.
At this point there is nowhere to put in the incoming carbohydrate. So, it is preferential for the insulin to quickly sort out the incoming glucose. Hence it leads the insulin to turn it into fat and filling up your fat cells via a process called De Novo Lipogenesis. Dr Naiman calls this whole process – “Randle Cycle”.
It means if we eat enough carbohydrates, our body switches its metabolism to burning off more glucose, turning excess glucose to fat and when we switch to diet in low carbs only then the stored fat starts to burn off. As the fat keeps on accumulating in the fat cells, more and more insulin is needed to hold that fat in place.
These higher levels of insulin worsen the whole cycle, making the body cells more resistant to insulin meaning glucose is harder to process because there is nowhere is to put that glucose. Since the glycogen tank and fat cells is full to limit, the glucose is turned to fat and it just simply overflows in to abdomen cavity, the muscles, the liver and the pancreas.
Final stage of development
The pancreas is the last place where fat accumulates and when the pancreas is stuffed with fat, the beta cells stop to function properly. Since the beta cells were producing high insulin earlier and now it is dysfunctioning by not producing enough insulin the glucose starts to accumulate in the blood itself. Also due to high insulin levels earlier, the body cells are now insulin resistant so the glucose is building up in the bloodstream meaning you are going to have diabetic level blood sugar. Which we all know is the start of type-2 diabetes.
Do we really need carbohydrates?
According to Dr Sarah Hallberg, our daily requirement of carbohydrates is zero. She has seen in her patients suffering from diabetes who don’t have much insulin to begin with, that when they decrease their consumption of carbs their glucose goes down and they don’t need as much insulin to process those glucose.
In a hindsight, we can see a pattern where carbohydrates is becoming the root cause of all the diseases. That’s why most of the known famous diets like keto, sattvic, carnivore or even blue zone diet works on the same principle. Still confused, let me show you.
Different types of Diet
Our body can run on two basic fuels one is sugar from carbohydrates in the food we eat like rice, potato, bread or pasta and the other fuel source is fat. What happens in a low-carb diet is that you consume foods so low in carbs so that your body has to switch over to mainly using fat for its energy needs for example for real foods like egg, meat, butter, nut etc. This is the main concept behind the low-carb diet.
Keto diet works on this very same principle. When the body is almost out of sugar and don’t have enough to turn them into energy. You need another source so the body uses fat instead. Our liver turn this fat into ketones, a type of acid and sends them in to bloodstream.
Our muscles and other tissue can use these ketones for fuel. The diet that results in this is called ketogenic, meaning it produces ketones and that’s why the diet is called a keto diet. Being fueled mostly by fat is a state called ketosis and it has several benefits including your body becomes a fat burning machine. This diet is mostly useful for the ones who are trying to lose weight and it’s a perfect way to do it without going hungry.
Moving on to “sattvic diet”, it is the most ancient practice followed in Ayurveda. It is based on foods enriched with ‘sattva’ quality and which lay emphasis on keeping our mind, body and soul healthy. Sattvic diet is the original yogic diet that includes not only vegetarian foods but those foods with higher nutritive values in terms of their effects on mind, making it pure and calm.
Looking at it scientifically, it basically eliminates all sorts of foods which have high content of a fat and carbohydrate. There are also several benefits to this sort diet but that’s the discussing for another time.
Carnivore or Meat Diet
Carnivore diet entirely comprises meat and animal products. It is a restrictive diet and excludes all other foods including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts etc. It has claimed to aid weight loss, mood issues, and blood sugar regulation but It is likely to be unhealthy if continued for a long period of time. However, carnivorous diet works on the same principle of restricting the consumption of carbohydrates.
Blue Zone Diet
Blue zone diet is most trending nowadays. It follows the similar guidelines of a low carbs diet. But it differs from the other diets we have mentioned before like it mostly comprises of consuming almost 95% of plant-based diet, avoid sugary and limiting alcoholic drinks, meaning mostly stick to water. Reducing consumption of eggs and dairy products and most importantly do not overeat. This sort of diet is somewhat a balance between them all and have been recommended by most of the expertise.
There are several testimonials by people who have tried and felt the result of low-carb diet. Few of them are –
“A more pleasurable way to live” – Franziska Spritzler
“Keto is the only diet that actually worked” – Kristie Sullivan.
“I got my life back” – Anonymous.
“My blood sugar levels are normal and without medication” – Anonymous.
We can stay healthy and happy as long we keep away the cause. This sort of thing gives rise to a question which is.
If we are not eating carbs then what are we going to put in?
Well, the simple answer is “Fat”, I know it sounds funny, but it’s true. There are only three macro nutrients and when we are not consuming one, the other two have to go up. Because fats does not create any sort of glucose spike which will keep blood sugars and insulin low and that is important. We have listed out few simple rules for eating that is essential to follow when you are on a journey of low-carb diet.
1- If a product says low fat or fat free, avoid those products because if they are pulling out fat it means they are putting in carbs and chemicals in it.
2- Eat real foods, especially vegetables. Avoid any sort of processed or frozen foods.
3 – Only eat when you feel hungry. Don’t eat when you are not, no matter what the clock says.
4- And this last point is most important avoid GPS – grains, potatoes and sugar.
Well even if you try to switch to whole grains you won’t be able to get the results you are seeking because in today’s market most proprietary food is highly processed and the fiber benefit is ruined. If consumed, it can produce a worse outcome for the people suffering from insulin-sensitive issues.
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