Have you been hearing the buzz about the ketogenic diet? The high fat, low carb keto diet has become popular in recent years for helping in weight loss as well as preventing and treating chronic illness. Through her own personal experience and working with hundreds of clients, international bestselling author and wellness consultant Maria Emmerich has seen the power of the keto diet in helping people heal their bodies and lose weight. In this excerpt from her new book Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Keto Diet, Including Simplified Science and No-Cook Meal Plans, Emmerich describes what can happen to the body from eating too many carbohydrates.
In this book, we look at the basic biology of the human body. We show you how it processes different fuel sources and how it controls the flow in and out of your fat cells. We also explain how the disruption in the body’s signaling (insulin) causes metabolic disease to start in the fat cells (adipose tissues) and look at the true root causes of disease and how changing the inputs (these root causes) can reverse many of the diseases that plague us today….
We’ll start by looking at what the excess carbohydrates and empty calories in processed foods are doing to our bodies.
Overconsumption of Carbohydrates
Here are just some of the things that result from eating too many refined carbs:
- Fatigue: The most common feature of insulin resistance is that it causes exhaustion. Sometimes it’s confined to just mornings or afternoons, but sometimes it’s an all-day fatigue.
- Brain fog: …The most evident symptom is an inability to concentrate. Poor memory and failing or poor grades in school are often a side effect of insulin resistance. Are you sending your kids off to school with a bowl of cereal and skim milk? If so, that’s not a good idea.
- Low blood sugar: Feeling jittery and moody is common in insulin resistance; once you eat, you feel immediate relief. Dizziness and a craving for sweets are also caused by low blood sugar.
- Intestinal bloating: Most intestinal gas is produced from too many carbohydrates. People with insulin resistance who eat carbohydrates suffer from gas-lots of it.’’
- Tired after meals: The main side effect of consuming meals that contain more than 20 to 30 percent carbohydrates is being sleepy. Your meals are more than 20 to 30 percent carbs if they are pasta-based or include bread, potatoes and a sweet dessert.
- Increased fat storage and weight: The most evident symptom in men is a large abdomen; in women it is stored on the hips and thighs.
- Increased triglycerides: Even people who aren’t overweight can have excess fat in their arteries because of insulin resistance..
- Increased blood pressure: Doctors now recognize that most people with hypertension have too much insulin and are insulin resistant. There is often a direct correlation between insulin level and blood pressure. As insulin levels increase, so does blood pressure.
- Depression: Carbohydrates a a natural “downer” which depress the brain. Depressed people often also suffer from insulin resistance. Carbohydrates change the brain chemistry, producing a depressed or “tired” feeling. On the flip side, protein is a brain stimulant, which picks you up naturally.
- Addiction: Insulin resistance is a also prevalent in people addicted to alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes or other drugs. Often, the alcohol addiction is secondary to insulin resistance. The true addiction-sugar-was never kicked.
Sugar in all forms is harmful and addictive
… We all know that sugar is bad, but many people mistakenly believe complex carbohydrates are healthy and that they need to eat them in abundance. However, what if we told you that complex carbohydrates are just glucose molecules strung in long chains? The digestive tracks breaks them down into glucose (sugar) which means a sugary diet and a starchy diet are pretty much identical. When we say “sugar,” we are also referring to starch….
No matter where the carbohydrates come from, four grams of carbohydrates equal one teaspoon of sugar. Let us say that again: Four grams of carbohydrates equal one teaspoon of sugar. The average American now gets more than 300 grams of carbohydrates a day! The added sugar is mostly in the form of refined white sugar, which is high in calories and devoid of nutrients. Also, many prepackaged food contains hidden sugar…
While sugar isn’t the only danger, powdered sugar, honey and maple syrup are also sources of refined sugar. Eating too much sugar is part of an addictive cycle. Sugar is quickly digested and burned which causes peaks and valleys in your energy level and leaves you craving more sugar. When you eat too much sugar, your blood sugar spikes, which is followed by a drop in our blood sugar that makes you hungrier….
Sugar is very gratifying. That first bite of heaven can calm us down and give us energy at the same time. It’s like magic, and it has the power to flip your mood 180 degrees. That’s the upside of sweets.The downside is that the more you eat, the more you want. Excess sugar causes a hormonal imbalance, which leads to carbohydrate cravings and weight gain, turning your body into a fat-making, fat-storing machine. However, we have good news for you. You are in charge, you can get off the fast track to diabetes, and you can do it naturally…..
EAT THE RIGHT FOODS
Eliminating all sugar is the best course of action for lowering your carbohydrate intake, getting insulin-signaling under control, and healing the body….Eating the right foods-and more importantly, the right amounts of fat, protein, and carbohydrate-can be the biggest factor in reversing the health problems we see all too often today. Food is the substrate that nourishes and rebuilds all the cells in our bodies. Giving your body the right foods is critical to building strong, healthy cells.
A huge component of properly fueling your body is reducing your carbohydrate intake, which helps lower insulin and enables your body to utilize more stored fat. You also must get the right amount of protein each day to ensure that your body can build and repair cells.
We discuss the proper foods to eat on a well-formulated ketogenic diet in our book, but for now just remember that when you give your body the right kinds of fuel, it will reward you with health and longevity.
Excerpted with permission by Maria and Craig Emmerich from Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Keto Diet; Including Simplified Science and No-Cook Meal Plans. Available on Amazon here.
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