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How Does Your Body Get Glucose If You Don't Eat Carbohydrates

Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works

Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works

Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>

Fat For Fuel: Why Dietary Fat, Not Glucose, Is The Preferred Body Fuel

Fat For Fuel: Why Dietary Fat, Not Glucose, Is The Preferred Body Fuel

Contrary to popular belief, glucose is NOT the preferred fuel of human metabolism; the fact is that burning dietary fat for fuel may actually be the key to optimal health Carbohydrate intake is the primary factor that determines your body's fat ratio, and processed grains and sugars (particularly fructose) are the primary culprits behind our skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates According to experts, carbs should make up only 20 percent of your diet, while 50-70 percent of your diet should be healthy fats. Fat is far more satiating than carbs, so if you have cut down on carbs and feel ravenous, this is a sign that you need more healthy fat to burn for fuel By Dr. Mercola While we may consider ourselves to be at the pinnacle of human development, our modern food manufacturing processes have utterly failed at improving health and increasing longevity. During the Paleolithic period, many thousands of years ago, our ancestors ate primarily vegetables, fruit, nuts, roots and meat—and a wide variety of it. This diet was high in fats and protein, and low in grain- and sugar-derived carbohydrates. The average person's diet today, on the other hand, is the complete opposite, and the average person's health is a testament of what happens when you adhere to a faulty diet. Humans today suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases than ever before. And there can be little doubt that our food choices play a major role in this development. Quite simply, you were not designed to eat large amounts of refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cereal, bread, potatoes and pasteurized milk products. As Mark Sisson states in the featured article:1 "If you want to live a better life and eat the best foods nature provided for health and fitness, then it's time to ditch the old paradigms an Continue reading >>

What Happens If You Don't Eat Enough Carbohydrates?

What Happens If You Don't Eat Enough Carbohydrates?

While some fad-diet gurus may denounce carbohydrates as the root of all edible evil, the truth is that your body needs these nutrients to function properly. If your diet lacks carbs, you could feel rundown and face a variety of health woes. Rather than shunning carbohydrates, strive to obtain them from healthy, unprocessed sources that also provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals. Video of the Day Carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source, so you may feel sluggish if you don't eat enough of them. Your body converts carbs into a form of sugar called glucose, which it uses for immediate energy. It also stores excess glucose as glycogen in your muscles and liver for later use, such as during exercise. Therefore, you may peter out quickly on your walk or jog if you deprive yourself of carbs. Glucose is also your brain's preferred fuel, so when supplies get low you may have trouble concentrating. Digestive Distress Fiber is an important type of carbohydrate that's lacking in the average American diet. You need fiber to aid in digestion and may become constipated with low intake. Low-fiber diets are also linked to diverticulosis, a condition in which small pouches form in the colon that may cause abdominal bloating and cramping. These pouches can also trap pieces of stool, leading to diverticulitis, an illness symptomized by infection and inflammation of the colon. In rare cases, diverticulitis can be serious enough to require hospitalization. When carb supplies are low, your body creates extra ketones, which are fat byproducts that provide an alternative fuel source. Ketones are toxic in large amounts, so your kidneys must work harder than usual to flush them from your system. Low-carb diets also tend to be high in protein, creating additional byproducts that you Continue reading >>

Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Understanding Our Bodies: Insulin

Almost everyone has heard of Insulin. You probably know that people with type 1 diabetes need to inject themselves with insulin to survive, and must constantly monitor the amount of sugar they eat. But what do you really know about insulin? What is its purpose in the body, and why do we need it? How does it relate to our diets? What happens when things go wrong with it? And why should anyone who doesn’t have diabetes give a hoot? Insulin is one of the most important hormones in the human body, and yet most people don’t really understand why our bodies make it or how what we eat affects the levels of insulin we produce. More so than any other hormone, our diet is key in regulating insulin levels, and thus a number of biological processes. As you’ll soon see, everyone should think about how what they eat impacts their body’s insulin release to be at their happiest and healthiest. Why We Need Insulin Every living thing requires energy to survive. In cells, energy is stored and shuttled around using a molecule called Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, or ATP. Whenever the cell then has an energy-requiring reaction, enzymes can use the energy stored in ATP’s phosphate bonds to fuel it. Cells rely on ATP to survive, and to create ATP, they rely on glucose. All cells, from bacteria and fungi to us, take glucose and use it to generate ATP by a process called Oxidative Phosphorylation. First, glucose is converted to an intermediate molecule called pyruvate via a process called glycolosis. As long as there is oxygen around, this pyruvate is further converted to Acetyl CoA, which enters a cycle of reactions called the Citric Acid Cycle. This takes the carbon to carbon bonds and uses them to create high energy electrons, which are then passed down a chain of enzymes which use the e Continue reading >>

Is It Really Worth Not Eating Bread, Pasta And Other Carbs?

