Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Carbohydrate Controversy

With the advent of the Atkins diet, South Beach Diet, and other carbohydrate restrictive regiments, whether or not one should consume carbohydrates has been in debate for many years. The real debate should be, however, whether or not we should be consuming non-fibrous carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates are simply fibrous and non-fibrous, and as a general rule of thumb, non-fibrous(rice, potatoes, wheat (especially refined), breads, cakes, etc.) carbohydrates should be consumed very minimally, if at all. The reason being is that non-fibrous carbohydrates cause a roller coaster effect of highs and lows on the blood sugar, resulting in a release of insulin. Well, like an annoying sibling that just bugs you all day, insulin bugs the liver and muscles to take glucose and remove it from the blood. After a long time of this, liver and muscles cells begin to ignore insulin, and then insulin goes to fat cells, who are more than willing to store the glucose. And when insulin is not being "heard", glucose is not being utilized and absorbed. It just floats idly by in the blood, causing mischief (did you know that fungi, cancer, yeast, and bacteria THRIVE off of sugar). This becomes problematic because high insulin/glucose levels are unhealthy, and contribute to a wide spectrum of disease and disorders including: diabetes, dementia (possibly), all of the symptoms associated with aging, hormonal imbalances, the list just goes on and on. The condition I have described above is one that afflicts many on different levels, it is insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is the main cause of type II diabetes, although it has been indicated in different disease and disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and artheriosclerosis. You cannot be a type II diabetic without being insulin resistant. Furthermore, insulin resistance is a disorder where there are no apparent symptoms present; meaning the syndrome is asymptomatic, with the exception of the most severe cases. Furthermore, aside from the type II diabetes problem, high insulin levels promote aging, and none of us want that!

Just a tip for all those who want to know if they are insulin resistant or not, you can look for this tell-tale sign right in the comfort of your home: the size of your belly. The more your midsection protrudes, the more insulin resistant you are--I guess six-pack abs serve more than an aesthetic purpose!

So, with all that said, I have decided that over summer I am going to drastically cut back on my glucose/insulin levels by increasing my fibrous carbohydrate intake (vegetables) and cut back on the non-fibrous ones. It will be kind of interesting to see how well I can do, I love my non-fibrous carbs!

For more info on insulin, click here.


LInda Paulhus said...

From Linda Paulhus

Re: Carbs an amazing finding in April, 06; High Caloric Diet May Prevent Progression of ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease]-a heart wrenching diagnosis. The diet [Ketogenic] is high in omega's and low in carbs [flour and sugar].
Patients and families are desperately attempting to acquire full meal plan [orginally tested at Johns-Hopkins] but are met with discouragement from drug sites such as The motto should be with this site, "If it isn't a drug, it won't work".

Any research with the meal plan that you know of? Or, fascilities that implement it? You are right on target!

Ella said...

You know, I didn't read that article, but I am more and more thinking that people need to convert to a more ketogenic diet that is high in Omega-3s and low in non-fibrous carbohydrates.

I particularly know that this is the best kind of diet for a diabetic.

I will be sure to read the article though! Thanks!

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