The Skinny On
words by iona
And now for the part which is really, super important, especially if you have much weight to lose, because what I’m going to explain now should put things in perspective, and help you understand WHY these highly addictive foods do so much harm…
UNHELPFUL (SIMPLE) CARBS
You already know how this is going to roll, but let me spell it out: Unhelpful carbs are composed of sugars (eg fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures made up of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). These are highly processed carbs like cereals, actual sugar, cakes, sweets, pastries, jelly babies, starchy vegetables (potatoes, peas, beetroot, kidney beans, corn etc), rice, refined breads (anything white), pasta, chocolate etc – the list is infinite as we know all too well!
These unhelpful carbs raise the blood sugar / insulin levels too quickly and too high. Have you ever scoffed something sugary, like a king sized block of chocolate, only to get all jittery and shaky? That’s your blood sugar going through the roof! High blood sugar causes insulin secretion spiking, which turns on your body's fat storage reaction. Yes, that does mean that when you eat these simple carbs, you are literally telling your fat cells to go and scavenge for more fat to hoard!
For those with a ‘savoury tooth’ I have some very bad news – your body processes starchy carbohydrates, ie potatoes, bread, pasta, rice etc in exactly the same way it processes pure sugar like lollies and chocolate! When we eat food containing simple carbohydrates (regardless of what they are), the digestive system breaks down the digestible carbs into sugar, which enters the blood.
Glucose (sugar) in your blood stimulates your pancreas to make insulin, which then grabs glucose molecules and drags them into cells to be used for energy. And, if insulin is really spiking (if you’ve wolfed down all that chocolate or bread), your body will sense that there is extra energy and start up ‘fat storage’ at an alarming pace. Scary isn’t it?
Basically what this means is that if your diet includes these very unhelpful refined and processed carbs you are destined to spend your life not only overweight, but trapped on the eternal Blood Sugar Rollercoaster Ride of highs and lows.
But before you dissolve into a ball of despair, there is light at the end of the tunnel - Some simple changes such as eating protein at breakfast rather than cereal or toast will mean your body will start to munch on your very own fat cell reserves, instead of the cereal or toast - for energy, meaning the fat cells will start to be used up and shrink!
So, like the pretty lady in the picture above, I can honestly say I love carbs and eat loads of them –Angelic Carbs, mostly coming in plant form!