Is It Really Worth Not Eating Bread, Pasta And Other Carbs?

It’s become popular to think of foods as either good or bad, something to eat or something to avoid. Carbohydrates, which had their moment as a good food back when fat was the bad guy, are now being blamed in part for the epidemic of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. And a slew of diet books proposes that you will feel better and be healthier if you never eat bread, pasta or sugar again. But are carbs really so bad? Science makes the answer pretty clear: no. While bread, pasta and sugar are hard-to-resist sources of calories without much in the way of nutrition, other carbohydrate-heavy foods — whole grains, legumes and fruit — are nutrient-rich. Carbohydrates can play a healthful role in your diet or they can be your undoing, depending on which, and how many, you eat. The biggest beef against carbs is that it’s easy to eat too much of them, which is a problem because it can lead to weight gain and because they can crowd out more-nutritious foods. There’s also speculation that the way our bodies digest sugar and certain processed grains such as those found in white bread and white rice makes us hungry again soon after eating. “Carbs aren’t the enemy,” says Julie Jones, a professor emeritus of food and nutrition at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. who is also a scientific advisor for the Grain Foods Foundation, a baking and milling industry funded group which promotes grain-based food as part of a healthy diet. “Overconsumption, of anything, is the enemy.” Even so, the good-or-bad notion gets traction. “It’s easier for a lot of people to cut off whole categories of food than to eat moderately,” says Marion Nestle, a professor in New York University’s department of nutrition, food studies and public health. And a lot of people rep Continue reading >>

9 Signs You Should Be Eating More Carbs

9 Signs You Should Be Eating More Carbs

Carbs are to dieters as tarantulas are to, well, pretty much everyone. Both are unrightfully vilified and give their haters the heebie-jeebies. In reality, though, eating carbs won’t make you fat, and a tarantula bite is no more serious than a bee sting. But of course, not all carbs are created equal. Those that come from refined sugars and flours can spike blood-sugar levels and stall weight loss. However, complex carbs from whole grains and veggies are necessary for good health and a flat belly. What’s more, when you don’t eat enough carbs (about 225 grams a day), you’re apt to feel plain awful. Instead of counting every gram you eat to see if you hit the mark, just look out for these telltale signs that you need to up your intake. (And when you do, be sure to include these 9 Best Carbs for Weight Loss.) “Carbs don’t require any additional processing to make glucose,so they keep blood sugar levels steady quite effectively,” says registered dietitian Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN. “However, when you don’t eat enough carbs (or food in general), blood sugar levels can dip and cause headaches.” While getting headaches from time to time is normal, having them every day after embarking on a low-carb weight loss plan is a sign you may have taken things too far. Incorporate some carb-rich produce like apples (one of the Best Fruits for Weight Loss), pears, and carrots to keep the pounds coming off while keeping the head-pounding pain at bay. Despite the fact that your thermostat reads 70°F, your teeth are chattering. Unless you have a fever, it’s likely a sign that something is off. “Low-carb dieters are at risk of developing a low thyroid function, which can make it difficult to regular internal body temperature,” says Cassie Bjork, RD, LD of Healthy S Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates: A Complex Subject Made Simple

