MyAmazingStory logo
With you on your journey...
Follow Us:

The Truth About Low Carb Diets

Not all carbohydrates are equal. The truth is you can’t lose weight without a diet – a plan. So before you start a low carb diet, you need to know the difference between good and bad carbs.

After a meal with a high glycemic index, blood sugar levels rise more elevated and more rapidly. This stimulates insulin release, causing the storage of sugars in the body as fat. The body is starved for energy when the glucose level drops so low. The brain and intestine then send out hunger signals. This new craving makes you want to consume more carbs.

The brain and intestine then send out hunger signals. This new craving makes you want to consume more carbs. That leads to more fat, a rise in blood insulin level, more hunger, and more weight gain, and the vicious cycle continues. A low-carb diet puts an end to this.

1. What are Carbs?

Carbohydrates, also called carbs, are a type of macronutrient found in many foods and drinks, and they come in two types: simple and complex. It is one of the major food groups that the body needs to survive. Carbs come in two varieties – sugars and starches. Sugars are simple (fast carbs), usually sweet tasting, and easily digested. At the same time, starches are complex carbs (slow carbs) found in foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables that take longer to digest.

The body transforms all these carbs into glucose to use as fuel for energy. The pancreas releases insulin when glucose passes from the intestine into the bloodstream. Glucose then enters the bloodstream to provide power. The main difference is how quickly they are digested and absorbed. Simple carbs are rapidly absorbed, causing a spike in blood sugar, while complex carbs are digested more slowly, gradually releasing energy.

Simple Carbohydrates (aka Fast Carbs)

These are simple sugars quickly absorbed by the body to provide immediate energy. They are found in foods like fruits, milk, and milk products. They include sugars such as candy, soda, and syrups added during food processing and refinings. While those from fruits and dairy come with other nutrients, those from sugary drinks and sweets can lead to weight gain and other health problems if consumed in excess.

Some of the fast carbs to avoid are potatoes (including fries), pasta, rice, and white bread. These fast carbs spike blood sugar levels as it quickly absorbs sugars from the foods into the bloodstream, which stimulates a release of insulin that causes the body to store sugar as fat. It also reduces the activity of glucagon (a hormone that signals the body to burn stored fuel when blood sugar is low).

Complex Carbohydrates (aka Slow Carbs)

Complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides, comprise long chains of sugar molecules. These are starches made up of sugar molecules strung together like a necklace. These are typically rich in fiber, thus satisfying and healthy. They're generally high in fiber and take longer to digest, providing a steady energy release.

They are found in whole plant foods like green vegetables, whole grains and foods made from them, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and legumes. These types of foods are generally healthy and filling.

  • Whole Grains: Foods like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, whole grain bread, or pasta are excellent sources of complex carbs. They're also high in fiber, which aids digestion and keeps you feeling full.

  • Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas are packed with complex carbs, along with plenty of fiber and protein. They're versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes.

  • Vegetables: Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn are high in complex carbs. Other non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and zucchini, contain fewer carbs but are still a good source of complex carbs.

  • Fruits: While fruits contain some simple sugars, they also provide complex carbs, especially when consumed with their skin or seeds. Bananas, apples, berries, and oranges are all good options.

 

2. What is Low-carb?

The basic science behind the low-carb diet is to limit food consumption with lots of carbohydrates. Significantly refined or processed carbs include potatoes, baked goods, bread, pasta, and other convenient foods. This is healthier for the body because it stores less sugar as fat.

A low-carb diet significantly reduces the consumption of carbohydrates in favor of proteins and fats. It involves replacing high-carb foods such as bread, pasta, and sugary foods with proteins, fats, and non-starchy vegetables. The goal is to get your body to use stored fat for fuel rather than relying on sugars derived from carbohydrates.

A low-carb diet works by shifting the body's metabolism towards fats and away from carbohydrates. Our bodies primarily use carbohydrates for energy because they're easy to break down into glucose, which is used for cellular energy. In a typical diet, carbohydrates are the main source of energy. When we consume foods like bread, pasta, and sugary snacks, our bodies break down carbohydrates into simple sugars, which enter the bloodstream. This triggers the pancreas to release insulin, a hormone that allows cells to absorb the sugar and use it for energy.

Reduced carbs bring down insulin levels and increase glucagon levels for weight loss. It improves triglycerides, decreases LDL (bad cholesterol), and increases HDL (good cholesterol). On the other hand, a lower GI rating causes a gradual rise and fall in blood sugar levels. This allows muscle, fat, and other cells to absorb the excess glucose from the blood. This returns insulin levels to normal.

∎ The Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on how long it takes to be broken down into glucose (simple sugars) in the body. Glycemic Index ratings calculate the rate of digestion of a particular food. GI value can be influenced by several factors, including how the food is prepared and what other foods are consumed. For example, adding fat or protein to a meal can lower the overall GI.

Carbs that digest quickly (fast carbs) have a high GI rating. At the same time, carbs that digest slowly (slow carbs) have a lower rating. High GI foods break down quickly and cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, while low GI foods are digested slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels.

High GI foods include refined and processed products like white bread, rice, and soda. At the same time, Low GI foods include (slow carbs) whole grains, legumes, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables. Ideally, you should eat foods with a low glycemic index rating, like green vegetables, whole-grain foods, and oats.

Understanding the Glycemic Index can be a helpful tool in managing blood sugar levels and can be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes. However, it should not be the only factor considered when making dietary decisions, as the total nutritional content of the food is also essential. For instance, watermelon has a high GI but is low in calories and packed with nutrients, making it a healthy choice in moderate portions.

∎ Fat Burning

When you switch to a low-carb diet, you significantly reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Without sufficient carbohydrates, the body is forced to find an alternative energy source to function correctly. This is where stored fat comes in.

The body begins to break down fats in the liver, a process known as lipolysis. This leads to the production of molecules called ketones, which can be used as a fuel source. This metabolic state is known as ketosis, and it's the goal of many low-carb diets, such as the ketogenic diet.

The shift to burning fat for energy can lead to weight loss, so many people turn to low-carb diets for this purpose. Also, low-carb diets can help regulate blood sugar levels, benefiting people with type 2 diabetes.

 

▶️ Subscribe to our channel

Final Thoughts

It's essential to remember that everyone's body responds differently to dietary changes, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's also important to note that a low-carb diet may not suit everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions like pancreatitis, liver failure, or certain metabolic disorders. Always consult a healthcare provider before starting a new diet or nutrition plan. Low carb diet does not have to be boring. Try different recipes and make this diet as enjoyable and diverse as possible.

Get Your Merch 'n More Here!

Member Portal

It’s quick and easy. Start Here

Search Store

Your Cart

Item added Item updated Item removed No more products on stock You entered wrong value.

No products in the cart.

Departments

Free Offers

Healthy Living Freebies

Grab FREE health food, supplements, diet, fitness, household, and lifestyle products.

Stay in Touch!

Find the stories that interest you and get personalized content in each newsletter.

MyAmazingStory.com Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.