Or as they are formally known: Carbohydrates. Friend? Foe? Essential? How many? Vital energy?
It’s a debate that has raged on for many years and is hotly discussed amongst dieticians, nutritionists and numerous fitness enthusiasts!
Do you know on average how many carbs you’re consuming on a daily basis?
Generally speaking, carb consumption “should” be measured based on your activity levels.
That is the “scratch the surface” approach to using carbs. However, there are HUNDREDS of other factors to consider when figuring out the optimal number for YOUR BODY.
Here are some key considerations:
- Body fat percentage
- Activity level
- Carb tolerance
- Insulin sensitivity
- Fasted blood glucose levels
- The time of day you’re actually eating carbs
- The TYPE of carbs you choose
Most of those considerations tie in with one and other
When you eat Carbohydrates the Pancreas secretes the hormone Insulin. When these Carbs are absorbed and enter the bloodstream, they cause a rise in Blood sugar levels throughout the body (Blood glucose levels). The Pancreas detects this increase of Glucose and secretes Insulin to assist the body in processing the added Glucose. The Insulin binds to your inner cells and activates your receptors, thus encouraging your body to use the said Glucose for energy. This is what SHOULD happen in a human being with “good” Insulin health.
Insulin = storage hormone
Insulin is the number one storage hormone in the human body. You could think of it as a transport service, it takes the nutrients you consume to all the major cells. This is why Bodybuilders obsess over remaining “Insulin sensitive” so that when they eat their vital protein doses, the insulin carries those proteins straight to the destination; the MUSCLES! But, on the flipside, what happens when you are Insulin “insensitive” or Insulin resistant?
By having higher than normal body fat levels, naturally your Insulin sensitivity dwindles. Your body is accustomed to storing any nutrients you intake into your fat cells (as there are more of them) Also, the circulating Insulin has a much harder time accessing the intended cells. Put very simply, this is the very early stage of the onset of Diabetes.
When a person becomes officially “Diabetic” they have fasted blood Glucose levels above 140mg/dl. A healthy range to look for is within the 70-100mg/dl range. A level of blood Glucose between 100 and 140mg/dl is generally considered “pre-diabetic”. Obviously the further you go up in that range, the greater the danger of officially developing Diabetes.
Internally what happens as you move up the pre-diabetic or otherwise considered “Insulin-resistant” scale is the higher your fasted blood Glucose levels become, the less receptive your cells become to Insulin. So your body’s natural cell absorption becomes severely distorted. thus the Insulin cannot efficiently enter the cells (as it naturally should) The lack of cell reception causes the Pancreas to “work harder” and therefore produce MORE Insulin!
As a result, too much Insulin circulates throughout the body without being used in it’s correct fashion. When too much Glucose and Insulin are present in the body, the stress hormone Cortisol is released and this release converts the excess Glucose to Body fat! Also this will lead to increased inflammation within the body and inevitably, the elevated Cortisol will hinder the presence of other vital hormones such as Testosterone! TESTOSTERONE AND CORTISOL ARE IN BALANCE WITH ONE AND OTHER.
You cannot have high Testosterone whilst having high Cortisol. High Testosterone = Low Cortisol and vice versa.
An “avoid at all costs” scenario!
For a healthy, functional and lengthy life, Insulin and blood Glucose health levels should be controlled and managed.
Part 2 of the carb consumption discussion is coming later in the week, so please stay tuned!
I will delve into practical steps YOU can take into managing your Insulin health and Carbohydrate regulation. Including my own personal experiences with Carbohydrate consumption volume!
See you soon!