About the blog

Welcome to my blog. The main focus of this blog is to share my explorations into handmade goods, mostly of the needlework kind. My interests are varied and include reading fantasy and urban paranormal romance, cross stitching and keeping hamsters. I must inform you that all of the pics and text on this blog are copyright protected unless otherwise stated and are not to be used in any other written or pictorial form without written permission from me. I give credit to the creator of the chart or the publication that published them in the caption. If you feel I have infringed on a copyright, please contact me ASAP. Whew..OK, now on to the fun...Thank you and Welcome.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I've learned about low-carb diets.

NEW INFORMATION: Click this link to read about Fructose and Diabetes
 Pancreas May "Taste" Fructose

The following is my understanding of low-carb diets, based on years of reading and managing diabetes in myself and others. It's not intended to be a treatise on the topic...just a few of my conclusions and observations.  If your curiosity is piqued, there are many books and journals out there that can shed more light on the topic.

Why do low carb diets appear to work?

Without getting too technical, the more insulin your body makes in response to carbs consumption, the more the body converts those carb calories to fat and cholesterol. In essence, the more carbs certain people eat (such morbidly obese, and pre-diabetic and diabetic folks), the more insulin is in their systems. The high levels of insulin then produce fat  and cholesterol. The increase in fat and cholesterol, INTERFERES with the insulin's ability to work properly, so that the body now produces more insulin in response to carbs, and got it, more fat (weight) and then more insulin and round and round you go!

The person gains a few pounds, now the body makes even more insulin in response to carbs, and then they put on more weight. This mechanism is why so many over weight people feel that they don't eat all that much. Many of them don't, but they have a metabolic PROBLEM that now causes the weight gain. (That's not to say that their over-eating in the first place didn't cause the metabolic problem - one is genetically disposed to this metabolic problem, but that is a discussion for someone else!). It's a vicious cycle and only cutting out complex carbs may break it - for these types of individuals. Carbs in vegetables are good, but again, those that turn to pure sugar quickly, such as corn and peas, can be a problem, as well. Those carbs in foods like broccoli or string beans may not be an issue. They don't seem to cause the increases in sugar levels that result in spikes in insulin levels. The American Diabetes Association states, "...subsequent research has shown that a high carbohydrate intake - even if the carbs rate well on the glycemic scale -may be at fault for excess weight in certain people with diabetes." Italics are mine. This basically might mean that all carbs may be detrimental to certain diabetics. YIKES!!!  ADA - Low Carb Diets

This mechanism is why low carb diets are so incredibly effective in producing not just general weight loss (while protecting muscle mass) but also dramatically improving cholesterol levels and other hyperlipidemias, as well as blood sugars. Once the carbs are limited, the levels of insulin are reduced, and the body stops producing fat and cholesterol. Weight loss then becomes possible because there is no longer these large amounts of insulin making fat. I hope that makes sense. Fat doesn't make you fat, insulin makes you fat!!! Oh, sweet liberty!!! Freedom at last!!!!

If you only want to lose 25 pounds, and have no issues with cholesterol or blood sugars, sure - then reduce your total caloric intake to be less than your expenditure; however, if you are morbidly overweight, have pre-diabetes or diabetes, or have lipid (cholesterol) issues, then you might want to seriously consider looking into a low carb diet. By the way, in the States, 7 million people with diabetes don't know they have it! If you are morbidly overweight, and have no idea what your blood sugar or cholesterol levels are, then see a doctor (assuming you have access and can afford it). You might just have diabetes or pre-diabetes and not know it. The American Diabetes Association has accepted that low-carb diets may be the way to go for diabetics, for short -term weight loss. See link above.  Continued research will prove whether low-carb diets might also be a treatment for Type II diabetes!

Exercise will help too, but I've seen the benefits of low-carb diets without exercise. For a more in-depth discussion of Exercise in the management of hyperlipidimias, see : Lifestyle Interventions in the Management of Hyperlipidimia.  The article also discusses using exercise in combination with a low-carb diet.

Anyway, just wanted to put some information out there. I have found that different diets work for different people, but if you are morbidly obese and have other issues (sugar or cholesterol) and are interested in improving your general well-being, then seriously consider learning more about low-carb diets and see your physician.

Wooh, OK, I am done. I felt motivated to write this because too many folks are misinformed about low carb diets and their benefits and risks. Power is Knowledge...and in this case Life!