What is the high-carbohydrate diet?
During the last years, the population has been caught by the fashion of low-carbohydrate diet, which is considered to be the key to the achievement of a beautiful body. The carbohydrates have ill-fame, when it comes to getting fit, as when an overweight person wants to lose weight, first he removes the carbohydrates from his diet.
But in fact, as some of you may already know, not all the carbohydrates are “dangerous” for our body. In fact, some of the healthiest foods in the world are rich in carbohydrates.
The consumption of food with low glycaemic index is for those who wish to achieve lasting weight loss and good health. I.e. we can eat by focusing on the carbohydrates, and if they are with low glycaemic index, we will not put on weight, we will feel energetic throughout the day and will even improve our health.
When we get carbohydrates from healthy food sources, we have nothing to worry about, in respect of our health and figure. It is important simply to have them inmoderate quantities, corresponding to our daily energy needs. In order not to regain our previous kilograms, we should not be starving, or make abrupt changes in our diet either.
Both the low-carbohydrate diet and the carbohydrate one, have their benefits, as well as disadvantages. Studies show that low-carbohydrate regime reduces the fat percentage, raises energy, improves the mood, helps for a good sleep and leads to good results in the weight loss
The reduction of the carbohydrates causes our body to turn to the fats as a source of energy, and like that their quantity to be reduced. Also, it works well when there are signs of metabolic syndrome, such as insulin sensitivity, high blood pressure, the presence of tri-glycerides, and reduces the bad cholesterol.
However, following the low-carbohydrate diet for a long time, may lead to negative effects with some people. If you are constantly active and have reduced the intake of carbohydrates, this sends signals to the body that it is under stress, which affects the thyroid gland and the adrenal gland.
The long-term deprivation of carbohydrates may lead to problems such as slow metabolism, weakness, hormonal imbalance, problems with the thyroid gland, gonads, such as problems with the ovaries in women.
If our body is under stress, even without any diet, after we decide to reduce the carbohydrates, it will be difficult for our adrenal glands to produce glucose. They are also responsible for the production of hormones, governing the cortisol and the adrenaline in our body. When our body has been under stress for a long time and deprived of carbohydrates, hormones like estrogen and progesterone are used as a building material for the production of cortisol and then, the normal function of the pituitary gland is disrupted.
The carbohydrate diet is healthy provided that we eat “good” carbohydrates and not “bad” ones. With the carbohydrate diet, the percentage of proteins and fats is about 20 – 30%, and the carbohydrates should be 80 – 70%; Recommended portions per day are 5-6.
Proteins come from not fatty fish, chicken, and veal. The carbohydrate diet does not have a set period to follow it, it depends on the individual reaction of our body, and on how much time is necessary to get fit.
During the carbohydrate diet absolutely prohibited are foods with a high glycaemic index, such as the highly processed foods with white flour containing refined carbohydrates as biscuits, chips, doughy products, fried potatoes, white bread, desserts such as cakes, sweets, ice-cream, grain muesli, sauces with preservatives, ready-made salad dressings. They affect badly our blood sugar, by making it rise sharply and drop, which leads to the need of a larger quantity of insulin to “transport” the large amount of glucose in the blood flow to where it is needed.
During this period of increased need for insulin, the function of the beta cells responsible for control of the insulin is disrupted. This increases the risk of diabetes type two.
With the carbohydrate diet, it is not recommendable to have fizzy drinks, as well as non-alcoholic drinks with added caffeine and “zero” calories drinks, as well as cocktails and “natural” juices from boxes.
Frying and frying in bread-and-eggs during that diet are not recommendable. Steaming, baking and stewing are recommended. Beware of foods, whose label says that they are low in carbohydrates, as they might be low in carbohydrates, but on account of that, they contain more sugar and additional additives that we do not need if we want to lose weight.
Carbohydrates fall under three main categories: starch, sugars, and fibers. Starch and sugars decompose to simple saccharides (also called mono-saccharides) in the blood flow of our body. The fibers also contain carbohydrates, but they do not decompose and are important for the health of our digestive system.
The sugars represent short-chained carbohydrates as glucose, fructose galactose, sucrose.
Long-chained glucose molecules, which decompose until the conversion into glucose in the digestive system.
The fibers do not bear direct energy.
The human body cannot digest the fibers, but they are useful for the good bacteria, inhabiting our digestive-intestinal tract.
Carbohydrates with low glycaemic index, not only satiate us for long, but they also give us a constant influx of energy to our body, as they do not allow the sharp peaks and dips of the blood sugar that are received when we have carbohydrates with high glycaemic index.
The foods rich in starch with low or medium glycaemic index that the diet includes, like potatoes, keep us full for a long time, which in its turn reduces our desire to eat sweet. It also helps to reduce the fat in the body. Followed in combination with regular sport, the carbohydrate diet leads to positive results in the weight loss.
For whom is the carbohydrate diet suitable?
People who switch to a vegetarian/vegan diet will benefit from a similar type of diet and people actively doing sports with normal insulin resistance. It is not recommended for people suffering from diabetes and those with insulin resistance.
Here is a list of foods which are rich in carbohydrates and are healthy for the body:
- Ordinary and sweet potatoes
- Wholemeal flour and wholemeal pasta – Remember that flour made from seeds or nuts such as the almond flour and ground linseed are not rich in carbohydrates which does not make them suitable for a similar diet.
- Leguminous plants (beans, chick-peas, and lentil) – they are rich in starch but are digested slowly, if they are not canned or mashed
- Maize and maize flour
- Rice – If you do not have problems with the metabolism, problems with the digestion and the intestines, the rice will be a good source of carbohydrates for you. It is recommended especially for sportsmen, where there is a greater need for carbohydrates which help the physical stamina.
- Forest fruits (blueberries and strawberries)
- Aubergines, tomatoes, and beetroot – although the vegetables are considered to be low-in-calories, aubergines, tomatoes and root vegetables such as beetroot are of those ones, which contain a significant quantity of carbohydrates.