This issue I'm going to talk a little bit about the role of carbohydrates in weight gain.
Are carbohydrates causing
You to Gain Weight?
Weight control is a major issue in most industrialized nations these days. Did you know that 19 out of 20 people who choose a diet to lose weight will gain their weight back again and quite often, just to add insult to injury, with additional weight!
Weight control success always comes when people adopt a lifestyle approach that can be assimilated into their everyday lives.
Diets such as 'fad diets', 'crash diets' and 'weight-loss diets' simply don't work long term for people, and that approach should be avoided because those types of diet are often not nutritionally balanced and that means they will be harmful to your health.
Many people that have weight control issues are to some degree insulin resistant, whether that be at the early stages of that syndrome where some weight gain begins to become apparent or the later stages which would likely include adult onset diabetes and possibly heart disease.
A diet that is continually high in refined carbohydrates and starch will almost certainly lead to a degree of insulin resistance in genetically susceptible people.
If the diet was modified to include less reliance on carbohydrates, especially the refined type while making sure that the carbohydrates that you did eat were of a high quality, which means they are absorbed more slowly into the blood stream, then insulin resistance can be reversed and the weight gain that often accompanies it will also diminish.
The higher your blood insulin levels, the more carbohydrate you will burn as fuel at the expense of fat. Remember, carbohydrate in your diet is what directly affects your blood insulin level. Your Pancreas produces insulin in response to the carbohydrates that you eat and drink. You are the one who is in direct control of determining whether your insulin level will be normal or continually running high.
High levels of low quality carbohydrates = high blood sugar and insulin
Low quality carbohydrates include sodas / fizzy drinks, sweets, pastries, white bread, most fast foods, refined white rice, pasta and starchy vegetables like white potatoes.
Insulin opens the gate to let blood sugar into your various body cells as a result of consuming carbohydrates. The blood sugar from those carbohydrates will be used as instant fuel by your body. Insulin that has been generated in response to your carbohydrate load also shuts out the release of fat from cells. Your body could use this fat for fuel but it can't because the presence of insulin blocks this mechanism.
Put simply, if you're burning lots of sugar from carbohydrates in your food then you won't be burning fat.
When cell 'doors' are permanently shut to blood sugar and insulin as is the case in advanced insulin resistance then these two substances become trapped and stranded in the blood stream with no place to go.
The liver steps in and converts the excess blood sugar to blood fat so that it is able to remove it from the blood stream. This converted blood sugar to blood fat gets stored in your body's fat cells.
If you keep feeding insulin resistance with the wrong diet, you are actually creating a 'fat factory' because the blood sugar that has no place to go gets converted into stored fat. Additionally, with continually high levels of insulin present in your blood, your body won't let you burn your fat as fuel.
The only thing that you can do here is modify your lifestyle factors, your diet being especially important.
Next time I'll discuss some lifestyle factors you can modify to turn insulin resistance and the associated weight gain around.
All the best in vibrant health!
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Andrew Large has spent in excess of twenty years in the health care industry mostly as part of a Cardiology based diagnostic team. Andrew runs his own website at
http://www.coronary-heart-health.com where you can learn more about heart disease, heart health, weight control and nutrition.
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