Tolerance of body to carbohydrates


Indeed, paying attention to the type and amount of carbohydrates you consume can have health benefits. Low-carb protocols, such as the ketogenic diethave caught on, in part, because research shows they may help improve blood-sugar balancesupport optimal endocrine hormone function, protect against cardiovascular disease and cognitive dysfunction, guard against other chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes and cancer, and support healthy weight loss.

But one of the most useful ways to think about carbohydrates is one of the least talked about: how your body responds to carbs. The trigger of excess insulin is one of the negative consequences of eating too many blood-sugar-sabotaging carbs. Your unique genetics and unique microbiome are the biggest factors in how you convert food to fuel and keep blood sugar and insulin steady. Some carbs, like those found in leafy greens, have more nutritional value than other carbs, like those found in candy bars — no matter how well your body tolerates carbs.

So the first step in taking a smart approach to carbs is to make the distinction between carbohydrates that support health and those that leave the body in a state of nutritional bankruptcy.

tolerance of body to carbohydrates

Studies show that diets high in refined carbohydrates — like those found in candy, packaged baked goods, processed snack foods, and sweetened beverages — are linked to inflammation, oxidative stress, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, arugula, cabbage, cauliflower, and bok choy. Most experts encourage people to eat these vegetables in any amount — and, generally, the more the better.

Some people may discover they need to eat fewer of these types of carbs to improve blood-sugar balance and overall hormone balance. It depends on the person. If the process of tracking symptoms over the course of several meals feels onerous and confusing, or if you try it but it feels like your pattern of symptoms is sending you mixed messages, consider tracking your blood sugar with a glucometer, a small device that you can use at home to test the amount of sugar in your blood, recommends Kalanick.

Glucometers are inexpensive and widely available at drugstores and online. The information you glean from the experiment makes an excellent starting place for tailoring your carb intake, but the most important step going forward is to listen closely to your body. Your email address will not be published. City and state are only displayed in our print magazine if your comment is chosen for publication. Triglycerides, the amount of fat in our blood, are directly linked to heart attacks and heart disease.

Thank you for such an informative article. Way to go!! Blood sugar and insulin work together to support your energy and health. Learn how to keep them in balance. The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now, but is it right for you?

Leave a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Subscribe to our Newsletters Newsletter Signup. Master Weekly Newsletter Weekly Newsletter. Special Promotions Special Promotions. Related Stories. Nutrition experts explain the pros and cons of this popular protocol.Start your free trial today using the button below.

Or, read on to learn more about how to use the Carb Tolerance Test on your journey to optimal health. Consider the image below on individualized blood glucose responses to different foods:.

Highly individualized glycemic responses to food. Two individuals had completely opposite blood sugar responses to the exact same foods bananas and cookies in this case. How is this possible?

Carbohydrate Tolerance: Frontline Fat Loss – Written By Nutrition Expert David Barr

The American Diabetes Association says we should be able to predict glucose response based on the carbohydrate content of the food in question. Clearly there is more to the story here!

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Turns out that our own unique post-prandial i. This makes the process of learning which foods are best for our own unique body seem like a very complex equation! Despite this seeming complexity, there are some very simple tools we can use to study our own glucose responses and become educated and empowered to choose foods and meals that are optimal for our own health. Helpful from a diagnostic perspective but not very insightful for understanding the effects of the foods and meals we eat on a day-to-day basis.

You can test any food or meal, record your results and learn which foods work best for your body. You can graph your results, share them with your health practitioner and refer back to them as you make progress on your journey to optimal health.

You may even discover that your body tolerates the cookies and bananas just fine! The results may surprise you! You can also test complex recipes from your kitchen or your favorite restaurant meals yes, you may need to take your glucometer to the restaurant and learn which work best for you.

For example, the image below shows my Carb Tolerance Test results after a bowl of Vietnamese Pho at my favorite neighborhood restaurant.

tolerance of body to carbohydrates

Even with the rice noodles, my results are still very favorable and I now know can I safely enjoy this savory dish with minimal glycemic impact. Carb Tolerance Test — Vietnamese Pho.

Note: Heads Up Health allows you to enter glucose readings manually. We can also automatically import your blood sugar readings from Apple Health.

What Science Says About Your Carb Tolerance

So choose your method and get started. We offer a free day trial where you can test out all features, including the Carb Tolerance Test. Now for the fun part! Choose which food or meal you want to test.

Do You Know Your Carb Tolerance? A Simple Guide to This Crucial Dietary Figure

Or simply start by testing your favorite breakfast. Start by giving the test a short name. Create a new Carb Tolerance Test. These are the hard numbers. The actual blood sugar readings taken before and after we consume different meals.

Generally speaking, we are looking at how high our blood sugar rises after a given meal and how long it takes to come back down to normal levels.

