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Old 10-25-2005, 06:08 PM   #1
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Carbohydrates

what are they, what do they do and why do ppl have low carb diets?

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Old 10-25-2005, 09:44 PM   #2
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drawing on what i remember from anatomy class and such-
carbohydrates are things such as bread, crackers, pop, cereals, and veggies/fruits, some being higher in carbohydrate content than others (like peas and corn). they are essentially sugars. there are complex and simple carbohydrates. complex carbs would include things like fruit and pasta. simple carbohydrates are more along the lines of sugar and pop.
they provide glucose, and glucose provides energy.
low-carb is very complicated, but, in a nutshell, it puts you into ketosis, and proteins and fat are converted into molecules that can take the place of actual carbohydrate sugars.
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Old 10-25-2005, 09:56 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvs_food
drawing on what i remember from anatomy class and such-
carbohydrates are things such as bread, crackers, pop, cereals, and veggies/fruits, some being higher in carbohydrate content than others (like peas and corn). they are essentially sugars. there are complex and simple carbohydrates. complex carbs would include things like fruit and pasta. simple carbohydrates are more along the lines of sugar and pop.
they provide glucose, and glucose provides energy.
low-carb is very complicated, but, in a nutshell, it puts you into ketosis, and proteins and fat are converted into molecules that can take the place of actual carbohydrate sugars.
Usually when you are in ketosis you are losing weight but, depending on your health status, ketosis may not be a good thing. For example, according to the diabetic education classes I went to with my husband, ketosis whould not be a good thing for a diabetic.
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:05 PM   #4
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My mother is doing the Atkins thing, and hit a point where she was not losing, but after hearing my 2 cents- "if it's different than how you picked it, don't eat it" (i.e. pasta, bleached flour, cr@p outta boxes, etc.)- she incorporated potatoes, rice, etc. back into her diet, and started losing again. I am no saint when it come to eating healthy foods (grew up on a farm with home-cookin'!), but do believe, if you have special health needs, to look at what the Earth has provided to us. Natural foods many times mimic our own chemical makeup, and are healing rather than a health risk as we are "fadded" to believe sometimes in the "next big diet". I am also no medical doctor, either..... scary thought.
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Old 10-25-2005, 10:50 PM   #5
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Shannon I agree with you! Though I couldn't bear to leave pasta out of my diet! I've heard that eating rice cakes is worse in terms of blood sugar rise than eating plain sugar! Diabetes is not an easy disease to live with.

I've never been tempted by a rice-cake but my diet is not perfect either. It's much more complicated than the fad diets make it out to be but the simplest way to put it is if you want to loose weight eat less/better and move more!

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Old 10-25-2005, 10:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bleh
what are they, what do they do and why do ppl have low carb diets?
Carbohydrates are one of the three types of foods, along with fats and proteins.

Dr. Atkins made them famous (or infamous) when he popularized a diet low in simple carbs as the key to weight loss.

I think a balanced diet that contains less food and more exercise is the best way to lose weight.
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Old 10-28-2005, 03:09 PM   #7
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Carbohydrates(mainly glucose) are your initial source of energy in the body. Carbohydrates come in different forms as the above posters mentioned, but are broken down to their simplest constituents to be used for ENERGY. Whenever you begin exercise of any sort, or have had a large meal full of starchy and high-sugar foods(breads, rice, fruits, soda, potatoes, bagels, pasta, most types of desserts, chocolate, etc --> just look on the nutrition facts to see if it has carbs or not), your body first looks to using it up BEFORE it turns to your fat stores. If you do not use up all the carbohydrates floating in your body, they are converted into fat and stored in your body. If you DO use up all the carbohydrates, your body says "hey, I'm out of energy...let's bring out the reserves!"

That's when the fat starts to melt off...and that's the basis of the Atkins low-carb diet. Your body has no carbs to look to, so what does it burn? Fat. Unfortunately, Atkins can have some bad side effects if you don't weight train...because when your body is in "carbohydrate starvation" mode and your muscles are not actively being used --> it breaks them down for energy as well. So, many people will lose tons of weight on Atkins, but it turns out to be both fat AND muscle(not good) if you neglect weight training and high-protein foods.

My own theory on dieting is that I tend to eat everything in a balance, but if I need to cut SOMETHING out of my meal(because it's too big) --> I always cut out the carb. I never eat potatoes, ever hahaha...just because they're sooo starchy.

Finally, this is why walking is the best exercise to lose fat. You are working at low intensity, and so your body starts out using a small bit of glucose and in a short time, switches to using your fat stores. Because you are not in "carbohydrate starvation" mode, or "strenuous physical activity" mode --> the fat just keeps melting off. For losing weight, I'd recommend 60 minutes of walking a day, broken up into three sets of 20. That way you are walking throughout the day, helping to keep your metabolism up and not doing everything in one burst!

I love walking as opposed to a lot of the other training I do for my martial arts and gymnastics because even if those leave me sore to the point where I can barely move...I can always walk and keep losing fat. It's so low intensity that you don't get sore from it, and can recover from soreness while you do it. Walking rocks as the best supplementary exercise EVA!
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purrfectlydevine
Usually when you are in ketosis you are losing weight but, depending on your health status, ketosis may not be a good thing. For example, according to the diabetic education classes I went to with my husband, ketosis whould not be a good thing for a diabetic.
You're mixing up ketosis and ketoacidosis (which is often done, they're very close in spelling).

You're in and out of ketosis all the time, in low carb it's a more "steady state". Ketones (ketosis is the production of ketones as a byproduct of breaking down fats) are the body's alternate energy source to glucose.

If you're in ketoacidosis, you're a diabetic who's in big trouble because you have an excess of both ketones AND glucose in your bloodstream and can utilize neither, and your finely tuned acid/alkaline balance is whacked. Hospital time.
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeyman
...and that's the basis of the Atkins low-carb diet. Your body has no carbs to look to, so what does it burn? Fat. Unfortunately, Atkins can have some bad side effects if you don't weight train...because when your body is in "carbohydrate starvation" mode and your muscles are not actively being used --> it breaks them down for energy as well. So, many people will lose tons of weight on Atkins, but it turns out to be both fat AND muscle(not good) if you neglect weight training and high-protein foods...
Sadly, if one is not excercising (properly or at all), preferably weight training as you pointed out, and one is not paying attention to the proteins, one is DEFINITELY not doing Atkins -- or any "low" or controlled carb regime -- correctly.

It pays to do the reading and the research, no matter WHAT "fad" diet and assumptions (and aren't they all fad diets if you don't know what you're doing?) you take on.

A correct low or controlled carbohydrate approach is muscle and protein sparing, blood-pressure balancing and insulin/appetite-modulating, more so than any low-fat and higher carb approach that's actually been tested yet.


It's fascinating reading.
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