by David Grisaffi
Ever since humans switched from nomads and their hunter-gatherings roles, to that of an agrarian-based society, western cultures have looked to the carbohydrate as a primary food staple. For example, an average person in America cannot envision a day without pastries, potatoes, corn, bread, cereal or rice. The media has made us well aware that the excessive intake of carbohydrates has a detrimental effect on our waistlines, but how much do we know about the effect they have on our health? What adds to the sad situation is these carbohydrates are consumed in a highly processed form. What do we get from eating processed starches? Well 65% of Americans are overweight and 30% of them are clinically obese.
These refined carbohydrates in our diets are causing numerous diseases like diabetes in epidemic proportions. The symptoms are very simple, if you experience fatigue, sleepiness, fogged thought process, bloating of the abdominal area, high triglyceride levels, high blood pressure levels or low sugar level (hypoglycemia), this is a sign you are consuming excessive refined carbohydrates. Now, I do not want to rag on complex carbohydrates such as vegetables. You can never go wrong with eating raw and cooked vegetables, good lean protein and you will balance blood sugar and lose body fat every time, but the more refined food we eat, the worse off we are.
Insulin and Sugar
Keep in mind that unlike, say fat, the human body does not need refined carbohydrates in any amount. The human body stores only a limited quantity of carbohydrates for brain function, muscles and other uses. The excess carbohydrates are converted into (triglycerides) or fat (by the use of insulin) and stored in adipose (fat) tissue. When a person consumes high level of carbohydrates, the body has no choice and reacts by secreting increased amounts of insulin into the blood stream to lower glucose (sugar) levels. The end results are a blood stream full of toxins and the body survives by placing excess amounts converting it to fat.
Effects of excessive sugar on human body
Sugar consumed in high levels can lead to many complications in the human body. One is to suppress the natural immune system. This often leads to a variety of digestive disorders and promotes allergies. Some chronic illnesses like thyroid issues and diabetes have their roots in excessive carbohydrate consumption, so start thinking about it now. Excessive levels of carbohydrates coupled with over-secretion of insulin causes heart disease and a load of other health disorders. Once a period of low/high blood glucose or sugar sets in, it can cause massive damage to most organs in the human body. In such circumstances, any treatment procedures would be impeded and most dietary and medical restrictions would apply. Moreover, once a condition of imbalanced sugar sets at a high level, you can develop diabetes and it is not possible to survive without regular doses of insulin from external sources.
Body building and insulin
Excessive secretion of insulin is also detrimental in another way since it suppresses the levels of growth hormones and glucagon’s. These two important hormones are important in burning fat and sugar and they promote muscle building. So insulin not only promotes fat accumulation but also impedes the body’s ability to lose fat by burning.
To gain better muscle mass, many people resort to ingesting more proteins. Although this is good, it is important that complex carbohydrates form at least 40% of a body builder’s diet. Ingesting some simple carbohydrates are okay as a recovery meal after a workout, but I’m talking about a banana, not ten chocolate chip cookies.
Regulating carbohydrate intake
With the above reasons it is easy to infer that we need to regulate our intake of refined carbohydrates to practice better body growth, to keep us free of diseases and promote better psychological health. It will help us avoid a foggy memory and depression. Although the role of carbohydrates is very important in our diet due to their energy generation capabilities, regulating and knowing how much to consume is a very important factor. Lower levels of refined carbohydrates can also prove to be dangerous since in such cases the blood glucose levels would fall and the body will start resorting to proteins in order to fill the gap. This will result in a decrease of muscle mass. Research says that about 45% of our body’s energy requirements should come from complex carbohydrates. This will ensure proper functionality of insulin and keeps the body away from disease.
Sugar and weight loss
Since the condition of sugar imbalance needs a special diet, practicing weight loss under such conditions could be very difficult. Since excessive insulin and low blood sugar impedes production of glucagons, the body’s ability to burn fat is substantially reduced. In this scenario, weight loss would be almost impossible unless the sugar balance is restored.
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