Low-Carb, Sugar-Free – Let’s Have a Closer Look!

Do your mood and energy levels change all the time? You feel happy then you feel down? You have energy then you feel tired?
One of the very likely reasons is your inadequate carbohydrate intake.

This is the next in our ‘back-to-basics’ series, talking now about carbohydrates. Carbs, sugar, low-GI, these words might sound familiar, but would you actually be able to explain to someone what they are? As outlined before, if your health is important for you, it is vital that you educate yourself, so you can make informed decisions.

Let’s go backwards, starting from the inside of our body:

-our cells need sugar, it is called glucose.
-glucose reaches the cells from the bloodstream, with the help of the insulin (the insulin is a carrier, it is like a small vehicle, used for transporting the glucose from the blood to the cells)
-the glucose found in the blood comes from what we eat – after eating carbohydrates, they get digested by our body and broken down to glucose, which is a simple sugar.

In the next article we will go through this process again, pointing out why it is not the same eating a wholegrain, a fruit, compared to eating a pack of biscuits. Why refined sugar found in most of the processed food is very dangerous – all these in the next article.

As for now, let’s see why you should avoid weight-loss diets based on very low carbohydrate intake.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

As you’ve seen above, our cells need it. But what for?

– Carbs are essential for life. That is why they are one of the three macronutrients (together with protein and fat), which means we need higher amounts of it with our food.
– Carbs are the major source of energy.
– And one very important fact: the brain and the central nervous system needs continuous supply of glucose (coming from the carbohydrate we eat).

So what happens if you start a very low-carb diet and force yourself to cut out many important and healthy sources of carbohydrates?

You will start to have less energy, your mood will shift and soon you will be feeling down all the time, getting even to the point of depression. You might find yourself arguing with others with no reason, not having energy for your usual activities, and so forth.

Long term side effects can be anything related to the central nervous system…

What about the claim that eating less carbs will push your body to use the body fat?

Well, your body won’t find what it needs in your body fat. There are glucose stores in your liver, your muscles, and of course, the excess glucose is stored in the form of fat.  But the process doesn’t work the other way around unfortunately. You ate too much sugar, which forced your body to store the excess in the form of fat – that fat won’t supply the glucose your brain needs. It is as simple as that. And all sort of problems will start to occur in your body when you cut out almost all carbs.

Yes, you might loose weight at the beginning following such a diet (and you most probably will), but is it really worth it? Not to even mention the fact that all weight lost during an unbalanced diet will come back at some stage.

Which carbs can you eat safely?

-Fresh fruit
-Whole grains
-Vegetables (all of them)

What about refined sugars, sugar-loaded food?

The big problem in people’s diet is the processed, refined sugars found not only in sweets, but in many food nowadays, like canned food, salad dressings, wraps, and basically in almost everything what isn’t  home made.

Before starting a weight loss diet, have a close look at your current diet. Think about it, or better write it down what you eat every day, what you have for mains, what you have for snacks etc.

If you find food with processed sugars in your diet, start with cutting them out, and without changing anything else, you will experience not just weight loss, but also increased and lasting energy, better looking skin, less cravings.

It is not easy though at the beginning, because sugar is very addictive. And we will talk about this in our next article.

In the next article we’ll see:

-why eating refined sugar is not just dangerous, but highly addictive,
-how to quit eating sugar,
-why never use artificial sweeteners,
and more.

As always, whether you want to loose weight or not, regular exercise should be a vital part of your life. Exercise should be always on the top of your daily to-do-list. Come along to one of our ZUMBA classes and experience exercising the fun way. CLICK HERE