The Best Carbs for Weight Loss

Jan 01, 2018

When it comes to weight loss carbohydrates generally get a bad rap...

Primarily because carbohydrates stimulate insulin...aka the hunger hormone, that blocks fat burning, and encourages fat storage!

However, there seems to be great confusion over the THREE different types of carbohydrates that can be found in our diet, namely:

• Sugar
• Starch
• Fibre

Sugars are simple carbs made up of only one or two molecules combined, and are quickly absorbed in the blood stream.

Starch and fibre are made up of at least three sugar molecules making them complex carbs, which take longer to digest, resulting in feeling fuller for longer.

Lets break this down further…

Most of the carbohydrates in our diet are starches, however, not all of the starch we eat gets digested. Some passes through the digestive tract unchanged. This is known as resistant starch, in other words it is resistant to digestion.

Bingo!

Successful dieters are those that chose resistant starches because they turn into fatty acids that your body burns and uses as energy.

Here’s how: resistant starch (RS) gets fermented when it reaches the large intestine. This process creates beneficial fatty acids, including one called butyrate, which has been scientifically proven to improve insulin sensitivity.

This is important because insulin is the hormone that moves glucose (blood sugar) into your cells. When your cells lose sensitivity to insulin (known as insulin resistance) your body has to make extra insulin to do the same job, and you end up with high levels of insulin in your bloodstream, which promotes the storage of fat.

In short, when you reduce insulin production you immediately rev up your metabolism.

Studies also show that resistant starch can have powerful health benefits such as improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and various benefits for digestion.

This is great news for anyone trying to lose weight since our muscles are "loaded" with glycogen, which is the storage form of carbohydrates. For every gram of carbohydrate that is stored, the body stores approximately 2-3 grams of water.

This means that before you see any fat shift from the scale you’ve got to deplete your glycogen stores, which basically means use up your sugar reserve!

The easiest way to do this is to avoid sugar, and simple carbohydrates, which is where the low carb revolution comes from. However, resistant starch is a dieters dream, because it fills you up and leaves you feeling satisfied, but doesn’t enter the bloodstream because its not digested or absorbed.

It’s not just bulk filler

This doesn’t mean that eating these foods is just filling a gap, RS acts as a food source to our good bacteria, known as pre-biotic which in turn helps make probiotics making this a win-win when it comes to healthy weight loss.

Plus it shuts down hunger hormones, several studies have found that resistant starch prompts the body to pump out more satiety-inducing hormones.

A meal with resistant starch triggers a hormonal response to shut off hunger, so you eat less. Research shows that you don't reap this benefit from other sources of fibre such a fruit.

If you can combine a resistant starch with some protein and healthy fats whole fats like avocados, you should cover all your bases in terms of carbs, protein, and fat.

Resistant starch includes:

Plantain
Oats
Potatoes (cold)
Rice (cold) 
Beans & legums (soaked)

However, it's important to add that potatoes and rice only become resistant stach once they have been cooked & cooled, so this ONLY works when eaten cold. 

Beans and legumes also provide resistant starch, however both should be soaked and fully heated to remove lectins and anti-nutrients. (If you get gas and or bloating it's a sign that you are having trouble digesting them due to lectins or anti-nutrients).

The icing on the cake…

The highest concentration of butyrate, is found in butter, so don’t forget to butter up those veggies!

 

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