Do Carbs Really Make Us Fat?

Italian pasta assortment of different

(DGIwire) –People often wonder if carbohydrates really make us fat.  It is important to know that not all carbohydrates are created equal when it comes to how our bodies are able to process them.

All carbohydrates, complex or simple are digested and converted to blood sugar. The greater the amount consumed the higher blood sugar will be raised. Refined carbohydrates like sugar or white bread are converted and absorbed more quickly. Complex carbohydrates like grains are converted more slowly but still end up elevating blood sugar to high levels in most cases.

Refined carbohydrate products and grains are very low in moisture content and therefore are a concentrated source of calories as well as blood sugar.  It really doesn’t take much concentrated carbohydrate to elevate blood sugar high enough to trigger an insulin release (a much smaller amount than most people imagine).  When sugar is consumed along with fat, which is a common refined food combo, it becomes a slow release situation in which insulin can remain elevated over an extended period of time which stresses cell receptors and can eventually lead to insulin resistance over time.  It should be noted that sugar/fat combinations are not found in any natural food source and our bodies are not really adapted to handle them.

The body  generally processes excess blood sugar (anything above and beyond our immediate requirement) by converting it to either glycogen or body fat.  Our body has limited glycogen storage, typically enough for about 90 minutes of activity, and therefore with the typical constant supply of carbohydrates at every meal, glycogen storage levels usually stay full and as a result, excess blood sugar is most often converted to body fat.

“For most of our evolution, humans did not have a readily available source of concentrated carbohydrates, except perhaps the rare honey find, until the advent of agriculture and grain cultivation. Our bodies have not yet adapted to this change so it doesn’t take much to overload our system with too much blood sugar.  Grains and grain products are also relatively very low in nutrients when compared to fruits, vegetables, legumes. nuts ,seeds, eggs or animal protein so other than supplying plenty of calories, they are not an optimal food choice”, according to health expert Tom Griesel, co-author of TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust (BSH 2010).

Consistently elevated blood sugar levels keep our bodies in a storage mode for both glycogen and fat.  When an individual’s glycogen and fat storage capacity have been reached and blood sugar levels continue to be chronically elevated, progression to type 2 diabetes is common.

Griesel adds, “Fruits and vegetables are moisture rich foods, containing vitamins, minerals, fiber and other yet to be discovered nutrients that are perfectly compatible with our nutrient and metabolic needs.  They are not the same and cannot be placed in the same category as grains or man-made grain based or carbohydrate concoctions.”

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