Refined Carbs. Why Bother?

In a nutshell, here’s how it works:

  • When you eat carbs, your blood sugar goes up. Eat gobs of carb-rich foods (bread, sugar, pasta, rice, etc. — all of which are nutrient poor, relative to meat and veggies), and your blood sugar goes up a lot.
  • In response, your body secretes insulin, a storage hormone, which takes the blood sugar out of your bloodstream and stores it for future use (in the form of glycogen in your liver and muscles), and returning you blood sugar levels to normal.
  • But your glycogen stores fill up quickly. What happens if you keep eating carbs after your tank is full? Your body senses the dangerous excess blood sugar, and pumps out a ton of extra insulin to deal with it. Your glycogen stores are still maxed out, so the extra insulin converts the carb-orific energy into body fat.
  • But now, so much insulin’s kicking around your system that it ends up driving your blood sugar too low — to the point where you experience a “blood sugar crash” (you know, like in the afternoon, after you’ve downed a big turkey sandwich and a sugary coffee drink). Your blood sugar’s low, so your body craves…(drum roll, please)…MORE CARBS. And the cycle starts again.
  • Over time, these cycles of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia wreak havoc on your metabolism, and can escalate into full-blown insulin resistance — a precursor to a parade of health horribles like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. (We’ve previously discussed this problem — and how it escalates into full-blown insulin resistance and metabolic derangement — here.)


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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 at 1:33 PM and is filed under Nutrition. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “Refined Carbs. Why Bother?”

  1. P90X / Insanity – Something to Prove » Paleo – What Is My Reason?

    […] Refined carbs, the problem in a nutshell – From Details magazine via Fitbomb […]

  2. P90X / Insanity – Something to Prove » You Need To Know This – Health and Fitness 101, The Basics

    […] prey What are my reasons for eating paleo? (Other than losing 65lbs?) Why I eat paleo (By Fitbomb) Refined Carbs are Just Plain Bad  – including the part about exorphins, or why your body craves carbs like an addict craves coke Its […]

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