If you are seeking to lose weight and optimize your health, foods that contain added sugar, as well as grains like bread and pasta should be eliminated or else comprise very low percentages of your diet. Most people who bought into the “high-carb, low-fat” dietary recommendations has likely struggled with their weight and health, wondering what they’re doing wrong.
The problem is that overeating carbohydrates can prevent a higher percentage of fats from being used for energy, and lead to an increase in fat production and storage. Your body has a limited capacity to store excess carbohydrates. This is one of the reasons why elevated blood sugar follows their overconsumption. If you are not able to immediately use the sugar as a result of intense physical activity then one of the ways your body avoids dangerously elevated blood sugar is through converting those excess carbohydrates into excess body fat primarily in your belly.
The way it works is that any carbohydrates not immediately burned by your body as fuel are stored in the form of glycogen (a long string of glucose molecules linked together). Your body has two storage sites for glycogen: your liver and your muscles. Once the glycogen levels are filled in both your liver and muscles, excess carbohydrates are converted into fat and stored in your adipose, that is, fatty tissue.
So, although carbohydrates are “fat-free,” this is misleading because excess carbohydrates end up as excess fat. When you see refined grains on a food label, think of them as “hidden sugar,” and when you see sugar, think of it as “hidden fat.”
But that’s not the worst of it.
Any meal or snack high in “complex” carbohydrates, i.e. starch is actually a complex of glucose molecules, will also generate a rapid rise in blood glucose. To adjust for this rapid rise, your pancreas secretes insulin, which then lowers your levels of blood glucose. The problem is that insulin is essentially a storage hormone, evolved to put aside excess carbohydrate calories in the form of fat in case of future famine. So the insulin that’s stimulated by excess carbohydrates aggressively promotes the accumulation of body fat! This was enormously useful in ancient times when calories were frequently scarce, but today this setup is a disaster waiting to happen.
In other words, when you eat too much sugar, bread, pasta, and any other grain products, you’re essentially sending a hormonal message, via insulin, to your body that says “store more fat.” This is actually a highly beneficial response in certain scenarios such as when calories are very scarce. This provides a major survival advantage – but for nearly everyone reading this, having insufficient calories is not an issue, so this protective mechanism actually sabotages your health.
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