Turn your attention to NET carbohydrates. To calculate NET carbohydrates look at the nutrition facts label and subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates. Example: A Cookie Dough Quest Bar has 20 grams of carbohydrates and 14 grams of fiber, meaning that it contains 6 NET carbs*
There are 2 types of NET carbohydrates, simple and complex. Complex carbohydrates, found in grains, some vegetables, and legumes, consist of 3 or more sugar molecules, and thus take longer to digest. Simple carbohydrates are sugars—glucose and fructose from fruits and some vegetables, lactose from milk, sucrose from cane or beet sugar, and others. These require little digestion and thus are a quick energy source. Both simple and complex carbohydrates, affect your insulin response.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is carried through your bloodstream. Insulin is then produced to transport the glucose into your cells. When more glucose is produced than your body needs, it is transported and stored in your fat cells, thus increasing body fat.
To simplify this, if we raise insulin levels, we accumulate more fat in our fat cells. However, if we lower insulin levels, fat will be released from fat cells and will be burned as fuel.
It is important to remember that we all respond to this carbohydrate/insulin response differently. Some people metabolize carbohydrate-rich foods effortlessly, turning all consumed carbs into energy, while other bodies more readily store carbohydrate-rich foods as fat.
These differences are due to enzymatic and hormonal factors-mostly relating to insulin, according to Gary Taubes’ research.
“One means of lower insulin in our circulation is to eat fewer carbohydrates and another is to improve the quality of carbs we do eat, which means eating carbs that are less refined (their glycemic index is low or at least lower) and carbs that come with a lot of fiber attached (green leafy vegetables), and then eating less sugars, by which I mean both sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.” Gary Taubes (www.garytaubes.com/blog)
Remember, some people are better at utilizing the energy in carbohydrate-rich foods and can keep these foods in their daily diet, however, many people, namely those with Type II Diabetes cannot and need to restrict carbohydrate-rich foods.
Over the past few years, I have seen that the average diet of a person who is not watching their carbohydrate intake is anywhere from 150 grams- 200 grams of NET carbs per day. For fat loss, Atkins recommends limiting your daily grams of NET carbs to 30 grams. Once you get within 10 lbs of your goal weight, increase your NET carbs to 40 grams per week. Test this for a week or two, if your weight increases or stays the same you need to decrease back to 30 grams. If your weight continues to decrease, great, try 50 grams of NET carbs for a few weeks. By doing this gradual increase in daily NET carbs you are finding out how many NET carbs your body can metabolize for energy. (“The New Atkins for A New You”)
I challenge you to log your nutrition for 4 days. Determine how many NET carbs you are consuming in one day and CUT that in half for 2 weeks. See how you feel and see how quickly your body will change.
This is a lifestyle change!!! And you will feel it in every aspect of your life.
So here are the three take aways to prevent or treat Type II Diabetes:
- Limit carbohydrates in your diet
- Eat low glycemic foods
- Determine your ideal NET carbohydrate intake to maintain a healthy body weight
If you, or someone you know, is currently trying to manage their diabetes through proper nutrition, sign up for a FREE Transformation Session at Kinesis Konnection. We can help you balance your nutrition, create a workout plan, and set you up on the path to reach your goals! Click here to sign up for your FREE session.
*Quest Nutrition also subtracts Erythritol, a sugar alcohol, from the total number of carbs, but that is another post for another day