Smart tips for carbohydrates
- Select those carbohydrates which induce a constant low level of insulin: whole grains and vegetables
- Glutenfree is necessary just for celiacs, whole grains for everyone else
- Satisfy your sweet appetite by fruits, dried fruits and natural sweeteners
Why do we need carbs?
What are carbohydrates good for? (Also called carbs or saccharides or sugars*). They serve as the source of quick energy. Where can we find them? Mostly in cereals / grains, but also in fruits, vegetables and legumes.
Why do we need the peel of the grain? Because it contains the precious nutrients. What’s more, the presence of the peel means the insuline reaction is not so abrupt but gradual.
Why glutenfree only for celiacs and not simply for everybody (as it is trendy now)? If you are sure you support gluten, there is no reason to avoid it and thereby decrease the variety of foods you can eat.
Why is high insulin so bad?
In fact, Smart Eating takes care to keep the level of insulin in blood as low as possible, as:
1. Insulin assures the transport of energy in the form of sugar* from blood to cells. However, the quicker it goes, the quicker is a low amount of sugar in blood again. What happens then? Tiredness, hunger and urge to eat something sweet to catch up the lack of sugar in blood. Low level of insulin means hunger comes pleasantly and slowly. Constant low level of insulin = no runs on the fridge
2. The body can burn fat ONLY when there is little insulin in blood. Little insulin = fat is being burnt
3. Insulin blocks our friendly hormone leptin, which makes us feel nourished and satisfied. Little insulin = we can feel nourished
*The term sugar is tricky as it is used for both the refined sugar (industrially produced) and the chemical term for saccharides such as e.g. glucose or fructose which are natural food components).
How unused carbohydrates become body fat
Why is the energy from carbs available quicker or easier than the one from fat or protein? Because their processing requires the smallest amount of oxygen (1 gram carbohydrate requires 0,9 liter oxygen vs. 2 liters oxygen needed for 1 gram fat) – that is why during the day or when doing sport the body gains most of energy (70-80%) from carbs and during night or when being calm mostly (70-80%) from fat.
As carbs serve only for energy, which was very valuable some millions years ago, the body has a perfect mechanism how to store such a precious thing. The body quickly stores all the energy we do not use either in the liver (60-80 grams) or in muscles (240 – 320 grams) – altogether 300-400 grams. When these stores are full, the body creates a reserve to use it later when there is a lack of energy: fat.
Good cereals have the peel
What are good cereals? These are all natural cereals with the peel such as: spelt, oat, rye, barley, natural rice, millet …
Try out also bulgur, polenta, cous cous or pseudocereals like buckwheat, amaranth or quinoa.
Cereals should represent only 15-20% of the daily energy intake (the same as a neanderthal man had).
Get the sweet taste from the nature
Appetite for sweets is natural – even mother milk is slightly sweet. Trying to resist sweet taste will not last long. That is why the trick is to find sweets in the natural form not being sweetened by industrially produced sugar: fruits and dried fruits. There are many plant based natural sweeteners in the market, find those which you like and enjoy them carefully – chicoree syrup, coconut sugar/syrup, rice syrup, stevia, dates syrup …
What we should avoid
- On the top of the enemies pyramide stands industrially produced sugar. Some floors below would be white flour (industrially processed). Leaving these two out brings quick and remarkable effects on the body
- Eating sweets on an empty stomach (as it provokes even more intense insulin reaction than when eating them at the end of a meal)
- Overusing natural sweeteners: even if using a healthy sweetener, the insulin reaction is similarly abrupt like after sugar