Note: If you are working with a healthcare professional, they may also be very interested in seeing your glycemic response to different foods. You can invite your healthcare professional to access your Heads Up profile using the Care Team Access feature.Carbohydrate tolerance is the level at which a person can consume carbohydrates without feeling excessively hungry. It can also refer to the amount of carbohydrates you can safely consume without gaining a significant amount of weight.

Some examples of this can be seen in most people who have high or low levels of carbohydrate tolerance. When carbohydrates are digested, they are broken down into three types, simple sugars, complex carbohydrates, and fats. The key is to choose foods that contain the proper amounts of the types of carbs you are looking for. Many people are choosing to use low carbohydrate diets as a way to lose weight, and this is because carbohydrates are not only bad for you physically, but they are also known to suppress the appetite and cause a person to feel hungry when they should not be.

There are some people who experience these things as a side effect, and it is important to understand that there are no diets that can guarantee that they will never experience hunger again. If you want to learn more about how carbohydrates affect your body and what the proper level of carbs is for your body type, consider taking a few minutes to read this article today.

Many people have experienced success with low carbohydrate diets. The trick is in knowing how many carbohydrates you should be eating on a daily basis. It is not uncommon for a person to get used to eating carbs and then find that they are not able to eat as many as they would like when they are trying to lose weight. This can also lead to a number of different health problems if a person is not careful. When you are dieting to lose weight, it is important to know what your carbohydrate tolerance is.

Carbohydrate tolerance refers to the number of carbs a person can tolerate. A good example would be that you may be able to tolerate a small number of carbs while another person would be unable to handle them. You will need to know what your level of carbohydrate tolerance is before you can start eating low carbohydrate diets, which can be done by making a note of how many carbohydrates you enjoy eating each day.

You may decide that you are not able to eat any carbs at all if you experience a significant amount of food cravings. If you are a serious exerciser, it is important that you understand the importance of a low carb diet.

Even though the Atkins Diet can help you lose weight, you should always remember that it does not work for everyone and that there are some people who cannot go on this type of diet without having to drastically change their lifestyle. If you do decide that you want to use a low carb diet, you may want to speak with your doctor first about the many options available to you.

Carbohydrate Intolerance

Carbs should be eaten in small amounts at a time and not all at once, and you should make sure that your meals contain some protein in them. Protein will increase the absorption of carbohydrates so that your body will still be able to absorb them. It is also important that you avoid consuming a large number of carbohydrates in one meal so that your body has less chance of storing the carbs as fat.

If you are trying to lose weight, you want to know what your carbohydrate tolerance is and you also want to eat the right amount of carbs at the right amount. It is important that you eat your carbs in small portions.

tolerance of body to carbohydrates

Your body should be able to process them easily so that your body does not have to store them as fat.To diagnose prediabetes and diabetes and, in certain cases, to screen for diabetes. For glucose tolerance testing during pregnancy, see the article Glucose Tests for Gestational Diabetes. Usually, when you have had abnormal or borderline results on a fasting blood glucose or hemoglobin A1c test ; sometimes when your healthcare practitioner wants to use this more sensitive test to screen for diabetes.

A glucose tolerance test requires that you fast for 8 to 12 hours overnight before the first blood sample is drawn. You will then be given a liquid containing 75 grams of glucose to drink or 1. Subsequent blood samples are drawn 2 hours after you begin to drink the glucose drink. You have 5 minutes to drink the glucose drink.

Glucose is the primary energy source for the body's cells and the only short-term energy source for the brain and nervous system. A steady supply must be available for use, and a relatively constant level of glucose must be maintained in the blood.

A glucose tolerance test measures the level of glucose in your blood when you are fasting and then 2 hours after drinking a liquid containing a specific amount of glucose. During digestion, the carbohydrates that you eat are broken down into glucose and other nutrients. They are absorbed by the digestive tract, move into the blood, and circulate throughout the body. Normally, blood glucose rises slightly after a meal and the hormone insulin is released by the pancreas into the blood in response.

The amount of insulin released corresponds to the size and content of the meal. Insulin helps transport glucose into the body's cells, where it is used for energy. As glucose moves into the cells and is broken down metabolizedthe blood glucose level drops and the pancreas responds by decreasing the release of insulin. The glucose tolerance test does not require the body to break down carbohydrates into glucose since the glucose in the liquid that you drink is already free.

If the feedback system is disrupted and the glucose level in the blood rises, then the body tries to restore the balance by increasing insulin production If the body's pancreatic beta cells can do so.