Carbohydrates: A Complex Subject Made Simple

While there are many hotly debated nutrition topics, few evoke as much passion and interest as carbohydrates (aka carbs). Popular low-carb diets like Zone, Atkins, South Beach, and Paleo limit the intake of carbs, while others like the Ornish diet call for high carbs as the path to optimal health. Who is right? Are carbs evil? What are carbohydrates anyways? While carbohydrates can be a very confusing subject, the following will break down all the important concepts, definitions, and topics related to carbohydrates to turn a complex subject into a simple one. Future articles will expand and explore each concept in more detail. What are Carbohydrates? Carbohydrates are found in foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, potatoes, pastries, and candy and are considered the bodies preferred energy source. More specifically, carbs are sugar molecules that are a union of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (CHO). Think of carbs as one, or more sugar molecules that are bound together and broken down by the body to be used as fuel. Here’s a quick list of carbohydrates for your reference: Types of Carbohydrates Carbohydates are classified in many different ways: healthy vs. unhealthy good vs. bad slow vs. fast simple vs. complex No wonder people get so confused! Remember, carbohydrates are just sugar molecules, all of which are broken down by the body into glucose. Glucose is a single sugar molecule that is used as fuel by the cells in your body from your brain to your muscles. There are 3 types of carbohydrates that are defined by the number of sugar molecules they contain: 1) Monosaccharide – one sugar molecule, examples include glucose, galactose (in milk), and fructose (in fruit) 2) Disaccharide – two sugar molecules, examples include sucrose (table sugar), lactose (in milk Continue reading >>

A Guide To Healthy Low-carb Eating With Diabetes

A Guide To Healthy Low-carb Eating With Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions. It currently affects over 400 million people worldwide (1). Although diabetes is a complicated disease, maintaining good blood sugar control can greatly reduce the risk of complications (2, 3). One of the ways to achieve better blood sugar levels is to follow a low-carb diet. This article provides a detailed overview of low-carb diets for managing diabetes. If you have diabetes, your body cannot process carbohydrates effectively. Normally, when you eat carbs, they are broken down into small units of glucose, which end up as blood sugar. When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas responds by producing the hormone insulin. This hormone allows the blood sugar to enter cells. In healthy people, blood sugar levels remain within a narrow range throughout the day. In diabetes, however, this system doesn't work the way it is supposed to. This is a big problem, because having both too high and too low blood sugar levels can cause severe harm. There are several types of diabetes, but the two most common ones are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can be diagnosed at any age. In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune process destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Diabetics must inject insulin several times a day to ensure that glucose gets into the cells and stays at a healthy level in the bloodstream (4). In type 2 diabetes, the beta cells at first produce enough insulin, but the body's cells are resistant to its action, so blood sugar remains high. To compensate, the pancreas produces more insulin, attempting to bring blood sugar down. Over time, the beta cells lose their ability to produce enough insulin (5). Of the three nutrients -- protein, carbs and fat -- carbs have the grea Continue reading >>

Block Sugar From Your Body In 7 Easy Ways

Block Sugar From Your Body In 7 Easy Ways

One major reason this doesn't happen has to do with our diets. When you consume starch and refined sugar, these foods enter the bloodstream quickly, causing a sugar spike. Your body then produces the hormone insulin to drive that sugar from your bloodstream into cells. But over time, excessive levels of insulin can make your muscle cells lose sensitivity to the hormone, leading to type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Your fat cells are another story: They always remain sensitive. Insulin spikes lock fat into them, so you can't use it for energy. How do you break this cycle and get your body to work optimally again? Happily, you don't need to go on an extreme diet. The first step is just to reduce the blood sugar spikes that produce sharp increases of insulin. The substance in our diet that's most responsible for these surges is starch, namely, anything made from potatoes, rice, flour, corn, or other grains. (Think pasta, lasagna, white bread, doughnuts, cookies, and cakes.) You could cut out these foods entirely. But wouldn't it be great if there were a way to solve the problem without completely eliminating these carbs? It turns out there is. You can blunt the blood sugar-raising effects by taking advantage of natural substances in foods that slow carbohydrate digestion and entry into the bloodstream. No matter what kind of sugar blocker you use, your waistline (and health) will win in the end. Sugar Blocker 1: Have a fatty snack 10 to 30 minutes before your meals Reason: You remain fuller longer. At the outlet of your stomach is a muscular ring, the pyloric valve. It regulates the speed at which food leaves your stomach and enters your small intestine. This valve is all that stands between the ziti in your stomach and a surge of glucose in your bloodstream. But you can Continue reading >>

