I am hoping for some clarification about carbohydrates. On the advice of paleohacks, I recently started eating more carbohydrates as I was eating next-to-none and it was making me feel ill. I am now feeling much better, having added bananas and potatoes to my diet. However, Im very confused as to what constitutes a "moderate" amount. The figure given on paleohacks generally seems to be 150-200grams per day, but does that mean total carbohydrate ie the equivalent of 7-10 bananas, which seems a lot, or total food weight, ie, the equivalent of 1 and a half bananas which seems very little? Im very confused. I currently have about 3 bananas a day, plus berries and about 250g of potatoes three times a week. I feel good but Im wondering if this is too much as I have poor insulin response, as shown by highish fasting blood sugars. Many thanks
asked bykimberleee (40)
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on November 25, 2012
at 11:42 AM
I like Paul Jaminet's calculations in his "Perfect Health Diet" book. Where he comes to the conclusion that most non-athletes use no more than 150g of glucose a day.
"Glycogen makes up 1-2% of the mass of muscle or about 300-500g. The liver has another 70-100g of glycogen which is used to manage blood glucose."
Your blood holds only about 5g of glucose, so the total carbohydrate store of your body is between about 375-605g of glucose.
Consider this your "maximum carbohydrate storage resevoir". It's like a bucket full of carbs - during the day - some leaks out (for energy use) and some fills up from your diet.
"Although the precise magnitude of the various quantities is uncertain, it appears that the body's daily glucose consumption is about 150-480kcal for brain and nerves, 200-300kcal for glycoproteins such as mucin, 100 kcal for muscle glycogen and immune, intestinal, and kidney cell use, offset by about 200kcal produced in the course of fat burning. In elite athletes glucose needs are increased by 50 to 100 calories per hour of training."
"For most people something like 400-650 daily glucose calories must be obtained from diet, manufactured from protein, or replaced with ketones."
So you use typically between 100 to 150g of carb a day - with an extra 15 - 25g per hour of athletic training per day. So your 600g carbohydrate bucket "leaks out" about 150g a day. If you eat more than about 150g of carbohydrate a day, eventually your "carbohydrate bucket" will overflow.
The isn't necessarily a terrible thing, as the most likely thing that will happen is that the excess carbohydrate will be converted to fat by your liver. However, since it'll do this via elevated blood glucose (and insulin) with a semi-broken metabolism, you'd be better off eating the fat directly, than eating carbohydrates and turning them to fat.
on November 25, 2012
at 02:53 PM
150-200 g is the amount of carbs and not the total food weight. Foods have other things like water weight too.
Take a potato as an example: Potatoes, boiled, cooked in skin, flesh, without salt
Food weight: 227 g or 8 oz or 1/2 lb
carbs: 46 g
on November 26, 2012
at 07:01 AM
Eat 1-2 grams of useable, non fiber carbohydrates per lb of bodymass if near 10-20% bodyfat levels. Eat them as soon as possible after the hardest exercise you do, 3 times a week. At all other times and days, eat non-starchy/sugary veggies and fatty meats. When eating a carb meal prefer lean meat and keep fat low. When not eating carbs get some fat.
on February 03, 2013
at 07:14 PM
I would suggest gradually increase your carbohydrate intake by about 50 grams each week to see how you feel. Everyone has different needs depending on how physically active they are. Everyone also has varying levels of tolerance for carbohydrates. VLC is less than 50g per day, or even less than 30g for some. By what you are saying, it seems as though this is now how you thrive. Personally, after experiencing the same problem that you have been experiencing, I upped my carbs to between 50 and 100 grams per day. This is where I feel best, and it would still be considered pretty low carb compared to SAD diets. Go a week in this range. If it still doesn't feel right, go up to between 100 and 150g per day.