Low Carb Diet
Low carb diet is the big thing these days and for a good reason. But what exactly is a carbohydrate and why should we focusing on eating protein instead?
In its purest form, carbohydrate is sugar and is a fast-burning source of energy. Foods rich in refined carbohydrates (carbohydrates stripped of fibre) are white bread, white rice and pasta, while fruit juice, soft drinks and sweets are extremely high in sugar.
Carbohydrates also occur naturally in vegetables, grains and fruit, where there is a high fibre content which helps lower the Glycaemic Index, or the rate at which the carbohydrate breaks down and affects blood sugar – an important factor in controlling diabetes. We call these complex carbohydrates and they are good for your health.
However, you may be surprised to know that unlike protein, carbohydrates are not actually essential for human survival.
Now that doesn’t mean you should avoid the good carbohydrates but to successfully achieve weight loss we recommend cutting back on your carb intake and ensure that each meal you eat is built around a lean protein source.
The reason for this is that as blood-sugar increases after a high-carb meal, insulin levels rise, the excess blood sugar is turned into fat, and after the usable energy is burned off, blood sugar levels drop causing hunger often only an hour or two after your meal.
That’s when we start to crave sugar, leading to snacking, often on more carbs, and if you ignore those cravings, you feel ravenous, shaky, moody and ready to crash. Even then, insulin will not let go of the stored fat, and instead expect you to give it another carb hit.
The only way to pry open insulin’s fingers to let go of those fat stores is to moderate the insulin response by limiting (ideally, eliminating) the intake of refined sugars, and keeping all other carbohydrate intake to about 40% of the diet or less.
We recommend you replace that intake with protein, fibre and good fats, which have a very minor insulin response and you start to unlock those fat stores.