Ever wondered how Carbohydrates affect your body for energy versus your body using energy from fats? This past year I have had to change how I do things. My body is insulin resistant and as such doesn’t process carbohydrates like a typical person.
Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the human body. Chemically, carbohydrates are organic molecules in which carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen bond together in the ratio: Cx(H2O)y, where x and y are whole numbers that differ depending on the specific carbohydrate to which we are referring.
A common meal plan usually provides sufficient amounts of carbohydrates which keeps your body from eating its own muscles. Carbohydrates are essential. It is a healthy thing to have in most meal plans as it helps your body convert the carbs to glucose. Which our bodies in turn runs off of glucose.
Proteins, fats, and alcohol (as in beer, wine, and spirits) also provide energy in the form of calories. And protein does give you glucose, but it takes much longer for our bodies to convert it into the energy.
When you eat carbohydrates, your pancreas secretes insulin, the hormone that enables you to digest starches and sugars. This release of insulin is sometimes called an insulin spike.
If your body is insulin resistant. Your body gets confused and doesn’t convert these carbohydrates properly and can digest them the same as it would a candy bar or alcoholic drink. See the problem this can cause for someone like me who is insulin resistant and pre diabetic?
Eating simple carbohydrates such as sucrose provokes higher insulin secretion than eating complex carbohydrates such as starch. If you have a metabolic disorder such as diabetes that keeps you from producing enough insulin, you must be careful not to take in more carbs than you can digest. Unmetabolized sugars circulating through your blood can make you dizzy and maybe even trip you into a diabetic coma.
Fat is used mainly as an energy food. Fats are converted into energy by splitting them into fatty acids and glycerol. Glycerol is then converted to glycogen or glucose. Then the process of metabolism takes over to produce energy needed for the body. Fats provide the body with a form of stored energy.
The main function of fats in the body is to provide energy: By supplying energy, fats save proteins from being used for energy and allow them to perform their more important role of building and repairing tissues. Fats on oxidation provide almost twice as much energy as that given by carbohydrates.
Now lets break this down. Were not talking about fats from fries, ice cream, cookies etc. We’re talking about good fats like, flaxseed, avocado oil, eggs with the yolk, fish etc.
Gram for gram, fats provide more energy than carbs. The reason is the amount of oxidation that takes place as these compounds convert carbon dioxide and water.
Now this graph shows you how carbs and fats affect blood sugars. Carbs spike blood sugar and then it crashes. Protein has a slower spike and a more gradual let down. Where fats don’t spike blood sugar at all and keeps your blood sugar more stable the entire time its in your system.
This prep I have focused more on using good fats for energy and I feel great. My blood sugar has been manageable and within normal ranges which is huge when I’m training. No dizzy spells and no feeling faint. All wins in my book.