Let’s talk about carbs because they do get a bad rap and they’re often the first to go when we think about a macronutrient group.
Oftentimes people know that protein is really good for us and that we need healthy fats, but carbs are something that can get the boot quickly. And while we can technically sustain life with no carbs— there is a cost to that.
There’s always a cost when you cut out an entire macronutrient group.
Carbs are important because they help support a lot of different processes in our bodies. They support liver detoxification, thyroid function, muscle recovery, brain function, and hormonal health and they play a big role in the menstrual cycle and also metabolism.
At a very basic level, carbs turn into glucose and glucose is how our cells make energy. This is human physiology in that our cells need glucose to make energy and our body needs the energy to run.
These are some things to just consider in shifting your mindset with carbs.
When our body doesn’t have glucose it can make its own energy source. However, that takes stress hormones via a process called gluconeogenesis, which has a damaging effect on your body over time. This process is going to cost you in the long run.
There are a lot of different diets that cut carbs out I’ve seen over the years in the holistic health world like more of a carnivore diet or a keto diet. This goes back to that extreme mentality, which I talked about in episode 7 of the podcast.
Cutting out carbs might have benefits for a short amount of time and for a specific reason.
However, the problem is when we experience those types of benefits, we sort of just want to keep going. We forget that we’re circumventing the system and again, you can circumvent the system for a little bit, but over time you’re going to really start to see ripple effects from that decision.
How do carbs work in our body for different processes?
Our body requires glucose for energy to enable the growth and repair of tissues and thus carbs can aid in muscle growth and recovery.
Carbohydrates also play a big role in the metabolism, maintaining body temperature and fueling our daily activities, of course, which would be like digesting food. So in turn, fueling your body right can play a big role in your gut health.
Our thyroid is super dependent on glucose for energy and carbs are a huge way that we help our thyroid thrive and the ways that it wants to. Our thyroid converts inactive to active thyroid hormone so that we can do everything it needs to do in our body. And so that process is decreased when we don’t have the right fuel source.
Liver function is a really big one when you think about glucose because our liver requires glucose to properly detox. When we don’t have enough glucose, we can have a sluggish liver, and this results in a lot of different things. The amount of information that I’ve learned about the liver and the number of times that I’ve seen somebody’s liver struggling and sluggish is a lot in the last few years. It’s just kind of amazing how so many things are linked to a sluggish liver!
In turn, if your liver is sluggish, a lot of times you’re going to have hormonal imbalances because you have a backup of estrogen. If our liver isn’t working like it needs to and performing optimally, the services that it provides us are going to get backed up. If you have excess estrogen you can have endotoxin buildup because we’re just not getting that phase one, two, and three detoxification occurring properly in our body.
So what carbs are best?
Naturally occurring carbohydrates are the best! These are things like fruit, which is incredibly good for us, especially as women.
Fruit is easily digested and is a great source of mineral and nutrient-rich carbohydrates.
.Honey, dates, coconuts, sugar, and real maple syrup can also be part of a well-rounded diet. Root vegetables are also very nutrient dense and a great source of carbs.
13:41 Because that can be something that sort of deters people. Maybe they’re not eating any. Carbs but then they go to eating a lot of carbs and they have a lot of weight gain or they have a lot of blood sugar instability or something you know drastic and they’re like oh I need to go back to not eating any
Overall when you think about carbs, there’s definitely a not-so-great way to do it and there’s a more supportive way to do it.
I’ll leave you with three things to keep in mind when you think about adding carbs back in or just making sure you’re getting enough carbs.
- Go slow. If you have been low carb for a while you’ll need to slowly add them in. Easily digestible carbs like fruits and root veggies are usually best. Then trying sourdough bread and rice as your digestion can tolerate it!
- ALWAYS pair your carbohydrates with a protein. This is going to reduce blood sugar instability.
- Trial and error. The ratios your body needs may be different. I find most women do well with 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein. Going from low carb to 40% carb can be challenging. Try seeing where you are at by tracking what you eat for a few days and looking at the ratios of carb/fat/protein.
The bottom line, food is meant to be enjoyed and used as fuel for our bodies. Let’s get back to keeping it simple and enjoying whole foods again, as God made them!
Hey there, I’m Kari!
As a Pharmacist and Integrative Health Practitioner, I get the privilege of working with women who are struggling with fatigue, poor sleep, painful cycles, digestive issues, and irritability- all of which have become their norm. And they are struggling just to keep up, simply wanting their health back.
I know what it’s like to feel frustrated and left with the same issues, even after spending time, energy & money thinking I’d found the answer.
With the right support, a proven method, and the Lord as our guide, let’s get your health back so you can run the race set before you with perseverance and joy.
So thankful you found your way here!