No Carb = No Good??

CARBS ARE BAD!!! STAY AWAY FROM THAT BREAD!!! NO PASTA AFTER 5 PM FOR ME!!!

If you’re like me, you have heard every different approach to the No Carb diet there is.  I’m certainly not a professional nutritionist by any means, but common sense tells me that if there was one flawless solution, would we still have all of these different approaches??  Wouldn’t we all follow the Yellow Brick Road to The Emerald City of Carbs if there was one such method??  Mr. Atkins, I’m not knocking you, because I think you’re an innovator (subtle Wedding Crashers reference, you’re welcome), but there are some things you left out when describing your dietary guidelines to people.

In my own opinion, I really do think No Carb = No Good.  I have multiple reasons for that, but I will share two of what I believe to be my strongest arguments.

1.  Fat Metabolism – “Fats burn in the flame of carbohydrates.”  My graduate school professors would be so proud of me for using this phrase post-graduation, but its true.  What does this phrase mean?  Simply put, you must burn carbohydrates in order to burn fat.  Doesn’t make sense to you?? Well, I’ll put it in layman’s terms for you…

When you break down carbohydrate sources within the body, they produce a multitude of substances, ranging from chemical substrates to recyclable energy sources.  Once we have been exercising for enough time or lower our intensity, our body will switch into fat burning mode (We never burn just one fuel source, fats or carbs.  We simply burn higher percentages of one source over another depending on intensity and time.).  Now, the process of burning fat and burning carbohydrate are separate processes, but there is a connection between the two, and that is it is why we must utilize carbohydrate sources. 

Multiple substrates produced from carbohydrate breakdown are actually used in the breakdown of fat molecules.  Read that sentence again, then continue down.

Sounds confusing, I know, but its physiologically correct.  Let’s say we have 1 molecule of glucose (carbohydrate) to break down.  When that happens, we produce Substances A,B, C, and D.  Well, in order to metabolize fat (which is what we all want), the body needs to use Substances B and C.  I will not list the specific enzymes for simplicity’s sake, but the take away message is clear: There are substances produced from carbohydrate metabolism that are ESSENTIAL in the process of breaking down fats.  Thus, we MUST utilize carbohydrate sources to get to the fat burning stage of exercise.

2.  Brain Fuel – This one is very simple and straightforward.  The brain’s primary fuel source is glucose.  By cutting glucose from the body, you are essentially eliminating the brain’s main source of fuel.  You can’t fuel a diesel truck with unleaded gasoline, so why on earth would you do the same thing with the most important organ in your body??  I don’t think much more needs to be said.  NO GLUCOSE = NO BRAIN FUEL

Now, even with this information presented, I am not making an attack on Low or even Slow Carb diets.  When used in the appropriate situation with the right guidance, they can be quite effective.  The problem is that many people go into diets like these very uniformed about what they are actually doing to their bodies.  My purpose with this blog is to do just that: INFORM PEOPLE.  If you’re looking at making a change, whether it is a dietary or lifestyle change, do your research, so you can make the choice that’s best for you.

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