Diabetes is the most common disease resulting from an imbalance between glucose and insulin. Chronically high blood glucose levels can cause progressive damage to body organs, such as the kidneys, eyes, heart and blood vessels, and nerves. For more information, read the article on Diabetes. A glucose tolerance test GTT may be used to help diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. In some cases, a GTT may be used as a screening test, but most commonly, a fasting blood glucose FBG or hemoglobin A1c test is used for diabetes screening.

One common protocol is the 2-hour glucose tolerance test GTT. For this test, you may have a fasting glucose test done, then you drink a gram glucose drink or 1. Another blood sample is drawn 2 hours after you begin to drink the glucose drink. This protocol "challenges" your body to produce insulin to prevent hyperglycemia while returning the glucose level back to normal.

The GTT is more complicated to perform than other tests used to detect diabetes, such as a FBG or hemoglobin A1c, but is more sensitive and can detect diabetes earlier. Thus, the GTT may sometimes be used to screen for diabetes in certain patient populations e. If the test is used for screening and the initial glucose screening result is abnormal e.

tolerance of body to carbohydrates

The second test result must also be abnormal e. Alternatively, an abnormal screening result may be followed by more definitive testing.

During the GTT, if only the fasting glucose is in the hyperglycemic range which is unusualthe repeat test need only be a fasting glucose test. A GTT may be ordered when you have had abnormal or borderline results on a fasting blood glucose or random glucose test. It may be ordered when your healthcare practitioner wants to use a sensitive test to screen for diabetes.

Normally, the gram glucose drink raises your blood glucose level, which stimulates the pancreas to release insulin into the blood.This simply refers to how responsive a particular tissue is to the hormone insulin. That way, insulin can do its job better in muscle, but not so well in fat cells and as you probably guessed, the job of the latter is to store fat. The parameter that comes into play, even before insulin is affected, is known as carbohydrate tolerance.

Ideal insulin sensitivity is critical for not only the maintenance of muscle mass when on a diet, but also optimal fat loss.

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By optimizing carbohydrate tolerance we maximize insulin sensitivity, thereby preserving muscle and burning more fat! Although carbohydrate tolerance is similar to insulin sensitivity in many ways, it specifically pertains to the way in which our body deals with carbohydrates alone.

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This is how we maintain an optimal fat burning state for as long as possible. For an easy to conceive analogy, consider the following: if fat loss is a battle, then insulin sensitivity can be considered the reserves, while carbohydrate tolerance is the front line! Only by engaging all of the troops can we win the battle. Having a high carb tolerance relates to fat loss because it performs a vital role: it keeps insulin levels low. Because insulin is our storage hormone it has the double impact of not only stopping any fat loss that is occurring, but also directly induces fat storage itself.

Another benefit of maintaining a high carbohydrate tolerance is that it acts as a buffer zone for those times when we overindulge in carbohydrates. This ensures that these carbohydrates are not stored as fat, but rather sucked up by the muscle such that insulin levels are minimized. One might, if in the middle of a carb binge, think of it as a get out of jail free card.

Stimulant use also greatly assists with fat loss, and can help mitigate any damage done by slipping on our diet. So how do we enter a state of optimal carb tolerance, and subsequent fat loss?

How do carbohydrates impact your health? - Richard J. Wood

Well, there are 2 main ways:. The most efficient way to induce a longer-term state of carb tolerance is to maintain a low carbohydrate diet. Going back to our sponge analogy, carb depleting is our practical version of drying out the sponge. Our short-term path to carb tolerance is exercise, particularly that which is able to significantly deplete muscle carbohydrate stores a.

Resistance exercise is particularly efficient at inducing an elevated carbohydrate tolerant state — something that most people take advantage of with a post-workout drink like Surge. By combining our intense exercise and low carb diet we are setting up an optimal internal environment for fat loss. The majority of fat loss occurs in a carb-depleted state, in part due to the improved carb tolerance that accompanies this condition.

The sooner we can enter this optimal fat burning phase, the better the results. By focusing our first carb depletion day on getting into the optimal carb depleted state, we are kick starting fat loss and setting ourselves up for a successful cut.Assessing someone's carb tolerance is one of those little diet tweaks that could have a huge difference on their performance and daily life.

That topic is a whole article in itself, but the main thing you need to know is that carbs do not make you fat. Only overeating does. You've probably heard something about how carbs spike your insulin levels, and if insulin is the "fat storage hormone," then carbs must make you fat…right?

Some people thrive on loads of carbs and feel great when eating them, while others feel sick by just looking at a potato. How can that be? The reason carbs affect people differently is due to something called carb tolerance.

Carb tolerance is the reason there's so much conflicting research on low-carb dieting. Certain studies found that low-carb groups came out on top when it came to fat loss, yet others found high-carb groups fared better. A study found that women who were carb intolerant lost more weight on a low-carb diet and were also more adherent to a low-carb diet as compared to a high-carb diet.

