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Why are carbohydrates so tricky?

Commented on April 10, 2014
Created April 08, 2014 at 1:54 PM

As far as I understand it, carbohydrates don't really lead to weight gain any more than other macros unless you're in a caloric surplus, but correct me if I'm wrong.

When I'm running purely on meat and veggies, I feel mentally clear, 'light', and generally just better in almost every way, I just don't have as much energy as when I eat carbs. As soon as I do eat them, it totally knocks me out and I feel terrible.

Basically, I wish I could feel like I do without them, but with them. It's like a never-ending battle. Does anyone else struggle with this, and why do they make me feel like I'm dying? (not literally, but you know)

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on April 10, 2014
at 08:20 AM

Yeah there's only so much fruit & tubers we could've dried & stored for the winter months, and meat/fat just tastes better anyway so would've been sought out more I reckon.

B5fb873f94766774e49a6f9d533a3223

(0)

on April 10, 2014
at 03:43 AM

Sorry, I guess I meant we have not evolved to eat high amounts of starches day in and day out.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on April 09, 2014
at 08:18 PM

I imagine that we, even as omnivores, preferentially ate animal protein for its satiety and fat stores - if we as a species had developed a toxicity to it, wouldn't that be definitely visible in the general population of the world? I accept that we are still evolving, and that anything can happen, but it would seem to me that we'd be looking at something along the lines of what we see with SAD, where everybody who eats the diet becomes negatively affected. Am I making sense?

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on April 09, 2014
at 07:41 PM

Palpitations are very common with hyperglycemia - as is dizziness, anxiety, and gastric distress (and the peeing!). It is really distressing. Funnily enough, I also get similar reactions from too much coconut and avocado oils. I had to cut back on the fat (which I'd thought was a cure-all) and now things are better. My diet is still higher in fat than a conventional low-fat eating plan, with some starches at the end of the day - and that seems to be working. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 09, 2014
at 04:11 PM

Well, it depends why you're peeing. If you're simply drinking more water, then it's perfectly healthy and normal. Also if you are consuming diuretics, peeing more than usual is expected. However, if you are peeing a lot more and are very thirsty because of confirmed hyperglycemia, then you should definitely consider lowering your carbohydrate consumption.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on April 09, 2014
at 03:31 PM

Yeah I can have loads of salt when low carb and it doesn't make me pee noticeably more. I ate a load of parsnips last night & today have been peeing a lot, and also have had some mild symptoms of eating too many carbs. Back on the VLC wagon tonight that's for sure, safe starches, not so safe for me it seems

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 09, 2014
at 03:20 PM

At first I thought it was the salt, so as an experiment I proceeded to eat things with a lot of sodium that had almost no carbs (like soups with lots of sodium but only meat, vegetables and fat but no carbs) but nothing happened. It only happened to me when I consumed a substantial amount of carbs.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 09, 2014
at 03:17 PM

Yeah the polyuria could be from high blood sugar, or maybe high consumption of diuretics (caffeine, alcoholic drinks, chocolate, etc). In my experience it was shortly after consumption of said carbs and therefore likely due to hyperglycemia, especially since my glucometer confirmed it several of times. I don't know why I get the heart palpitations but it would happen to me every time I would eat a sandwich (specially at Subway, Quiznos, or any other sub sandwich for that matter), french fries, a bowl of rice and beans, tacos, etc.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on April 09, 2014
at 03:02 PM

Weird, I was just about to ask a question 'why do I urinate so much after eating carbs?'

If I eat a significant amount of starch the next day i'm pissing like a racehorse on trackday!

I also notice the tight chest/heart palpitations sometimes after eating them

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 09, 2014
at 02:28 PM

I've been there my friend. I know exactly what you're talking about. Heart palpitations, hypertensive blood pressure, hyperglycemic episodes (thirsty, urinating often, tingling extremities) followed by overpowering sleepiness, specially after having lunch. These days, if I do have carbs, I limit them to the most harmless and trivial amounts possible (non-starchy vegetables, low-carb fruits, etc). If I were to consume a substantial amount of my calories as carbohydrates, it would wreck my health and possibly end up with diabetes.

56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on April 09, 2014
at 02:50 AM

I wonder if there is any other animal that evolved eating preferentially one of the three macros, and now that one macro has become toxic to it. Specially when said animal has vision and teeth that are quite obviously still oriented towards fruit eating.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on April 09, 2014
at 01:01 AM

Although, insulin sensitivity is naturally higher in the morning than the afternoon or at night.

(I too am a frequent breakfast skipper and keep breakfast low GI, but, worth noting.)

I often like a small amount of fruit in that first meal. Blackberries and eggs isn't a bad combo.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on April 09, 2014
at 12:58 AM

Can you explain how we, as omnivores, are not evolved to eat carbs? Woo.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on April 09, 2014
at 12:55 AM

Hahahahaha! Go on, let us have it!!!!

