September 20, 2017
High Carb, low carb, no carb, only carb…The list can go on forever. Everyone has an idea about Carbohydrates and how they affect our diets. Even well meaning advice giving associates, friends, and trainers.
Quality, Not Quantity
In the past few years carbohydrates have been vilified. If you want to lose weight that’s the only way to go. Put yourself on a high fat, high protein diet and all your ailments will be solved. And trust me even I tried it! So now we are literally scared to eat for fear of getting fat. But there is one big problem here, has anyone looked at the long term effects of these diet plans? What about all that extra cholesterol, and aren’t we going to miss some vital nutrients from those blessed (and yummy) carbs? What about sustainability, can you really live the rest of your life on meats, cheese, bacon (yes it gets it’s own food group), dairy, and a few veggies? And aren’t those foods, except the veggies, very congesting to our bodily systems?
Unfortunately, we live in a world of all or none. Or, if a little is good for us, than a lot should be even better!
For most of us, it’s so much easier to give ourselves a hard limit…what I mean is; if we start the day saying I’m going to eat healthy today, our human nature starts to make all kinds of rationale as to what is healthy for us today. Or, why we definitely deserve that donut today.
If we start the day by saying I am not going to eat any carbs today (or say limit them to 5g. per serving) then we have given ourselves a hard limit…no maybe’s. It’s so much easier, there’s no bargaining or rationalizing each and every choice.
The problem lies in the fact that we are usually mislead and misinformed when it comes to carbs. It really doesn’t have to be all or none.
Here is where the good stuff starts. All foods will contribute in some way to our blood sugar levels. Once we eat, our pancreas will determine and release the correct amount of insulin to bring our blood sugar to a normal level. If over time, the pancreas is constantly releasing too much insulin, the body will stop responding- leading to insulin resistance. So if carbs are good for you than why do we end up in a state of insulin resistance? Good question. Most of the carbs we eat in today’s society are refined, processed, and unbalanced. Think of a normal night out… Pizza, breadsticks, pop, followed by dessert or ice cream. This is what most of us might consider a weekend supper. Just think about the amount of insulin needed to bring all those sugars under control.
Now wait, you’ve been eating pretty healthy and would never consider eating a meal like that! So let’s try again. Chips and salsa, steak fajita, and a margarita or a couple beers.
Did you know that some tortilla chips have a higher glycemic index than a cookie? Or that too much protein can also raise insulin levels beyond normal limits? Not to mention all the sugar in that margarita or the extra tax on the liver to process not only the extra sugar coming at it but the alcohol as well!
Well shoot. Are we back to the being afraid to eat?
Nope. You just need to eat with better knowledge:) It really is about quality over quantity. Too much of anything is not going to be good. Especially when dealing with insulin resistance. Remember carbohydrates are a great fuel for our bodies when used correctly. Pay attention to the glycemic index of all foods, even healthy ones. And aim for carbs that are unprocessed, unrefined, and high fiber.
Know how much you are eating… Use a tracking system that allows you to see the amount of sugars and carbs you are eating in a day. If 50-60% carbs is not working for you, adjust to 40-50%. Our bodies are all different and we have different energy needs. Learn how to adjust for your needs, not follow the latest fad.
You can look to Google or Pinterest for a glycemic load food list. And remember too much of anything, “healthy or unhealthy” is still too much.
P.S. how bout, cucumbers with your salsa, a well seasoned and well portioned steak with a side of grilled peppers and onions, and an evening playing ball with the kids to top it off:)