Now, this doesn't mean carb intolerant individuals can't lose weight on a high-carb diet. They certainly can, and over the long-termit seems they lose weight as effectively on a high-carb diet as they do a low-carb diet. As I previously mentioned, people have varying responses when it comes to consuming carbs. This mostly comes down to two factors:.

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I'm not going to get fancy here and spout biology jargon at you, but let's just say some people don't produce enough of a certain enzyme that's responsible for carbohydrate digestion. In fact, a study found that people with less of this enzyme are generally predisposed to obesity due to the high-carb diets typical of average Americans.

However, those who have higher-than-usual amounts of the enzyme have lower BMI and may feel that carbs taste "sweeter" or "richer" than your average person. Insulin sensitivity refers to how your body responds to insulin, an important hormone. When you eat a meal, insulin is released to shuttle nutrients from your meal to different cells in your body. If your cells are resistant to insulin, then you need to produce a lot of it for it to be able to do its job.

This can slow down your rate of fat loss, but it doesn't directly stop it. Studies have shown that even insulin resistant people can still lose fat on a high-carb diet, provided they're in a caloric deficit. And that's the main point I want to hammer home: low-carb diets are not necessary for fat loss, but they can definitely help in the case of carb intolerance.

As I've mentioned, insulin resistant people were more adherent to a low-carb diet than a high-carb one, and adherence is the single most important aspect of any diet. Although the simplest way to know if you're carb intolerant is if you experience the aforementioned symptoms after consuming carbs, a doctor can also run some tests such as an oral glucose tolerance test and a fasting blood insulin test to help you know for sure.

If you have reason to believe you're carb intolerant, here are some tips on how to make the most of it. While carb intolerant people can lose weight on a high-carb diet, dietary adherence and enjoyment is typically much greater on a low-carb diet.

Find what works best for you and stick to it.If you're looking to optimize your fat loss, then you've come to the right place. Unfortunately, we've overlooked a key factor for far too long, and it's time that changes. I'm going to show you how to lose weight as efficiently as possible by exploring the concept of carbohydrate tolerance. We'll cover the theory, practice, and the specific "How To's", along with plenty of Quick Tips along the way. Before we get to this critically important concept, let's back up a minute and consider another point called insulin sensitivity.

This simply refers to how responsive a particular tissue is to the hormone insulin. A tissue with high insulin sensitivity will respond quite well to this hormone, while another with low sensitivity won't be as responsive. This is important because insulin is known as the storage hormone, and it's our goal to keep it as low as possible in order to lose bodyfat. In addition to the overall quantity, it's our goal to maintain a high insulin sensitivity in muscle, but keep a low insulin sensitivity in fat cells.

That way, insulin can do its job better in muscle, but not so well in fat cells and as you probably guessed, the job of the latter is to store fat. Now, insulin sensitivity sounds important, and it is, but it's been the sole focus for far too long.

The parameter that comes into play, even before insulin is affected, is known as carbohydrate tolerance. What's perhaps even more important is that carb tolerance can even indirectly affect insulin sensitivity and hormonal control. Quick Tip: Ideal insulin sensitivity is critical for not only the maintenance of muscle mass when on a diet, but also optimal fat loss. By optimizing carbohydrate tolerance we maximize insulin sensitivity, thereby preserving muscle and burning more fat!

Although carbohydrate tolerance is similar to insulin sensitivity in many ways, it specifically pertains to the way in which our body deals with carbohydrates alone. The concept is best explained by treating our muscle as a sponge that's responsive to carbs. For the optimal fat loss we want it relatively "dry," so that when the time comes, it can suck up as many carbs as possible.

As long as the sponge has a little dryness to it, it'll be able to absorb the water a. Remember that insulin isn't involved quite yet. This is how we maintain an optimal fat burning state for as long as possible. After the muscle has absorbed a relatively large amount of carbohydrates, it's considered full, and reaches what is known as the saturation point.

Only after the saturation point has been reached do the carbs begin to "spill over," at which time insulin, and our sensitivity to it, becomes important. Quick Tip: For an easy to conceive analogy, consider the following: if fat loss is a battle, then insulin sensitivity can be considered the reserves, while carbohydrate tolerance is the front line!

Only by engaging all of the troops can we win the battle. Having a high carb tolerance relates to fat loss because it performs a vital role: it keeps insulin levels low.

Because insulin is our storage hormone it has the double impact of not only stopping any fat loss that is occurring, but also directly induces fat storage itself. Obviously if we're trying to cut, then having as little of this hormone as possible is a very good thing. And by having optimal carb tolerance, this is exactly what we're doing! Another benefit of maintaining a high carbohydrate tolerance is that it acts as a buffer zone for those times when we overindulge in carbohydrates.


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