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 08, 2014
at 08:40 PM

That's like saying I like to drink lots of beer -- but I don't like feeling hungover and fat. I wish I could get plastered every night and wakeup without any ramifications.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 08, 2014
at 04:46 PM

You're right about breakfast. If you eat your carbs in the morning, get ready for stomach growling a few hours later. Fat does the trick for breakfast. Fasting through breakfast is great too, that's actually what I do.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 08, 2014
at 03:59 PM

It was only a matter of time before I showed up, huh? Lol :)

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on April 08, 2014
at 03:53 PM

Uh oh...waiting for @TheGastronomer to put his anti-carb stamp on this one =)

9a01685f37cc2328756a401434e240fc

(5)

on April 08, 2014
at 03:40 PM

That's what I forgot to mention. I do feel pretty OK if I keep them really limited. Portion control is very easy with fat and protein but carbs are a different story. I seem to have an uncontrollable binge episode with carbs because once I start, I can't stop. They're like crack or something.

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5 Answers

0
9a01685f37cc2328756a401434e240fc

on April 08, 2014
at 08:36 PM

I can relate to multiple things that everyone has posted. I also have heart palpitations and I was always certain carbs had a hand in them. It's so weird reading someone else saying the same. Also, I'm very high strung most of the time and sleeping at night is next to impossible unless I've had a carb-heavy meal. I crash when I do that, but it's better to crash and fall asleep than to do that during the day.

It's looking like I should try to limit all of my carbs for night time. I'll just have to be careful to not overdo it. I wonder how it is that some people can eat carbs all day long and feel fine. I get chest pain, feel sluggish, get mental fog, sometimes heart palpitations. Not sure what's causing it but my body is telling me it's no good.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 09, 2014
at 02:28 PM

I've been there my friend. I know exactly what you're talking about. Heart palpitations, hypertensive blood pressure, hyperglycemic episodes (thirsty, urinating often, tingling extremities) followed by overpowering sleepiness, specially after having lunch. These days, if I do have carbs, I limit them to the most harmless and trivial amounts possible (non-starchy vegetables, low-carb fruits, etc). If I were to consume a substantial amount of my calories as carbohydrates, it would wreck my health and possibly end up with diabetes.

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on April 08, 2014
at 04:32 PM

You're right, they are tricky, all i can share is what tends to work for me... if I eat carbs it's always at night so I don't get a crash during the day, I find they may actually help me sleep a bit better when consumed at night as well, although i'm not 100% on this as many factors could be at play.

I tend to fast in the morning as i'm not hungry then whenever my belly starts rumbling i'll have some broth w/fat, some fatty liver pate, or some nuts, an avocado, or a chunk of butter, which all give me very good stable energy, basically high fat snacks keep me sailing through the day. So carbs aren't needed for energy during the day i don't feel, even if i'm walking 10k with sprints.

If you wake up in ketosis (as we should be if metabolically healthy) then you can keep it going for a bit longer just fine... but if you eat carbs then you will potentially crash later on. So if you must eat carbs then do it after a big workout so it goes into muscle for glycogen storage or at night time where you probably won't notice the crash, those are the most popular methods I've come across. A bad example may be carbs for breakfast as you're potentially gonna let yourself in for an energy dip later on, unless you're planning on snacking on carbs all day!

You mentioned 'running purely on meat & veggies' but what about fat? If you're somewhat fat-adapted then a fatty snack should give you good energy, especially something like coconut oil, butter or clarified butter with the MCT's which are like instant energy

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 08, 2014
at 04:46 PM

You're right about breakfast. If you eat your carbs in the morning, get ready for stomach growling a few hours later. Fat does the trick for breakfast. Fasting through breakfast is great too, that's actually what I do.

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 08, 2014
at 04:11 PM

I completely empathize with you in this regard. I did use to eat pretty high-carb back in the day, and I did suffer from pretty bad cases of mental torpor after consuming a sandwich, a plate of pasta, some tacos, rice and beans, etc. I don't miss that terrible feeling, nor the heart palpitations after a carb-heavy meal. The energy is definitely not as much as before, I'm sure it has to do with being low-carb and the intermittent fasting that I often do. I know this is likely the case because of the lower glucose availability and hence the decreased glycogen production, since the glucose that I do produce is spared mostly for the brain, but that's just fine with me. I need the mental clarity to do my job well, since I have a sedentary job as an engineer. If I was an athlete running marathons it might suck, but since that is not the case, it is pretty great being low-carb, specially if your livelihood depends on your intellectual acuity.

0
7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on April 08, 2014
at 03:26 PM

One could argue carbs are more likely to lead to a caloric surplus, or if compared vs protein not as much of that net calorie turns into fuel for the body, but overall yes that's true.

Have you tried eating safer carbs in moderate amounts along with fats/proteins?

9a01685f37cc2328756a401434e240fc

(5)

on April 08, 2014
at 03:40 PM

That's what I forgot to mention. I do feel pretty OK if I keep them really limited. Portion control is very easy with fat and protein but carbs are a different story. I seem to have an uncontrollable binge episode with carbs because once I start, I can't stop. They're like crack or something.

0
B5fb873f94766774e49a6f9d533a3223

on April 08, 2014
at 02:48 PM

I think most people feel like that when they eat carbs, because we really did not evolve to eat them. The insulin is what is making your tired. I live by a rule now to "earn my carbs". Only after the gym do I eat starches, usually white rice, fruit/coconut water, or potatoes.

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on April 09, 2014
at 12:58 AM

Can you explain how we, as omnivores, are not evolved to eat carbs? Woo.

B5fb873f94766774e49a6f9d533a3223

(0)

on April 10, 2014
at 03:43 AM

Sorry, I guess I meant we have not evolved to eat high amounts of starches day in and day out.

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