-A personal experience with nutrition and exercise-

Monday, March 1, 2010

Diet Theory - Carbs

After some research I have come to the conclusion that the bulk of the diet should come from starches (amylose). From my readings, nearly all primitive societies had a main starch source as to provide energy. Whether it be grains, potatoes, taro, dasheen. These would be grown, stored and eaten daily. People often think that carbohydrates are energy foods and that they should only be consumed when you are going to be active. This is commonly found on many bodybuilding websites. The simple fact is that people forget about cellular energy (ATP) and that the body is constantly working to maintain homeostasis.

Many people believe that eating carbs stimulates insulin and ceases fat burning. In this study it is found that "When a single high-carbohydrate meal is consumed, dietary CHO merely has the effect of reducing the rate of fat oxidation. These findings challenge the common perception that conversion of CHO to fat is an important pathway for the retention of dietary energy and for the accumulation of body fat."

I feel that it is also important to keep fructose in limited quantities and eaten bound with glucose ie sucrose. I found this study on fructose metabolism interesting: "Dietary fructose in man at the level of 40% of calories in a 3,000-kcal diet causes diarrhea. This is distinct from dietary glucose which can be tolerated at levels of 60-80%. The rat differs from man in this respect in that it can tolerate dietary levels as high as 70% of calories as fructose (2, 3)." With that, it is important to remember when reading other studies with rats that they are able to tolerate fructose better than humans. So unbound fructose could be even more damaging when present in other rat studies and used in the context of humans.

Carbohydrate are also preferable as they average person is able to store 500-1100g in the form of glycogen. When a person eats over there maintenance level and glycogen levels are full, excess will be converted to fat. Carbs have a 30% energy conversion loss while converting to fat. The bonus of this, is that this fat will not be in the form of PUFAs which are important to avoid to maintain a well working metabolism.

I will continue my next posts talking about fats and proteins which are needed to build and maintain a functioning body.


  1. That study is a real ball breaker for a lot of people's arguments. =)

    You look pretty lean in photos. Do you ever do cutting periods? I've been reading Ancel Keys starvation book and got the idea to try the milk diet using skim. Apparently it is great for preventing water retention; the sugar helps keep my brain happy during work and it has a good amount of protein too (which have a lot of amino acids for neurotransmitters I'm told).

    I just realized this last weekend when reading Keys work that there may be a maximum rate of calorie mobilization from fat depots. Failing to make up the difference between this and lean body mass requirements is basically a terrible idea.

    My actual experience is that 1500 cal of skim got me through the day without feeling any hunger, but just barely. I'm figuring this means that I can only mobilize between 1000 and 1500 from fat.

    Anyway, to actually tie this rant back to your post, I was basically dribbling sugar and insulin into my system all day without feeling hungry. At a total of 1500 cals, it is clearly impossible that the insulin was preventing me from burning fat, as backed by the study you cited. It also strikes me how wrong it is to claim that insulin makes you hungry, as logical as it can seem.

    Looking forward to your next posts.

  2. I recently was reading the starvation book as well but was only able to check it out for a week before I had to return it. I remember reading about lactose sugar but can't remember the details. I think it is interesting that galactose(component of lactose) is also known as brain sugar, and that the body actually produces 2-10 grams of it every day in healthy people.

    I am at about 10% bodyfat right now. And I have previously done cutting using low carb but I started losing muscle mass and was getting very weak. It may have been due to calories, but I think it was my metabolism tanking.

    I think that the best way to do a recomposition is to get down to a low bodyfat and then slowly add muscle mass without any or very limited fat gain.
    This is where I feel that a high carb/low fat diet can work best and I am currently experimenting with.

    Were you using regular skim milk or powdered skim milk? I am beginning to think that lactose may be on the same level as glucose and starch.

    I've got a couple studies that I am going to post about that relate to low calories and maximum lipolysis that are pretty interesting.

    Are you into bodybuilding as well or more interested in the nutrition aspect?

  3. Thanks for the advice! I have been upping my carbs alot lately.... tossing out the bacon and sausage unless my friend makes his bad ass pulled pork. I am just limiting all my fats to coconut oil, butter, cheese, and ghee.... and whatever comes in the grassfed beef i buy... oh yah.. and a couple eggs here and there. I don't eat chicken or duck.

    Carbs are yams, yukon gold taters, whole wheat, brown rice, white sourdough bread, and other artisan baked breads without oils.

    its funny how omega six fats probably cause more problems and instigate things like gluten intolerance, and leaky gut syndrome.


  4. Good stuff Troy. It's funny how I used to be paranoid about carbs when I was ultra-low carb. Now, I think they are the best thing ever. Im beginning to think maybe going Lowcarb reset my hormones and now my body is going through some sort of anabolic rebound due to the insulin/starches.

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