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  • carbs + fat

    This might turn out to be a roundabout question, because I want a lot of details to explain how this works.

    Eating carbs raises blood sugar, yes. A potato is a starch and not a sugar, so it takes longer to break down into glucose in the gut, right? But then diabetes doctors tell me that high fat mixed with carbs makes that process take even longer, which seems to be true for me based on my blood sugar measurements. It's good because it lowers what would otherwise be a blood sugar spike, but bad because... why?

    How is it that we are told not to mix high carb sources with high fat sources? I've read how it's addictive (like cake: sugar + fat = sooo addictive) which makes perfect sense to me neurologically. But what about metabolically? Is it so bad to eat a big baked potato and a steak? Or is that not really considered high enough carb to matter? Is this just CW drivel, or is there science supporting the idea that we should keep carbs separate from fat?

    The carbs + fat blend is often blamed for weight gain. Is there merit to this claim? Or am I mixing up my primal knowledge with CW knowledge?
    Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

    2012 Goals:
    Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
    More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
    LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
    Play more!

  • #2
    Insulin acts to transport the fat into your fat cells. The sugar spikes your insulin, and there's all this fat available. That's the theory, anyway.

    Gordo

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    • #3
      If you want a potato with your steak, skip the big fluffy baked potato. Instead have a small white potato or half a sweet potato with butter on top. That will cut down the carb count.
      Newcomers: If you haven't read the book, at least read this thread ... and all the links!
      http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread17722.html

      F/49/5'4"
      Jan. 1, 2011: 186.6 lbs PBSW Mar. 1, 2011: 175.8 lbs
      CW: 146.8 lbs
      GW 140 lbs
      A proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

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      • #4
        But if you ate say a potato drowning in butter, wouldn't the butter slow down the glucose conversion quite a bit making insulin not spIke much?
        (not arguing with you at all. I'm just wondering how both of these theories/occurrences exist together.)

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        • #5
          Well, a big potato to me is small to most other people. And I guess I'm referring to sweet potatoes too.

          So when we have a lot of insulin in our blood stream due to eating carbohydrates, our insulin is shoving fat into our cells...but not sugar? or is it working on both?

          I'm not worried about carb counts. I'm usually around 50-70g a day, sometimes much lower. So a potato really is a pretty small one. I'm just wondering how it works, and if there is actually merit to the belief that we shouldn't eat starch with protein/fat. I guess I'm also wondering how both theories exist together...
          Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

          2012 Goals:
          Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
          More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
          LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
          Play more!

          Comment


          • #6
            I think the whole thing is total bunk and I haven't seen any science anywhere to support the "don't mix carbs and fat" idea - I think it's a meme that propogates on message boards only. How else are you supposed to eat carbs while paleo, if every single meal is high fat?

            Whether you eat all carbs, all fat, or a combo, you will be using your meal for energy for the next several hours, and as it digests some of it will get stored as fat, whether the original food was carb or fat is totally irrelevant. The only alternative would be if you are severely glycogen depleted, the carbs will go straight to muscles and liver stores. The thing about keeping your insulin low is for when you are NOT immediately post-meal, you want those fat stores popping readily out of the adipose tissue. Exercise hard, moderate your carbs, and that will happen anyhow.
            If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tfarny View Post
              How else are you supposed to eat carbs while paleo, if every single meal is high fat?
              Thanks! I think that was the real underlying question I was getting at. I can't eat JUST a potato because I'll be hungry again in an hour and would probably just rip some fat off a steak.

              But as far as keeping insulin low in the following hours...if high fat slows the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, wouldn't that keep insulin slightly elevated over the hours post-meal that the glucose is getting absorbed? Or is the "slight" elevation still low enough that it wouldn't make much difference?
              Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

              2012 Goals:
              Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
              More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
              LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
              Play more!

              Comment


              • #8
                The Perfect Health Diet website has a series of articles about the "Dangers of Zero-Carb Diets I-IV" that might interest you:
                Dangers of Zero-Carb Diets, I: Can There Be a Carbohydrate Deficiency? | Perfect Health Diet

                For years now the majority of my carbs were coming from fruit, although I was still "low-carb". I've now cut back on fruit to reduce fructose intake and started eating some white rice or different potatoes or other root veggies to get some starch daily, while still staying relatively "low-carb" and I've felt great since making this change.

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                • #9
                  @tfarny, I like your signature. I think a lot of this mixing carbs and fat, as well as ratio meme comes from Barry Sears's Zone book. I would guess someone could write a volume of books on how eating different combinations of foods could influence body composition, performance, and health. I'm not sure where you could find works on the subject, well except Sears's books. But I don't really take too much stock in his work.
                  ...how do you look, feel, and perform? -- Robb Wolf

                  My Blog.

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                  • #10
                    Potato + Butter.... longer digestion, lower spike, but long progressive higher insulin/BS....simply, it just means it isnt for post workout and you should have an extended time before your next meal

                    Potato + _____(nothing)....quick processing, higher spike, beneficial to muscles when correct aminos are present, higher swing in BS(more dependent on you pancreas vs your liver)....simply, better for post workout when you want the spike and immediate use of carbs. due to the nature of the spike, quick glucose clearance youre prolly okay eating again relatively soon(i mean like 4-5 hours not an hr later)
                    Get on my Level
                    http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      Cool, Malpaz! That answer makes a lot of sense. And thanks for keeping it simple for me!
                      Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

                      2012 Goals:
                      Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
                      More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
                      LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
                      Play more!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by apple View Post
                        Thanks! I think that was the real underlying question I was getting at. I can't eat JUST a potato because I'll be hungry again in an hour and would probably just rip some fat off a steak.

                        But as far as keeping insulin low in the following hours...if high fat slows the absorption of glucose into the blood stream, wouldn't that keep insulin slightly elevated over the hours post-meal that the glucose is getting absorbed? Or is the "slight" elevation still low enough that it wouldn't make much difference?
                        Insulin goes up all the time - protein will also raise your insulin levels in the short term. What you are after is longer-term sensitivity to the insulin signal, which allows the pancreas to make less - "turn down the volume" of the insulin signal. The sensitivity comes from 1) having some periods of low insulin, such as from fasting or very low carb meals sometimes, and 2) exercise, which over time increases insulin sensitivity of muscles. Does that help explain why I don't think meal composition is very important? I like to think much longer-term as far as hormonal effects go.
                        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes, tfarny, that does help!

                          Although for the record, I can control all my insulin levels since I have to inject it all. But that seems to make it all the more important to understand how it's supposed to work.

                          Gotta exercise more, lol...
                          Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

                          2012 Goals:
                          Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
                          More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
                          LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
                          Play more!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                            The sensitivity comes from 1) having some periods of low insulin, such as from fasting or very low carb meals sometimes, and 2) exercise, which over time increases insulin sensitivity of muscles. Does that help explain why I don't think meal composition is very important? I like to think much longer-term as far as hormonal effects go.
                            Eating VLC actually causes your tissues to become insensitive to insulin, so that any glycogen is spared for your nervous system. That's why you need to bump your carbs up for three days prior to a challenge - otherwise you look like a diabetic. Unless you're trying to lose weight, I wouldn't worry about it. I eat fat and carbs together all the time, although I do keep carbs around 150g/day. Unless your metabolism is out of whack, you'll be fine.

                            Gordo

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                            • #15
                              Oh shit! you are t1 diabetic? Look, I'm no doctor and don't want to be giving out serious advice in a space like this. Just want to make that clear! I think I'm right about what I said, but I am just an interested "hobbyist" in the health game, please don't take my word for this stuff.
                              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

                              Comment

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