2

votes

How do I know if I do better on carbs?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 09, 2012 at 7:56 PM

There are so many variables at play that I don't even know where to begin. I've tried sticking to low-carb primal, but have had so much trouble focusing, being alert, happy, etc. I want to lose body fat, so I want to eat optimally to achieve that.

Today, I ate a sweet potato with greek yogurt and garlic with salt and pepper...and I almost died from just...satisfaction. It was SO good, and I'm worried that I liked it too much!! I'm not sure if this means that my body was craving it, or if I should be careful because this means that I'm going to be carb-addicted.

Does carb type matter in improving mood and focus? I eat bananas, but the sweet potato just seemed to give me a different type of energy. Is this feeling of "better" related to carbs, an emotional need, carb addiction (that I should just ignore), or what?! I'm worried that I will allow myself the sweet potatoes and that it is just feeding a carb addiction. I have a serious problem with binging so carbs are a big problem...I've read so many success stories on here that have talked about binging being curbed by low-carb.

I'm 5'4", about 107 lbs, and looking to lose abdominal fat and tone up. I do 3x a week of strength/interval training and moderate cardio for two days a week.

My diet (when not binging) currently consists of almond milk, bananas, blueberries, sardines, salmon, eggs, coffee, greek yogurt, chicken and chicken liver, occasional ground beef, coconut oil, olive oil and a wide variety of vegetables. Oh, and the sad addition of truvia sweetener.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 10, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Oh yeah interesting. I remember reading that which scared me away for a while, but I must have forgotten. I will reconsider, however, when I say sometimes I literally mean about once a month and a small 40 gram serving. But yeah I probably won't be having it for a while now that I'm reminded of Mellanby. Ha. Thanks for the reminder.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on December 10, 2012
at 08:42 AM

You are 5'4" and 107? This is a perfect BMI!!! Your carb craving could be related to 1. you are insulin sensitive and you will do better on carbs 2. if you have sugar cravings your gut flora may be altered. Keep eating carbs if it makes you feel better. Do what works for you as long as you don't eat processed foods.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 10, 2012
at 02:57 AM

I agreed with everything you said up until the Oatmeal. Whenever I hear the word Oatmeal now days I'm always reminded of the work of May Mellanby from the 1930's. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2520490/?page=1

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 10, 2012
at 12:41 AM

you tolerate best and at which times (generally this will be around workouts, regardless of the type). Best way to do that is to look in the mirror and be conscious of your body and mood.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 10, 2012
at 12:36 AM

haha. Cricket protein, oh yeah. Anyways carb addiction is a made up term. There's something like hyper-palatable food seeking behavior, but carb addiction is a nonsensical term. It just happens to be that many hyper-palatable foods contain sugar and carbs, but usually also many other things (fat), and fat is the most rewarding nutrient there is. So, if you're trying to reduce your body mass/fat set point, maybe then chowing fat all time isn't such a smart idea. So, I wouldn't be concerned about eating real whole carbs as long as you aren't over-eating. Experiment and find out which ones...

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on December 09, 2012
at 10:37 PM

You're awesome! I still remember you from when I was more active on this site months ago. I loved that you wanted to try crickets with me:). I never got another reply from the company. They must've thought I was joking, but I was so serious about wanting some crickets...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 09, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Coming from Mr. Chemistry that is quite the compliment. I will defend strategic carb consumption till death!

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on December 09, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Couldn't have said it better myself.

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1 Answers

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1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on December 09, 2012
at 09:31 PM

Absolutely carb type matters for body composition, mood, focus, and digestion. However, the same carb may produce different affects for different people. Here is a simply little ket to go by though. First, there are really two types of naturally occuring useable carbs to us humans- carbs from fruit and carbs from starches (namely, roots/tubers for paleo people).

Fruit contains a mix of fructose and glucose, and the specific ratio varies by fruit. Pure fructose is actually quite low on the glycemic index and pure glucose is actually quite high. However, don't let that make you think fruits with a high fructose/glucose ratio (such as apples and pears) are less fattening than fruits with a low fructose/glucose ratio (such as figs, bananas, blueberries). Fructose is (a) not satiating (b) fills primarily liver glycogen (which is far more limited than muscle glycogen....for athletic insulin sensitive people) (c) and stimulates fat storage in primates. Additionally, many individuals of Eurpoean descent have some form of fructose malabsorption, which can cause digestion issues when eating fruits with a high fructose/glucose ratio.

starches are primarily composed of chains of glucose, with trace-to-small amounts of fructose. Because they are primarily glucose, they illicit a stronger insulin response than fruit. However, insulin is not a bad thing...especially for an insulin sensitive athlete. Insulin will shuttle the glucose into the muscle cells to be used for later glycolytic activities. Glycolytic activities include (but are not limited to) sprinting, weight training (especially isolation movements), and system II brain function (which is responsible for complex, deliberate thought that makes us human). So, as you can see, many body concious athletes prefer to get the majority of their carbs from so called "complex carbohydrates" found in starchy foods like sweet potatoes (and oats, and sometimes brown rice as typical fitness model fare). Fruits are generally limited, and kept to the morning and post workout (both highly insulin sensitive periods and when liver glycogen stores will not be full).

So, you'll have to experiment with yourself, but generally if you can tolerate starches, they're probably very beneficial for you. Personally, I do very well starches (but still limit/cycle them) as do the vast majority of lean, athletic people on the planet. My main starchy carb is sweet potatoes (but I also eat oatmeal sometimes too because I tolerate it well and find it mostly innocuous...for me). I eat fruit too, but mostly but just like starches, I'm still conscious of how much and when. I am also conscious of the type, and keep it to fruits with a relatively low fructose/glucose ratio because they affect me better (such as figs, berries, cantaloupe, and sometimes bananas).

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 10, 2012
at 01:05 PM

Oh yeah interesting. I remember reading that which scared me away for a while, but I must have forgotten. I will reconsider, however, when I say sometimes I literally mean about once a month and a small 40 gram serving. But yeah I probably won't be having it for a while now that I'm reminded of Mellanby. Ha. Thanks for the reminder.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 09, 2012
at 10:04 PM

Coming from Mr. Chemistry that is quite the compliment. I will defend strategic carb consumption till death!

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20898)

on December 09, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 10, 2012
at 02:57 AM

I agreed with everything you said up until the Oatmeal. Whenever I hear the word Oatmeal now days I'm always reminded of the work of May Mellanby from the 1930's. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2520490/?page=1

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 10, 2012
at 12:41 AM

you tolerate best and at which times (generally this will be around workouts, regardless of the type). Best way to do that is to look in the mirror and be conscious of your body and mood.

78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

(5519)

on December 09, 2012
at 10:37 PM

You're awesome! I still remember you from when I was more active on this site months ago. I loved that you wanted to try crickets with me:). I never got another reply from the company. They must've thought I was joking, but I was so serious about wanting some crickets...

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on December 10, 2012
at 12:36 AM

haha. Cricket protein, oh yeah. Anyways carb addiction is a made up term. There's something like hyper-palatable food seeking behavior, but carb addiction is a nonsensical term. It just happens to be that many hyper-palatable foods contain sugar and carbs, but usually also many other things (fat), and fat is the most rewarding nutrient there is. So, if you're trying to reduce your body mass/fat set point, maybe then chowing fat all time isn't such a smart idea. So, I wouldn't be concerned about eating real whole carbs as long as you aren't over-eating. Experiment and find out which ones...

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