Carbohydrate and Diet



Carbohydrate is a macro nutrient in food which the body can use for energy. It is very important in dietetics to understand what good or ill can be caused by its consumption. Dr. Paul-Robert Thomas, author of the book "Refreshingly Thin" explains:

"Glucides, commonly known as "sugars" and scientifically referred to as "carbohydrates", are quick-energy ingredients. They circulate in the blood in the form of glucose which is immediately used in cellular combustion. If the glucose concentration is too high as compared to the current energy needs, it is temporarily stored in the liver or in the muscles in an agglutinated form called glycogen. If, in turn, the organism is saturated with glycogen, the glucides are transformed into lipids, or fats, which form an energy reserve."

Note the following description of the dark side of carbohydrate by Dr. Thomas:

"In our current diets, glucides are prevalent to the point that they become toxic. Aside from their well-known role in tooth decay, they exhibit a more insidious toxicity which presents the same level of health dangers as smoking, cancer or traffic accidents. Our civilization is now living a "glucidophagic" crisis whose causes are many.

First, there is an economic reason: glucidic food, such as cereals or starch, are the least expensive foods on the market. Their culture and preservation are easy. Since the existence of agriculture, they have become the food base of all ethnic groups...

Then there was a more physiological reason: glucidic foods are particularly pleasant to the palate.

During the last few centuries, sugars have taken such a prominent place in cooking that they finally modified our "palatability." How many people put sugar on their strawberries or their coffee?

Being sweeteners, sugary foods have been assigned by our civilization the symbolic value of a comforting reward...Laden with sugar, dessert comes purposely at the end of the meal (when we are no longer hungry) and is the very symbol of the reward.

Sweets cannot seriously be considered as food. They are only a form of oral gratification which is as dangerous - and even as toxic - as alcohol or tobacco."

Carbohydrate and Diet

Dr. Thomas has some insightful comments on the affects of carbohydrate in our diets:

"Cooking makes some glucides more digestible. Potatoes, for instance, which are essentially composed of starch (reserve vegetal glucide) would be poorly digested if they were not cooked. It is commonly believed that whatever takes long to digest is bad for the health. Physiological reality is in fact quite different: a quickly digested glucide saturates the organism with sugar and is transformed into reserve fat before being usable by cellular combustion.

A recent dietetics notion opposes quickly absorbed glucides, such as the sugars in fruit juices, to the slowly absorbed glucides, such as starch.

After a meal too rich in quickly absorbed sugars, the blood sugar, or glycemia, rises very rapidly and triggers an immediate and intense secretion of insulin, the glucose reserve hormone, in the form of glycogen and fat. This too rapid increase in glycemia causes a too intense secretion of insulin, to the point that the hormone overreacts and that, although energy is being stored, there is a shortage of blood sugar which, in turn, triggers a feeling of hunger one hour after such an unbalanced meal. [note: or worse ie. weakness, nausea or shaking]

The slowly absorbed sugars cause a more gradual insulin reaction which feeds the cellular combustion for a longer period of time, thus putting a lesser quantity in reserve.

Although all glucides have the same caloric value, some promote more than others the formation of fat. There again, the classic theory of food calories falls short."

Glycation

The following information is courtesy of Warren Matthews, health researcher:

In order to appreciate the problems associated with glycation there are some basic biological facts that you need to be aware of.

Firstly, the role that proteins play in your body!

Proteins are valuable biological molecules which are found in almost every part of your body and have a variety of functions. They are present inside the cells making the life of the cell possible. Without them you would not survive as these proteins are needed to carry oxygen and nutrients to the tissues.

Proteins are made up of strings of different amino acids. To function properly they need to be ‘free agents’. In other words they need to remain as singular molecules to move around and perform their tasks.

So far, so good…

However, proteins have ‘enemies’ that they are exposed to every day. These ‘enemies’ are in the form of…glucose molecules, sugars, and similar chemicals known as aldehydes. All these molecules can be referred to loosely as glycating agents.

These ‘enemies’ try to attach themselves to protein molecules. When they do this it is the start of a dangerous situation. Why? Well, when the glycating agent attaches itself to a protein molecule the ‘combined molecule’ is a bit like a particle floating around with a bit of superglue stuck to it.

If that bit of ‘glue’ comes into contact with another protein then that combined molecule may then attach itself to that ‘free agent’ protein in a process referred to as ‘cross linking’.

Cross linking is BAD…with a capital ‘B’

The reason why this cross linking is so bad is because now instead of having two good proteins to help the overall health of your body and prevent premature aging, you now have what is referred to by bio-chemists as a ‘grotesque’ molecule known as an AGE which is short for Advanced Glycation End-products.

These AGEs are real troublemakers! They move around the body binding to cells and causing them to produce a number of poisonous chemicals plus other toxic by-products. AGEs also increase the formation of amyloid beta which is a toxic material found in the brains of older people and abundant in Alzheimers and dementia patients.

As well, AGEs stimulate the production of free radicals which in turn can create more aldehydes which in turn stimulates more glycation…and so, a vicious cycle can continue to accelerate UNLESS you are aware of it and do all that you can to slow down this process which causes aging and degenerative disease!

This process also contributes to heart disease by thickening artery walls. PLUS it will make you look old before your time because the skin proteins and collagen clump together, then collapse…result…wrinkles! How can you protect yourself against Glycation and the formation of AGEs?

There are three actions that you can take:

Try to minimize your intake of glycating foods…simple carbohydrates and sugars. By inactivating the aldehydes (glue) before they attach themselves to the protein. By preventing the protein which has already got ‘glue’ on it from sticking to another protein. The first action is self explanatory. The next two are fortunately possible thanks to recent scientific discoveries using a dipeptide known as Carnosine.

This is how Carnosine works: It has two unique abilities.

One, is that it has an ability to attach to glycating ‘agents’ and neutralize them. The other is that it has the ability to put a protective shield around a protein molecule which already has a glycating agent attached to it. By providing that shield it prevents that protein molecule from ‘cross-linking’ with another protein molecule and forming an AGE. No other natural substance has yet been discovered that can perform this task, other than Carnosine. Vitamins such as C and E although helpful for free radicals do nothing to help prevent glycation! Same applies to other anti-oxidants.

You may be asking yourself why consumers in general are not being made more aware of glycation? The answer to this is that Carnosine is a very expensive nutrient and as yet still not common in supplements. We have been using it in Total Balance for eight years. In fact, we were one of the first supplement companies in the world to begin using it for this purpose.

How much do you need?

Like so many nutrients there is no real evidence to support the premise ‘more is better’. The generally accepted effective dose rate is 50 – 150mgs per day. We use 100mgs in a daily dose of Total Balance. As with most nutrients carnosine works better when taken in synergy with a wide range of other nutrients.

Also, for maximum benefits the carnosine should be incorporated in an enteric coated tablet such as Total Balance so it is released in the upper intestine. This is because carnosine is a di-peptide consisting of two amino acids and hydrochloric acid in the stomach splits the structure of the carnosine thus reducing it’s effectiveness. If you wish to do all you can to protect yourself against glycation and the damage it can cause then you should supplement with Carnosine every day. (In the correct form) Remember that it takes time to build up the protection and to undo damage which has already occurred in your body.

Because it works best in combination with other nutrients it is best not to take Carnosine on its own. Besides, glycation is only one of the components in the four main causes of aging and degenerative disease.

You must also address:

Free Radicals

Methylation

Chronic Inflammation

Fortunately the Xtend-Life range of Total Balance addresses all four concerns.



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