Carbohydrate tolerance is a condition in which, it is difficult to judge what is right and what is wrong. The carbs that work for one person might not be good for others.
There are people, who have stopped consuming sugary foods and exchanged refined carbs for whole grains, yet they are obese and have episodes of tiredness, cravings and foggy head. Sometimes, they may not be overweight, but have excessively high blood sugar. These issues can crop up later in life. The way their bodies respond to diets that otherwise worked for them shifts.
This is a topic of discussion. It could be many factors at play like sedentary and stressful lifestyle, sleep deprivation, consuming processed foods and medicines that change the microbiome. Consuming those healthy-looking breads, beans and bananas also get converted into sugar in the blood.
This lowers the set point for tolerating carbs, so that the levels of blood sugar don’t go back to normal in two hours of eating as expected. Rather they remain elevated, more than what can be handled by the cells, resulting in a chain of effects causing insulin resistance, which is the starting point for high BP, diabetes, heart diseases, obesity, Alzheimer’s and some cancers too. As per the National Diabetes Statistics, half of the Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and many do not know about it.
When you have carb intolerance, you need to pay more attention to what you eat. In a low-carb diet, cut out on sugar and complex carbs. Instead, have lots of starchy vegetables along with a decent amount of fat. In addition, catch your Z’s, repair the gut, and increase your movement. The low-carb diet can be particularly useful in metabolic disorder.
There is also a beneficial method for tracking the personal carb set point, You can use a glucose monitor to assess the effects of crab-containing food on your blood sugar. After about an hour or two, you can understand how body metabolizes starch like beans, potatoes and greens. Incorporate dietary changes, blood work and carb test can help you find your new set point and level of insulin resistance.
You need to answer the following questions to know if you are carbohydrate intolerant:
- Are you obese or overweight?
- Do you feel tired most of the times, particularly after eating a meal high on carbs?
- Do you spend most of the time sitting with no to little movement?
- Do you feel hungry at odd times and your appetite is beyond control?
- Do you often crave for sweets and starchy foods like potatoes, pasta, beans or bread?
- Do you experience dizziness and light headedness when you are hungry?
- Are your blood sugar levels beyond normal?
- Do you have anxiety, depression, brain fog, aches, sleeping problems, joint pain and so on?
If your answer is yes to one or more questions asked above, remove grains, starchy vegetables, legumes and fruits from your diet for at least 2 weeks. After this period weeks, consider questions 2, 5, 6 and 8. If you find changes in your symptoms, you may get to know about your carbohydrate intolerance.
What to Do If I’m Carb Intolerant?
Low-carb diets can help you manage your blood pressure and also aid in weight loss, with fewer cravings for sugar and less bouts of hunger. Skin, digestion and blood sugar, all improve.
Some Suggestions for Diet are Given Below:
- Cut out on sugars and refined carbs. Increase the intake of leafy greens during each meal and decrease the consumption of complex carbs like beans, grains and legumes.
- Also avoid pseudo grains like buckwheat and quinoa. At the max, you can have 2-3 portions of complex carbs a week.
- Be generous with good fats like avocados, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Remove dairy from your diet. It is high in carb.
- Consume fresh or frozen fruits with low sugar content; something like berries, green apples, citrus fruits would do. Have it 2-3 times a week.
- Limit the intake of alcohol. If at all you have to drink, choose low-carb options. Whiskey, tequila and vodka are free of carbs. Do not drink sweetened beverages and mixers that have a lot of sugar.
- Notice how starchy foods affect you.
Your tolerance will depend on how much you exercise, sleep and your stress levels. You need to be aware about these factors and even a doctor won’t be able to advise you better than taking care of these factors.
You may observe that whole-food complex carbs won’t be affecting you, but you must still have them in reasonable amounts. Choose from the low and medium count foods. Around 225 gm a day is the conventional dietary recommendation, but it’s too high. Stay under 100 gm a day.