Understanding Carbs and Low Carb Eating

Many experts attribute the large-scale epidemic or obesity in the United States, where 1/3 of all adults are obese in large part to a steady increase over a prolonged period of time in the intake of unhealthy carbohydrates, which include, but are not limited to table sugar and all items made from it, refined starches, processed food and even too much fruit sugar.

According to one study, (Cohen E, et al., Statistical Review of U.S. Macronutrient Consumption Data, 1965–2011), the number of overweight and obese Americans rose from 42.3% to 66.1% from 1971 to 2011 and during this time:

➢ The consumption of fat decreased from 44.7% to 33.6%
➢ The consumption of carbohydrates increased from 39% to 50% from 1965 to 2011

Researchers surmise that these statistics imply a link between high carb intake in our diets and obesity on a societal scale.

Before judgments are made, it is important to understand the major differences between the two types of carbs, and if one is particularly more advantageous over the other. It is also important to consider your goals in diet, do you want to lose weight, are you prediabetic, or have diabetes, or maybe you are fit and health?

Complex Carbs
Complex carbs or multiple-chain sugars are believed to not result in a rapid surge of glucose into the blood stream, but rather a slower, more sustained release over the course of many minutes, or hours.

The result?

Insulin is better able to (though not in all individuals) handle the glucose load, reducing the likelihood of excessive sugar being left in the blood stream.

These Include:
• Whole grains: wild rice, brown rice, whole wheat, spirulina, rye and other whole grains that are not processed, such as white rice, pasta and white bread
• Potatoes
• Corn

Simple Carbs
Simple carbs are single-chain sugars, therefore the name simple, they do not take long to process in the body and do cause erratic blood sugar spikes to occur.

These include:
• Sucrose is plain old table sugar
• Glucose is found in some fruits and starchy vegetables
• Fructose is the sugar in all fruits and honey and is also used to make many processed food products because of its high level of sweetness
• Galactose is the sugar that occurs naturally in dairy, like milk and yogurt

Complex Carbs In Detail
Maybe Useful In Helping To Manage Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetics
Type 2 diabetics, in particular, have insulin that is both impotent and possibly deficient in quantity. As such, the body is ill prepared to properly metabolize, or store blood sugar, causing an abnormally high amount to be left circulating in the blood. Often, complex carbs are recommended over simple carbs to those with insulin issues and diabetes to better manage blood sugars and reduce glycemic load.

However, it should be noted that not all people with diabetes or prediabetes react well to complex carbs, where for them they cause the same erratic spikes in blood sugar as simple carbs do.

➢ Better For Weight Loss And Maintenance

When it comes to the body’s weight control mechanism, hormones play an extremely important part. Once again, our friendly neighborhood insulin can be the cause of you gaining dozens of pounds, as opposed to maintaining your body weight. The fact is insulin is a “storage” hormone.

It wants to shuttle as much sugar and fat as possible into your cells, while at the same time restricting the usage of fat (also known as lipolysis). This inhibition of fat breakdown, and enhanced storage of the same, is one major reason sugars contribute to weight gain.

Slower digesting carbs do not result in a very acute insulin spike, so its duration of action is shorter, and may not contribute to weight gain as simple carbs do.

However, while all above may be theoretically true, not everyone tolerates carbs well, especially in regards to weight loss and this includes complex carbs and some experts disagree that simply using the label of “complex” to evaluate a food’s impact on weight management or loss is lacking, and that evaluating “glycemic load” of a food is a far better predictor.

Evaluating Glycemic Load
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale of 1 to 100 that measures a food’s impact on raising blood sugars or its glycemic load, the higher the number the higher the load.

• A white potato without skin has a GI of 98, while one raw apple has a 34 GI

The potato is considered a complex carb, while the apple is considered to be a simple carb. As you can see, the potato is much more likely to cause erratic spikes in blood sugar and weight gain than the apple.

One study proved this…
Doctors and other researchers in the Harvard Nurses Health Study (the largest epidemiological study conducted in the US into the risk factors for major chronic diseases in women and has been going strong since 1976) found that baked potatoes and cold cereal were foods that contributed most to increasing blood sugar levels to an unacceptable level, known as “glycemic load.”

Therefore, low carb diets, like Ketogenic and Atkins take the viewpoint that all complex carbs are inhibitors to weight loss due to their high glycemic load, and in order to induce ketosis (the goal of these diets) the body’s ability to burn fat for energy instead of dietary carbs.

In a strict low carb diet, complex carbs are eliminated or else the body will continue to turn them into glucose and use them for energy defeating the entire purpose of strict low carb, which is to induce ketosis where the body burns stored fat for energy instead of dietary carbs.

