One question that I am often asked for someone going on weight loss is ‘Will I put on weight if I eat carbs?’
We Have Been Conditioned to Not Eat Carbs
To tell you a story, I was sitting in my favourite Chinese restaurants in Sydney and was ordering their special menu for the Sydney Festival Feasts as a part of the Sydney Festival that happens in January every year. The menu looked amazing -hand spun noodles and hand made to order dumplings with prawn and pork and chicken and mushroom. As we went around the table to order it went like this from more than one person: ‘Oh I’ll order the noodles but then tomorrow I’ll have a low carb day’.
We have been conditioned by the media and fad diets that eating carbs is unhealthy. Carbohydrates are an essential part of the diet and comes from cereals and grains. But it also comes from ALL vegetables! Carbohydrates are necessary for fibre, Folate and b vitamins and they are essential for the brain to function. More importantly for weight management it fills you up so you eat less.
How Are Carbs Metabolised in the Body?
In the body carbs are the main fuel source and gets used up first. When we eat, insulin levels go up, allowing the glucose from the food to enter the cell to be used for fuel. Excess carbs are burnt or get stored as glycogen in the liver. It does not get stored as fat. Let me repeat that – it does not get stored as fat. Only under extreme circumstances does de novo lipogenesis (process where carbs get turned to fat) occur and it contributes only very few calories.
So what gets stored as fat? FAT! Excess fat that doesn’t get burnt gets stored as fat.
But what about sugar? Like I said, carbohydrates get burnt or stored as glycogen. BUT a spike in insulin causes the fat cells to retain fat and promotes fat storage. So when you eat that cake, the sugar gets burnt but spikes the insulin so the butter and oil in the cake get stored as fat. Makes sense?
So what should I do?
Eat low GI carbohydrates so that insulin levels don’t spike and you should have effective weight management.
If you have any comments or would like more info please feel free to leave a comment