> Carbohydrates And Diabetes

> Carbohydrates And Diabetes

Keeping your blood sugar levels on track means watching what you eat, plus taking medicines like insulin if you need to. Your doctor may also have mentioned that you should keep track of how many carbohydrates (carbs) you eat. But what exactly are carbohydrates and how do they affect your blood sugar? The foods we eat contain nutrients that provide energy and other things the body needs, and one of these is carbohydrates. The two main forms of carbohydrates are: sugars such as fructose, glucose, and lactose starches, which are found in foods such as starchy vegetables (like potatoes or corn), grains, rice, breads, and cereals The body breaks down or converts most carbohydrates into the sugar glucose. Glucose is absorbed into the bloodstream, and with the help of a hormone called insulin it travels into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. People with diabetes have problems with insulin that can cause blood sugar levels to rise. For people with type 1 diabetes, the pancreas loses the ability to make insulin. For people with type 2 diabetes, the body can't respond normally to the insulin that is made. Because the body turns carbohydrates into glucose, eating carbohydrates makes blood sugar levels rise. But that doesn't mean you should avoid carbohydrates if you have diabetes. Carbohydrates are a healthy and important part of a nutritious diet. Some carbohydrates have more health benefits than others, though. For example, whole-grain foods and fruits are healthier choices than candy and soda because they provide fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients. Fiber is important because it helps you feel full and keeps your digestive system working properly. In fact, eating lots of fiber can even help to slow the body's absorption of sugar when eaten together with s Continue reading >>

Why Does Your Body Turn To Protein Or Fat For Energy If You Don't Get Enough Carbohydrates?

Why Does Your Body Turn To Protein Or Fat For Energy If You Don't Get Enough Carbohydrates?

Of the three primary sources of energy – protein, fat and carbohydrates – carbs are the preferred fuel source for physical activity. However, your body burns both fat and carbohydrates throughout the day, during activity and rest. If carbohydrate stores are depleted, the demand for energy to fuel everyday activities and exercise forces your body to use other fuel sources. Role of Carbohydrates When you consume carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into a single sugar called glucose, which enters the bloodstream and travels to muscles and organs that use the glucose for energy. Energy not needed for immediate needs is then stored in your liver and skeletal muscles as glycogen. Because glycogen storage is limited, glucose in excess of your storage capacity gets packaged in triglycerides and stored as fat. Both glycogen stores and fat stores are accessible as energy sources for later. Typical Energy Sources Between meals, your body taps into carbohydrates and fat stores for energy. Hormones tell your body when to release triglycerides for use as fuel. However, circulating blood glucose, when available, is a ready source of energy both during rest and physical activity. If you use up available blood glucose, carbohydrates stored as glycogen in the liver are released in order to raise blood glucose levels to meet energy demands. However, glycogen stored in a particular muscle is only available as energy to that muscle. Fuel for Exercise Your body typically uses protein for fuel as a last resort. During exercise, as during rest, a combination of fat and carbohydrates generally provide the necessary fuel. The intensity and duration of your exercise sessions affect the percentage of energy used from carbohydrates and fat. At moderate intensity, each provides roughly 50 Continue reading >>

Is The Brain Fueled By Fat, Protein, Or Carbs?

Is The Brain Fueled By Fat, Protein, Or Carbs?

The human brain consumes up to 20% of the energy used by the entire human body which is more than any other single organ. The brain represents only 2% of body weight yet it receives 15% of the cardiac output and 20% of the total body oxygen consumption. (source) Our brains create major nutrition demands on our bodies in order to function optimally. So is it best to fuel the brain with fat, protein, or carbohydrates? The answer is none of these. Even though the brain is composed of 60% fat, it is designed to be fueled by glucose. The brain accounts for 25% of the total body glucose utilization. 1. Glucose is the human body’s key source of energy. The breakdown of carbohydrates (eg: starch) yields mono- and disaccharides, most of which is glucose. (source) If glucose is available, the body will use it first since it is easiest and quickest to metabolize. Whole simple carbohydrates like raw fruit and whole complex carbohydrates like grains, legumes, and tubers are excellent sources of glucose for the brain. Refined carbohydrates can deprive the brain of glucose.1 Click: Know Your Complex, Simple, and Refined Carbs Glucose is virtually the sole fuel for the human brain, except during prolonged starvation. In starvation, ketone bodies generated by the liver partly replace glucose as fuel for the brain. (source) 2. If insufficient carbohydrates are consumed to meet our fuel needs, then fats and proteins can be converted into sugars. The human body has little capacity to store excess carbohydrates or protein, but can convert both to fat stores for later use as fuel when converted to glucose via gluconeogenesis. When fats are converted to sugar in the absence of carbohydrates, ketones are produced. These molecules are very similar to acetone in their structure. They affect br Continue reading >>

What Happens If You Don't Replenish Glycogen?