➢ Maintaining Energy Levels

One of the common myths floating around is that carbs are the body’s only source of energy and one that is typically tough to replace. WRONG!
When you are following a very strict low carb diet, and eliminate carbs, your body will go into a metabolic state known as Ketosis, where it burns stored and dietary fat for energy, a perfectly safe process, and the reason why low carb is so successful in helping people to lose weight.

The body is highly adaptive, and many studies have shown that the body is more than capable of running on stored fats and maintaining energy levels. It may take a couple of weeks for the body to adjust, but in the end those who succeed with low carb eating find they lose a lot of weight, and look and feel better than ever.

Additionally, when you reduce carb intake, you eliminate a fat storage process that results from eating them. When you eat carbs they turn into glucose in the bloodstream to be used as energy, but any that is not immediately used gets stored as fat.

➢ Simple Carbohydrates Do Have Their Benefits

Many people testify to simple sugars having zero importance in the real world, however, this is not exactly correct. In fact, simple sugars do have a few unique uses under very specific circumstances and are thus important in conditional scenarios.

• Pre-Workout Energy – Those who participate in intense exercise, weight lifting, and endurance training need simple carbs to get through grueling workouts. Bodybuilders, for example, require glucose from carbs as that is what muscles use for energy during exercise. For this reason, there are two special versions of the ketogenic diet tailored for fitness enthusiasts and athletes.

• Cyclical Ketogenic Diet or CKD – This plan is widely used by athletes, bodybuilders, weightlifters and anyone participating in high-intensity exercise and features short periods of higher-carb refeeds with 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb intake days

• Targeted Ketogenic Diet or TKD – This plan is also used by bodybuilders, athletes and those who workout regularly to fuel intense workouts and includes high load carb intake based around workouts.

• Pre-Workout Nutrition- Simple carbs can play a critical role in nutrition following your workout, although many people do not take advantage at this time and miss crucial recovery. Following a workout (especially weight training) muscle fibers are damaged and in critical need of recovery nutrients. However, not just anything will suffice at this time; in order to kick-start the recovery of muscle cells, and shutdown muscle catabolism, speed is important. Research has shown that a rapidly digesting protein shake and fast digesting glucose drink taken immediately following a workout reduced post workout pain, results in increased muscle protein synthesis and makes the time you spent working out worth it.

• Ease Of Digestion- simple carbs are important sources of energy for persons with digestive difficulties, or young children unable to handle complex digestion. In these cases, simple carbs are not only useful, but also likely essential to the health and wellbeing of these persons.

• Emergency Fuel – simple carbs can be a lifesaver in persons suffering from acute hypoglycemia, such as is possible if a diabetic has overdosed on his medication, or mistook an insulin shot. In addition, athletes performing at a high level may experience periods of acute blood sugar drops, resulting in dizziness, nausea and fainting, simple carbs are especially important at these times, as they can literally save your life.

Conclusion
As you can see, a definitive verdict cannot be reached into which is superior, as they each have distinct advantages. However, if you fall within normal parameters of health, chances are your needs for simple carbs will be much less.

Low Carb Meal Plans

Sometimes you just need ideas on what to eat that stays in line with your low carb eating. Well, here you go. This is NOT a recipe book. This just gives you ideas on how to create low carb meals and pair foods together.

Download 85 Low Carb Meal, Snacks, and Desserts

Want some SIMPLE recipes? My wife makes awesome simple meals and posts them on her Instagram account @carorigor. Here’s an example of our last Taco Tuesday!

+++ KetoRecomp.com +++ If you want to get serious on this low carb stuff and transform your physique and wellness, join our private online coaching group.

Jumpstart Your Metabolism with These 3 Spices

Speeding up your metabolism will help take weight off, but also keep it off. Some people are born with a faster metabolism than others. But just because you might not be one of those lucky people doesn’t mean you can’t make your metabolism work faster with the foods you eat.

As a matter of fact, just adding three spices to your meals can really jumpstart your metabolism and help you maintain a healthy weight. The foods you use to fuel your body are really key to making it work right, so try including these three spices in your diet.

Cinnamon

Increased blood sugar can cause excess fat to be stored. Cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar, making it easier to maintain or lose weight.

Cinnamon has also been known as an appetite suppressor. It slows down the process of moving food through your stomach, making you feel fuller longer.

So try sprinkling some cinnamon over your oatmeal or yogurt, or sprinkle some in your tea, coffee, juice, or in a protein shake (I love adding this to my vanilla flavored protein shakes).

Cayenne Pepper

Spice it up to jump-start that metabolism. Spicy foods have a natural chemical that causes your body to burn more energy. By making your temperature rise with the heat, your body burns more calories while it works to cool down from all of that heat. However, keep in mind that as your body becomes accustomed to the heat, it’s going to take even more heat to have this cool-down effect take place.

