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September 29, 2016

What can we do about fat?

by Helene van den Berg

I, me and my fat, Part 4

We can control the quantity and quality of our carbohydrates we eat!!

A born predisposition to get fat, is beyond our control, but this predisposition is set off by the quantity and quality of the carbohydrates we eat. If the carbohydrates we eat, determines insulin secretion and insulin drives the accumulation of fat, eating fewer carbohydrates will surely help to keep us leaner. 

Obesity would be a rare disease in a world without a carbohydrate-rich diet!. 

Not all the foods that contain carbohydrates, are equally fattening. 

The most fattening carbohydrates are the ones with a high glycemic index – that have the greatest effect on our blood sugar and insulin levels.

High- glycemic index foods are:

  • sucrose (table sugar)
  • high-fructose corn syrup (contains 42% glucose and 3% other carbohydrates)
  • refined flour (bread , cereals, pasta)
  • liquid carbohydrates (beers, sodas, fruit juices)
  • starches (potatoes, white rice, corn)

These foods are the cheapest calories available, explaining why the poor populations have very high obesity and diabetes rates. 

NOTE: if we are predisposed to put on fat, it’s better to avoid certain high- glycemic fruits, like bananas and grapes.

The carbohydrates in leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale etc.) have indigestible fiber and take much longer to be digested and enter our bloodstream. 

Sugar and high – fructose corn syrup are the main cause for obesity and even heart disease , not because of their empty calories (no nutrients), but it has more to do with how our body process it. 

Fructose (fruit sugar) is exclusively metabolized in the liver with the necessary enzymes – so it has no immediate effect on our blood sugar or insulin levels, but certainly long-term effects!. The problem is our liver has never evolved to handle the kind of fructose load we get in modern diets (80 calories in a can of Coke and 85 calories in a can of apple juice). Our livers turn this flood of fructose into fat and send it to our fat tissue – “lipogenic” effect of fructose. Our liver also accumulates fat directly in the liver, causing “fatty liver disease”.  Alcohol is mostly metabolized in the liver, where it is converted to a little bit of energy, but mostly to citrate. The citrate makes then fatty acids out of glucose. Therefore alcohol will increase the production of fat in the liver (alcoholic fatty liver syndrome). A 1/3 of the calories in a beer comes from maltose (refined carbohydrate), causing a “beer” belly!.  

Carbohydrates make us fat and keep us fat!

If you are predisposed to get fat and want to be leaner, without compromising your health, you have to restrict your carbohydrates, to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels low. As soon as you add these food back to your diet, you’ll get fat again. To keep your weight off, you have to avoid eating carbohydrates!.

You don’t lose fat, because you cut calories, but because you cut the food that makes you fat (high-glycemic carbohydrates).  

People predisposed to get fat, have greater cravings for carbohydrate-rich foods, because their insulin will be more effective at stashing away fat in their fat tissue and protein in their muscle, where it can’t be used for fuel. Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup are addictive in the same way that cocaine , alcohol  and nicotine are, because they trigger the “reward center” in the brain. To fight these cravings require constant effort and vigilance!.


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