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LGLWSM Newsletter 060 - Using Carbohydrates to Slim Down
August 02, 2012

Using Carbohydrates to Slim Down

Did you know that eating carbohydrates is not a bad thing if you’re trying to lose weight? Of course, you need to choose the right type of carbohydrates if you want to keep weight off long term.

Some of the best carbohydrates to consume are called resistant starch carbs. Research has shown that eating more resistant starches helps lower cholesterol, reduce hunger pangs, and burn more calories. Eaten regularly, they also make you feel more energized and less stressed!

A recent study found that the slimmest people ate the most carbs, and the chubbiest ate the least. Who knew? The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64% of your total daily caloric intake, or 361 grams. This is equivalent to several stuffed baked potatoes, which you may been omitting from your diet altogether because they've gotten a bad rap!

Most low-carb diets (South Beach diet, etc.) limit your intake of carbs to fewer than 30% of total calories. If you can give them up without craving them, that's one thing but if you can't, there is good news!

Carbs satisfy hunger pangs longer

A research study at the University of Surrey in the UK gave participants one meal of resistant carbs. Participants were then tracked the next day for food consumption. What they found was that the participants consumed 10% fewer calories (roughly 150 to 200 calories for the average woman) during the next day because they said they just weren’t as hungry.

Here’s why: Your brain acts like a computerized fuel gauge that directs you to eat whenever it notices that your stomach is empty. Foods high in resistant starch trigger a feeling of fullness. They release fullness hormones in the intestine and make your cells more sensitive to insulin.

(Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating peptide, leptin is an appetite-suppressing peptide. To find out more about these hormones, check this page.)

Carbs curb your appetite

Replacing generous amounts of fiber with resistant starch foods for low carb meals, reduces your cravings for fatty foods.

Fiber and resistant starches fill you up and allow you to eat the foods you may have craved on a low carb diet.

Carbs control blood sugar and diabetes

Getting the right combination of carbs is a great way to control blood sugar, which in turn reduces your risk of diabetes. In a recent study, participants who consumed more high resistant starch foods were able to lower their post-meal blood sugar and insulin response by up to 38%.

Eat the carbs you like, but combine them so that they don’t cause a spike in your blood sugar. Instead of eating plain white rice, switch to brown rice and combine it with beans, corn, or other resistant starch foods that help to balance blood sugars.

Carbs speed up metabolism

Carbs high in resistant starch speed up your metabolism and your body’s other natural fat burners. As it moves though your digestive system, it releases fatty acids that encourage fat burning, especially in your belly.

These fatty acids help preserve muscle mass, which raises your metabolism and keeps you slim.

Carbs reduce belly fat

Carbs help you lose your belly fat faster than other foods, even when the same amount of calories are consumed. Why? Because resistant starch foods increase the activity of fat burning enzymes and decrease the activity of fat storing enzymes. In turn, belly fat cells are less likely to store calories as fat.

Carbs make you feel good

Dieters who replace complex carbs and resistant starch carbs for a low carb foods diet feel empowered! They have learned that you can still lose weight by eating in a balanced manner, without cutting out entire food groups.

So the question begs, what are resistant starch foods? They are defined as a "starches that go undigested by the body." Resistant starches help maintain proper blood sugar levels, improve digestion, and increase regularity of the bowels. Resistant starches can be beneficial to any diet when consumed daily.

Bananas, corn, potatoes, yams, whole grain pasta, pearl barley, whole grain bread, navy beans, oatmeal, lentils and brown rice are some of the most common resistant starch foods. Navy beans have the highest resistant starch at 9.8 grams (per 1/2 cup), bananas are the second highest at 4.7 grams (1 medium), yams at 4.0 grams (per 1/2 cup), and potatoes at 3 grams (per 1/2 cup). Whole grain bread and oatmeal have the lowest resistant starch, 0.5 grams for bread, and 0.7 grams for oatmeal.

Resistant starches are natural fat-burners, which increases satiety, and diminishes hunger. It’s also bulky, so it takes up more space in your digestive system. Because it’s not digested or absorbed, the starch never enters your bloodstream. That means it bypasses the fate of most carbohydrates, which may get tucked away as body fat.

As of 2010, there are no dietary recommendations for resistant starch consumption, although it’s suggested to consume 4 grams daily, eaten cool or at room temperature. Chilled potato salad and potato soup, and frozen bananas are just a few examples.

Until Next Time!

Stay Sweet and Be Beautiful!


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