Add cayenne powder to soups or stews in small amounts to start to give your metabolism that jumpstart. Just a pinch of cayenne pepper has been shown to increase your metabolism by up to 25% for three hours after you eat it, but it will also help curb the hunger. So it really doesn’t take a lot to get the metabolism going and the fat pounds to melt off.

I add cayenne powder to my Super Morning Drink.

Garlic

It’s not just good for warding off the vampires. Garlic is great at warding off the fat, too. It increases the number of calories you burn a day and decreases the production of fat. With the ability to decrease the production of fat, this also helps regulate cholesterol. So a lot of health benefits come from using garlic to spice up your foods.

Garlic also works similarly to pepper when it comes to speeding up the metabolism, in that the body has to work that much harder to cool down after having garlic.

So mince up some garlic and add it to sauces, or put in some melted butter and spread on bread or mixed with mashed potatoes and start burning calories faster.

It’s not difficult to jumpstart your metabolism without having to work very hard. Eat a healthy diet which includes these three spices and you won’t be disappointed as these tiny shifts can make a difference in the long run.

Burning Body Fat Ketogenic Diet Style

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If there’s one thing the ketogenic diet stands miles apart in, it’s the ability to burn fat and shed weight. Ever wondered why most people following an “approved” diet never seem to lose weight? Or when they do it is mediocre at best?

It’s because the influence insulin exerts over their bodies, making it near impossible to slash through fat stores.

If you’re tired of not losing any weight, feeling lethargic or just believe that the way your body is functioning is not the way it was meant to be, that could stop today.

However, it all starts with starting the ketogenic diet. In particular, is our interest in how the ketogenic diet promotes the burning of body fat. Ready to be blown away?

The Ketogenic Diet Leads To A Switching Of Energy Sources

We’ve all heard that carbs are the primary source of energy our body needs and that it’s the “preferred” way to go.

What if I told you that there is an alternative?

Let’s step back a few thousand years, into the life of our ancient ancestors, during the Paleolithic Era. There were no modern conveniences, no baked goods, and no enriched wheaten garbage commonly consumed as dietary staples today.

Instead, their “occasional” diet (by occasional we mean whenever food was available) consisted of animal protein (which is also loaded with saturated fat) and the occasional berry or nut.

This diet and scarcity of food put their body in a constant state of ketosis, making it possible for them to remain lean and healthy all year long. In fact, fossil record indicates that their bones were larger, teeth did not experience significant decay, and overall health was good.

What does this mean for us?

It means that a diet composed of animal protein and fat heavy sources, vegetables and the occasional sweet treat is the way our bodies were meant to function. Our metabolism is fat based, not carb based, as it was forced to adapt to over the years.

Following The Ketogenic Diet Results In A Superior Lipid Profile

If you’ve never heard about a lipid profile, it’s simply a “collection” of all the values related to our cholesterol and lipoprotein levels in our blood.

Under the influence of carbohydrates and insulin surplus, our body holds on to fat for storage, resulting in both increased fat mass and circulating triglyceride levels.

When carb stores are depleted, as occurs under Ketogenic conditions, fat is freed from its stores, to be oxidized for fuel. The result is an improvement in cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The Ketogenic Diet Boosts Lean Muscle Gain

Muscle is the exact location of fat oxidation, insides structures known as mitochondria. Insulin is an anabolic hormone, no argument there, but insulin promotes gain of both muscle and fat, a condition far from ideal.

By promoting growth of lean muscle tissue, additional fat is required to power synthesis, in a synergistic process (more fat is burned by more muscle, and fat helps power muscle synthesis).

You Do Not Have To Follow A Strict Ketogenic Diet To Slash Through Body Fat

The keto diet recommends less than 50 grams of carbs per day, preferably less than 20. However, in case you are not quite there with your dedication or your workout a lot and need more carbs, you can still reap a ton of benefits with some modifications.

Many people actually follow what is known as a targeted ketogenic diet (TKD), which is modified by allowing carbs around workout times (specifically high-intensity sessions). Some people never truly get past the initial feelings of weakness when adapting to the diet, and prefer a little “insurance” around workout times.

You still are in a ketogenic state for many hours of the day, except your pre-workout window, when a few carbs can be justified.

Another variation is the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD), where you essentially add a “carb-up” day at the end of the week to refill your muscle glycogen stores to help power workouts during the week.

For more on the CKD, go to http://KetoRecomp.com. It’s a private coaching group community I run to take people step by step.

Conclusion

Fat burning on the ketogenic diet is on an entire level of its own. Imagine – when your body is in ketosis, you’re burning fat and ketones 24/7 with any activity you’re doing.

We encourage you to adopt or even just try some form of the ketogenic diet into your lifestyle so that you can truly enjoy life living lean and healthy!