Carbs – The Misunderstood Macro Nutrient

Carbs – The Misunderstood Macro Nutrient

Fat doesn’t make you fat, Sugar does! There, I said it!

Some of you might argue that we have stopped having table sugar and have replaced it with honey or jaggery because it’s natural. Now that’s what I call a food myth. Be it table sugar, honey or jaggery, they all enter your blood stream as glucose and therefore have the same adverse effects.

So basically, if sugar is your current affair, then honey and jaggery are like your exes. Sweet but disastrous.

“CARBOHYDRATE” is one of the main categories of sugars consumed by us. As the blog proceeds, you’ll understand how carbs are converted to sugar. So read through, understand well and be in the right position to make better food choices.

Plenty of studies and clinical trials have proved that digestible carbohydrates are not nutritionally essential and our liver is efficiently designed to make its own sugar (Glucose). Yet, 70-80% of our diet is carb-heavy, remaining is little low-quality protein and negligible amounts of healthy fats. Just take a pause from reading, lean back and think – what have you eaten in the day so far? Carbs and carbs, right? This proves the fact that our life revolves around carbs. No wonder we are obese and roaming around with pot bellies!

If you’ve failed in your fat loss journey or want to shred some fat around your belly then this blog will definitely help you reach your desired goal. Stick around, we will debunk some myths with the help of science.

Summary:

  1. Carbohydrate is a form of SUGAR
  2. Carbohydrates Make Us FAT
  3. Food that helps lose fat and gain muscle
  1. Carbohydrate is a form of Sugar

Before we dive deep into how carbohydrates are converted to Sugar, we first need to understand What is Glucose?

Glucose is a simple carbohydrate. When we eat carbs or sugary items, our body doesn’t see it as cake, pizza, candy, rice, brown rice or fruits but sees it as Glucose. If you ate carbohydrates, you ate sugar.

This image shows how much tsp of sugar does individual carb item has.
How does Glucose cause Gain Weight?

When you eat more digestible carbs, more glucose enters your bloodstream. Now, to utilize this glucose from your bloodstream, pancreas produce insulin, which allows cells to use glucose for energy. This is great. Sugar consumed, sugar utilized, no damage done! That’s efficient sugar uptake and a sign of being healthy.

But remember, we talking about consuming excess sugar and there is only so much that insulin can do. It is as simple as charging your phone. No matter how much power you supply, you cannot charge it more than 100%? Similarly, your body stops using glucose after a point. So the excessive glucose has 2 fates – being stored in the liver as glycogen or as fat within the body.

To sum it up, carbs is like Procrastination! It is immediate gratification irrespective of the consequences down the road. You might not gain the weight right after you eat carbs but over the period of time, you’ll!

Now the question is what elevates blood glucose level?

The influence on blood glucose is dependent on the Glycemic Index (GI) of food that you eat. GI is basically the ability of the food to increase your blood sugar post consumption. Sugary foods have a high Glycemic Index (GI of more than 70). As soon as you eat anything with a high GI, a lot of glucose enters your bloodstream in a short time, which demands access level of insulin to clear the mess. To know more about insulin visit here

Talking about foods with low or moderate GI, these don’t cause the blood sugar to spike suddenly but we rarely use this in our favour. We don’t have set boundaries for eating carbs and usually end up eating a higher amount of carbs in one meal which is termed as Glycemic Load (GL) of food. So not having any barriers for carbs consumption, can make GI monitoring futile.

This Picture has Glycemic Index of food we commonly eat.

Carbohydrates Make Us FAT

Obesity or potbelly is a substance abuse problem, which means over-consumption of one substance, which in this case is CARBS.

I’ve not seen anyone get obese simply by eating Fats. And I’ve also not seen anyone get Fat by restricting carbohydrates.

-Unknown

Now lets put science to this statement. There’s a starting point and stopping point and they are very tightly mediated by hormones that are released when we eat food. Leptin, the satiety hormone, which gives us feeling of fullness and ghrelin hormone, which makes us hungry. These two hormones mediate our starting and ending points.

Digestible carbs are not nutritionally essential (which means they don’t have any role other than providing energy) They don’t have feedback control. Leptin signals couldn’t reach to our brain. You become fat by chronic consumption of carbs. It doesn’t matter in what form it is whether it is from cake, white rice, plain sugar it enters your blood as glucose.

Dr. Cywes quoted that Carbs like white sugar are incredibly powerful to activate the endorphin system just like any illegal drug. This hijacks our mind and delays our leptin response, which results in a ubiquitous unconscious way of eating called as snacking.

We have to accept the fact that the desire of eating carbs is not for nutritional benefits but for the endorphin kick. You receive immense pleasure when you take that first bite of pizza. Later, you can’t resist before chewing down several slices or may be even the whole pizza.

The biggest parameter for weight gain and obesity is not lack of exercise. Exercise alone can never help you lose fat. It’s always one and only thing – substance abuse (carbs). Athlete who is highly active and has the majority of its calories coming from carbs is torturing himself. That leads the conversation to what are calories that will help you lose fat, gain muscle and boost your athletic performance.

I’ll try to debunk these myths. If you’ve followed the orthodox guidelines and have failed to achieve your desired results next fold of the blog will introduce you to reality.

Food that helps lose fat and gain muscle

Fat doesn’t make you fat! Sugar does.

By now it’s clear that Sugar/Glucose makes you fat. Now, we will see how saturated fats are absolutely healthy to consume.

Like I mentioned earlier, starting and stopping points are very tightly mediated by hormones that are released when we eat food. Now certain foods create balanced hormonal changes of hunger and satiety. Like Protein and Healthy Fats.

You can’t overeat these two macros it’s not possible to overeat Protein and fat because they have strong satiety signals. These macros don’t have a drastic effect on insulin spike which allows leptin signals to reach our brain and our brain sends us signals when to stop.

When you get into this biological way of eating your body will control how much calories you need. If you don’t eat carb-derived calories then portions become irrelevant. The fictitious arbitrary measurement system becomes bogus.

Because Fat and Protein has strong satiety signals its difficult to eat extra calories.

This clearly indicates that all calories are not the same and weight loss on calories restriction diet is not specifically FAT loss but a loss in Muscle & Bones when the majority of calories are coming from carbs.

Conclusion

Fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does! Body converts carbohydrates to sugar/glucose when metabolized. Hence it’s capable to cause the same harm on health, weight and brain functioning like white sugar.

It is not possible to lose body fat on a high amount of carbohydrate diet and it’s not possible to gain body fat on a carbohydrate-restricted diet.

It’s impossible to overeat protein and saturated fats because they have a strong satiety response, which debunks the myth of calories count and all calories being the same.

I hope this blog introduces you to reality and helps you make better food choices for yourself. It’s not easy to resist carbs because they are all over and rewarding in nature but we have to walk down this road and you’re not alone. We are together in this. Connect with me on my social media for any further help. Instagram | Twitter | Linkedin

Have you stopped eating carbs? Did you have a hard time resisting carbs? How did you overcome it? Please share your experience in the comment section so others get the much-needed motivation.

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