Too many carbohydrates make you fatter. This is because they raise the glucose in your blood stream and your body then produces insulin to lower the glucose or blood sugar. The problem is, insulin is a storage hormone, which then stores the excess carbohydrates in the form of fat in the only two places it can – the liver and the muscles. This is nature’s way of putting aside energy reserves in the case of extreme hunger or starvation. The fat stored in the liver is broken down by the body and distributed through the blood stream. The fat stored in the muscles is not broken down and simply sits there – hence your stomach fat.
What are carbohydrates?
They are really sugars. Most of us know they are sweets, pasta and breads, but some of us may not know they are also vegetables and fruit. Of course, we should eat fruit and vegetables as that is where we gain our nutrients and, because they are carbohydrates, our energy. I guess we could say the fruit and vegetables are the good carbs. In fact, these foods should be the main source of our carbohydrates. The bad carbs are the highly refined ones such as white flour, white rice and white sugar and sugary drinks. These send the blood sugar level up quickly, resulting in the production of insulin to combat these higher levels.
Why do we need carbohydrates?
The body needs a constant supply of carbohydrates, which it converts to glucose, most of which is used by the brain. The brain uses an enormous amount of glucose – something like two thirds of what the body produces. So we do have to keep up this supply for good health. It is the type and quantity of carbohydrates that can cause problems, as the excess not used by the body is stored as fat. To make matters worse, when the body produces insulin to lower the blood sugar level, it causes hunger, which is why you can be looking for food a couple of hours after eating. That is why high carb diets do not help you lose weight but, in fact, they actually cause you to put on weight and to keep it on.
A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet should include healthy carbohydrates found in fruit and vegetables. It should also include natural fiber, as this helps to control the amount of blood sugar produced, which in turn lowers the insulin. Natural fats, such as olive oil, should also be a part of a balanced diet, as these do not make you fat but are converted into energy. Excess carbohydrates are the real villains and work against your efforts to lose your stomach fat.
High carb diets do not work but a diet that includes a balance of carbohydrates, fiber, protein and plenty of water do work. Add to this a regular exercise regime and you will be well on your way to a lifetime of good health.
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