What Happens If You Don't Replenish Glycogen?

Bit of a convoluted question. In regards to VLC diets... If you have, say, yogurt in the morning, what process does it follow to replenish glycogen in comparison to consuming a no carb, protein/fat meal? Does the lactose bypass the insulin fat-storage when it becomes stored as glycogen? When you eat the high protein/fat meal, are some of the nutrients there sequestered to replenish glycogen? Which of the two is more energy efficient? Are there any unsavoury by-products of either process? In the former case, would it be more beneficial to consume a small amount of carbs when breaking a fast to replenish so that you don't have create an undo process of other nutrients? Sorry if this is a horrible question, but I'm terribly curious :) Continue reading >>

Does Carbohydrate Become Body Fat?

Does Carbohydrate Become Body Fat?

Dear Reader, Ah, poor carbohydrates, maligned by diets such as Atkins’ and the ketogenic diet. However, carbohydrates are your body’s main source of energy — in fact your muscles and brain cells prefer carbs more than other sources of energy (triglycerides and fat, for example). To answer your question: research completed over the last several decades suggests that if you are eating a diet that is appropriate for your levels of daily activity, little to no carbohydrate is converted to fat in your body. For most people (unless you have a metabolic disorder) when you eat carbs they are digested, broken down to glucose, and then transported to all the cells in your body. They are then metabolized and used to support cellular processes. If you’re active and eating appropriately for your activity level, most of the carbs you consume are more or less burned immediately. There are two caveats here: first, if you’re eating a lot more calories per day than you are burning, then yes, your liver will convert excess calories from carbohydrate into fats; second, not all carbs are created equal. If you consume too many calories from simple sugars like sucrose and fructose (think sugary sodas sweetened by sugar and high fructose corn syrup) then your body will more readily take some of those sugars and turn them into triglycerides (fat) in your liver. What happens to excess calories that come from carbs? The answer depends on several things: what kind of carbs you consumed, your genetics, as well as how many extra calories we’re talking about. For those who eat a well-balanced diet and have no metabolic disorders, excess dietary carbohydrates are converted by the liver into complex chains of glucose called glycogen. Glycogen is stored in liver and muscle cells and is a sec Continue reading >>

Low Carbohydrate Dieters: Beware Of High Protein Intake

Low Carbohydrate Dieters: Beware Of High Protein Intake

Most of us have heard something about low carb dieting. Whether it is the Atkins Diet or the Paleo Diet, carbohydrate restriction is becoming more popular as more people experience dramatic weight loss. While restricting carbohydrate intake does offer several health benefits, there are also dangers involved with eating too much protein. Not only does excessive dietary protein burden the digestive system, it can also contribute to the production of sugar in the body and even inhibit the body’s ability to naturally detoxify! Eating a low carb diet doesn't mean that you have to overload your plate with protein at every meal! Moderating protein in your diet can help you to live longer, limit sugar, and even improve daily digestion. Weight loss is not the only benefit of carbohydrate restriction. When done correctly, a low carb diet can help to control blood sugar, and it can even reverse insulin resistance, helping to heal disorders that are related to a sugar-heavy diet, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Low carb diets can also help to cool down chronic inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and several autoimmune conditions. Part of the overall success of a low carb diet is that: Many of our processed foods are carbohydrate-rich: Processed foods, which are full of refined oils and sugar, are hazardous for anyone’s health. Carb-heavy foods are often full of common immune system triggers: Several food allergies and immune system disorders are actually rooted in the proteins found in grain-based carbohydrates. One example is wheat gluten. A diet that is full of carbohydrates also feeds infection in the body. This infection could be in the form of bacteria, yeasts, or parasites. 3 Reasons to Limit Your Protein Intake Reason #1 to Moderate Your Protei Continue reading >>

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