Updated date:

Carb Confusion

Cody is currently a student at Miami University. Cody's latest articles focus on the practical application of the Ketogenic diet.

carb-concepts

Diet is More Important Than Exercise

At some point, nearly everybody will embark on a journey to better their health. This usually occurs through a healthy diet and exercise. Considering it would take a one-mile run to burn off three Oreos, many would agree that simply cutting out the Oreos would be more efficient than trying to burn it off. And besides, who eats only three Oreos at a time? When I used to eat Oreos, it was usually somewhere around ten, if not the entire sleeve. So we’re not going to eat sweets anymore, we’ll replace them with healthier foods.

Swapping out white bread products for whole grain products is something most health-conscious people subscribe to. Switching to whole grain was my first step because it was easy and I was looking for a quick fix without having to give up anything major. I had just learned in health class that whole grain foods are proven to be way healthier. This is because complex carbs, such as whole-grain bread, get slowly converted into glucose, therefore preventing blood sugar spikes and falls. Well, I’m sad to say, it didn’t affect my enormous appetite and raging sweet tooth whatsoever. In fact, if a calorie is a calorie, the average store-bought slice of whole-grain bread has almost 40% more calories than white bread.

And there lies the problem. Whether you eat white, wheat, or whole grain, you’re still eating highly processed food that should only last three days, but instead, store-bought bread can last months. You’d be surprised to discover that store-bought bread has a longer list of ingredients than your entire shopping list. So if you’re going to attempt to eat natural food, cross almost every single carbohydrate off your grocery list. It’s the foods with high carbohydrate counts that destroy your energy, ability to focus, sleep, hunger hormones, and blood sugar levels. And more often than not, it’s the foods you constantly crave and proceed to binge on.

Why You Overeat

At the dinner table, just after everybody has finished their food, your eyes begin to glow as the desert gets brought out. This may be a result of not eating a balanced meal with lots of healthy fats. However, it’s more likely you still crave these delicious sweets because chronic carbohydrate consumption literally alters your brain's reward system.

As humans, we must always meet the biological need to survive and reproduce. These biological needs are interlinked with our brains' reward system. We like eating because it is necessary to survive. By the same token, we like to have sex, because we need to in order to reproduce. Except people are engaging in both of these activities more often than necessary. Especially with eating, at a certain point, it becomes a threat to your survival.

A study conducted by the University of Auckland (New Zealand), examined the dopamine release in the brain after ingestion of carbohydrates. What they found was that refined carbohydrates produced the same effect on the brain's reward system as people who have serious addiction issues. This is why you get so excited when you see junk food. I will clarify, these conclusions can only be applied to refined carbohydrates such as pastries, cereals, desserts, bread, etc.


carb-concepts

Your Biology is Being Taken Advantage of

If you’re reading this and are genuinely puzzled as to what I’m talking about, you are a very lucky individual. You can’t relate to those of us who can’t seem to be healthy no matter how hard we try. Unfortunately, all of the attempts you make to portion control and calorie count has inevitably failed. Although, you should know it’s not entirely your fault. The food industries are purposely adding ingredients in order to get you addicted. Monosodium glutamate(MSG) has the sole purpose of strengthening the taste of food.

Some people are more sensitive to these flavor enhancers than others, but it’s quite obvious food addiction is a problem that is costing people their one and only chance at a quality life. Much like an alcoholic who overcomes their addiction by going completely sober, you have to do something similar.

The processed carbohydrates that I’ve mentioned in this article, need to be eliminated. Based on your genetics, you very well may not operate efficiently running on glucose. Your ancestors may have eaten a majority meat diet, which is something you should consider doing if you’re absolutely fed up with constantly overeating junk food. However, this doesn’t mean rush to the deli, because with the number of preservatives and other unnecessary ingredients added they are just as bad as the bagel you ate for breakfast.


carb-concepts

A Shocking Truth

At the very least, swap out all of your low-fat foods and replace them with the original full-fat item. It’s ironic how the yogurt commercials advertise how protein-filled their yogurt is when in reality it contains more grams of carbohydrates than protein. This next one is going to come as a shock to many readers, but throw your fake butter away. Fake butter is a scam, playing on the idea that butter, like all fats, will give you heart disease and diabetes. Now that time has progressed and scientists are gaining new insights, they’re finding out it’s actually the other way around. In fact, it’s chronic sugar consumption that leads to many diseases such as neuropathy, heart disease, and diabetes. Take a look at this quote from a meta-analysis of over 50 years of research conducted by Athabasca University (Canada).

“It is now clear that the role of SFA (Saturated Fatty Acids)in the causation of CHD(Chronic Heart Disease) has been much exaggerated. Until the 1980s the weight of evidence indicated that a high intake of SFA causes a raised TC which may then lead to CHD. But evidence that has steadily accumulated since around 1990 demonstrates that SFA plays a relatively minor role in CHD...The belief that a reduced intake of SFA is the key dietary change for the prevention of CHD led millions of people to increase their intake of carbohydrates, most of which were refined.” There’s nothing else to say after that, other than we’ve been deeked for several decades.

According to current research and my own experimenting, meals that consist of mostly dietary fat results in the longest feeling of fullness. The primary reason behind this is the lack of blood sugar fluctuations after a high-fat meal. Oftentimes people will eat when they’re not even hungry, this is because they feel the need to replenish their low blood sugar.


carb-concepts

My Experiment

My average blood sugar is around 60, which is extremely low. However, it doesn’t mean I’m constantly cranky or craving food, it’s quite the opposite. For me, ketosis allows my body to run more efficiently the longer I go without food. That’s why you may feel better when you skip breakfast because your body is in a mild stage of ketosis as it hasn’t received any carbohydrates that spike blood sugar. In my experience, every time I eat high carbohydrate meals I notice I have brain fog, lethargy, moodiness, disturbed sleep, etc. Whereas I feel focused, confident, witty, and energized when I follow a high-fat ketogenic diet and even gluten-free to an extent. If you experience constant hunger, irritability, sleep problems, weight gain, and absentmindedness like I’ve felt my entire life, consider that the right diet may be exactly the opposite of what you’re doing currently. That’s what worked for me, and that is why I’m writing this because I don’t want anybody to go through the time and effort it took me to find the right diet.

Sources

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131727/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4927102/

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Cody Piunno

Related Articles