Unlike proteins and fat most carbohydrates have a pronounced and easily recognizable taste. Fruits (fructose), malt (maltose), beets and cane (sucrose), milk (galactose and lactose) - having felt their sweetness on the tongue, our ancestors stuffed more fruits, roots and grains into their mouths. Sweet means edible, pleasant, and after it you will surely feel a surge of strength.
And all because, translated into biochemistry language, the most important function of carbohydrates is to promptly provide the body with energy (1 g contains 4 kcal). Carbohydrate fuel - glycogen - is stored in the liver and muscles in a small amount (250-450 g depending on body weight) and is continuously spent on current needs: maintaining the heartbeat, the lungs, muscles, digestive tract. And for the nervous system, glucose is the only source of energy.
If you stop the regular supply of carbohydrates with food, their reserve will melt in 12 hours. By the way, hence the famous advice of fitness trainers: if you want to lose weight - exercise in the morning on an empty stomach. After eight to nine hours of sleep, carbohydrates in the blood are almost nil, and you quickly switch to burning fatty tissue to provide yourself with energy during exercise.
The amount of glucose in the blood is the main reference point for all internal systems, a kind of compass. If its level falls (more than four hours have passed since the last meal), we feel hunger, weakness, and sometimes dizziness.
Excess blood sugar (for example, after you have eaten a whole cake at once) also does not bring any benefit - it damages the vessels and organs. Therefore, the body urgently transforms excess glucose into fat, which is why we gain weight. The problem is that our brain still obeys the ancient instinct: the more sugar, the better. During the sweet gluttony there is a release of the hormone of pleasure - dopamine. Thanks to him, the sweet tooth has the same feelings as drug addicts. First, a wave of good mood and drive, then, when the level of a drug (sugar) in the blood decreases sharply, fatigue, anxiety and withdrawal symptoms appear - the desire to immediately receive another dose. Moreover, the more often we abuse delicacies, the weaker the brain reacts to them and inexorably demands to increase portions.
As a result, today the level of sugar consumption throughout the world is several times higher than the permissible norms - six teaspoons for women and nine for men. For comparison: each resident of the United States consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar per day.
The first English physiologist and nutritionist John Yudkin (1910-1995) spoke first about the danger of such a tendency in the 1950s. In the book “Clean, White and Deadly,” he, relying on his scientific research in different countries, stated that for the most part it is excess sugar, not fats, that destroys the vessels of the heart and brain, leads to atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes and cancer. In modern conditions, an abundance of sweet food (in low-fat products, by the way, fat is also compensated for by sugar) and ubiquitous physical inactivity, this increasingly takes the form of dependence akin to cocaine.
Canadian David Jenkins, a professor at the Department of Nutrition, University of Toronto, devoted his life to studying the effect of different foods on blood glucose levels. As a result, he created the theory of the glycemic index (GI), and nutritionist Michel Montignac and cardiologist Arthur Agatson, author "South Beach Diets", popularized it in their food systems.
The essence is simple: the more sugar in the product, the faster it is absorbed into the blood and thereby destabilizes glucose levels. Such food is called high glycemic (GI above 70 points). These are, for example, sweet fruits, industrial baked goods, ice cream, syrups, sweets, flour products of the highest and first grade, white rice and sweet soda.
Nutritionists recommend replacing them with low-glycemic index foods (less than 55), such as whole grains and wholemeal bran, legumes, and vegetables. These products contain complex sugars and alimentary fiber (fiber). Complex sugars are slowly broken down, and dietary fiber is not digested at all and even prevent the absorption of simple sugars. All this provides a long-lasting feeling of satiety and reduces craving for sweets and flour.
How to avoid carbohydrate dependence
Here are a few rules that will help avoid carbohydrate dependence.
1. Make sure to carbohydrate food did not exceed 40-60 percent of the daily caloric intake, and try to choose products that are more substantial in terms of vitamins and microelements: fruit instead of refined sugar, whole-grain bread instead of white bread made from refined flour of the highest and first grade. Replace the cleaned cereals with wholegrain - for example, brown rice instead of white.
2. Read the labels. Avoid ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup; maltose, maltitol syrup, maltodextrin; granulated sugar, powdered sugar; molasses, molasses, malt. These substances provoke glucose surges in the blood.
3. Carbohydrates break down more slowly if you combine them with protein food, and proteins in the company of complex carbohydrates, on the contrary, are better absorbed. So meat, fish and cottage cheese should be served along with fresh vegetable or fruit salads. Fill them with a few drops of unrefined olive, linseed or rapeseed oil - the fat inhibits the absorption of carbohydrates, which means that the feeling of satiety will last longer.