Weight loss can be tricky on a good day. Carbohydrate absorption is an option to consider for weight loss. Eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates, particularly those with a high glycemic index, causes an insulin spike in the body. This increased insulin boosts amino acid absorption in your body, stops protein breakdown after a workout, and replenishes glycogen stores in the liver.
The glycemic index defines foods that quickly or slowly cause blood sugar levels to rise. High glycemic index (GI) foods are digested and absorbed quickly causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. Low GI foods are digested and absorbed more slowly and cause a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar.
Foods with a high glycemic index are watermelon, honey, doughnuts, French fries, white rice, cereals, and white bread. Low GI foods include most fruits, vegetables, beans, minimally processed grains, low-fat dairy foods, and nuts.
Carbohydrates and Fat Storage
Carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Glucose is used by your cells for energy. Once your cells use up the glucose that is needed for energy, then the excess glucose goes back to your liver and is converted to glycogen.
Glycogen is stored then in your muscles for future energy use. Glycogen gives your muscles the energy to work. What happens when you fill up your muscles with glycogen? The excess glycogen is sent back to your liver where it is converted into triglycerides. Most of these triglycerides are then stored as fat. Unlike your muscles, your body has an unlimited storage potential for fat.
Carbohydrate Absorption – Fibers
How can you prevent, or slow down this process? One way is to eat something that will absorb some of the carbohydrates and dampen the insulin surge caused glucose. Fiber is a good thing to eat before or during your meal. There is soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps digestion and lower blood sugar. Insoluble softens stool making it easier to pass.
Fiber helps you in two ways. First, you may eat less because you have a feeling of being full. Second, it binds or disrupts the full impact of glucose conversion in your body. Many studies, in the United States and overseas, have shown very positive effects of adding fiber to your diet on a regular basis – lower body weight, lower waist-to-hip ratios, and markers for heart disease were reduced.
Are all fibers created equally? No. Fiber from oats and barley are called beta-glucans. Beta-glucans have been shown to be very effective in slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates.
Another fiber for your consideration is glucomannan. It is a dietary fiber that is a water-soluble polysaccharide. Glucomannan is effective in reducing the insulin spike after eating high-glycemic foods. It is very effective for constipation, high cholesterol, and obesity.
Magic pills are soluble fiber, beta-glucans, and glucomannan.
Carbohydrate Absorption – Other Options
Are there any other options besides fibers? There are things other than fiber that can interfere with or inhibit the breakdown of simple and complex carbohydrates. Oral anti-diabetic drugs called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors are used to treat type-2 diabetes.
The alpha-glucosidase inhibitors prevent the digestion of carbohydrates. I always prefer natural solutions to prescription medicine solutions when they are available and safe. The mushroom, Maitake, has a naturally occurring alpha-glucosidase inhibitor. The Salacia oblonga is a plant that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for over a thousand years. It is also a naturally occurring alpha-glucosidase inhibitor.
Alpha-glucosidase inhibitors produce abdominal gas as a side-effect because many of the starches and glucose are not absorbed. Starches and glucose produce gas when left alone in your intestine to react with normal bowel bacteria and yeast.
Prescription alpha-glucosidase inhibitor medicines list many serious side effects. As always, carefully read your prescription labels for side effects and possible contraindications with other food and drug products.
White kidney bean extract is an alpha-amylase inhibitor. It blocks carbohydrate absorption by blocking the enzyme, alpha-amylase which is used to break down carbohydrates in your digestive tract. The undigested carbohydrates processed through your body without absorption.
White kidney bean extract is a dietary supplement that can be taken before each meal. You may also find dietary supplements containing both alpha-glucosidase and alpha-amylase inhibitors.
Magic pills are maitake mushrooms, alpha-glucosidase inhibitors, and alpha-amylase inhibitors.
Carbohydrate Absorption – Your Health
You are responsible for your own health. You can’t expect to eat all the carbohydrates you want just because you choose to take carbohydrate blockers or inhibitors. You must eat and exercise in moderation.
It might be best to use a carbohydrate blocker or inhibitor for your biggest carbohydrate meal of the day. Check the side effects prior to using any prescription carbohydrate blocker. Determine the safety of those side effects and whether this option is really something you want to do.
Live Longer and Enjoy Life – Red O’Laughlin