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Is there a carb toleance spectrum?

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  • Is there a carb toleance spectrum?

    I am of the opinion that there are some people who can tolerate more carbs than others. This comes from Taubes, who writes about the VLC test diets, wherein some of the subjects could not even eat carbs from vegetables without gaining weight.As well as my own process where I have found that I need to eat VLC about 80% of the time just to maintain , & it seems that the whole spectrum exists here in the forums (admittedly I may be subject to the naturalistic fallacy here). Thoughts? Research?
    Notebook of a Nutrition Nerd

    ‘THE FOOD YOU EAT CAN BE THE SAFEST AND MOST POWERFUL FORM OF MEDICINE OR THE SLOWEST RELEASING POISON' - Dr Ann Wigmore.

  • #2
    Just from experience I can say I am in the crowd that can definitely tolerate more carbs. I actually feel mucb better doing around 50-100g a day. This however, is all relative, as there seem to be more and more people on here looking to lose weight, so a minimum of 50g would be outrageous to them.

    Are you looking to lose weight? I am in the maintenance crowd, and never came to PB with the intent of weight loss.
    I don't own a scale and don't care to!

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    • #3
      I agree that there is probably a broad spectrum here.

      I definitely lose fat when I am vlc and NO sugar/chocolate (under 30 net carbs).

      I easily maintain from 30-60 net carbs, with minimal sugar/ chocolate.
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      • #4
        I am really interested to read the replies here. I have not been counting/limiting carb intake and have been steadily losing weight. I am sometimes a little surprised when I see how strict/low carb some people need to be to lose weight.

        However, I do wonder if it has to do with how overweight a person is. I have gone from fat to average sized. I wonder if I will need to get lower carb to go from average to very lean?
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

        http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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        • #5
          If you're not metabolically deranged, it's probably not that big of a deal.



          Commentary from Dr. Mike Eades:
          At about the 40:00 point on the video, he discussed a few papers showing that people who are insulin sensitive actually do better on high-carb diets than they do on low-carb diets, whereas those who are insulin resistant do just the opposite.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jammies View Post
            However, I do wonder if it has to do with how overweight a person is. I have gone from fat to average sized. I wonder if I will need to get lower carb to go from average to very lean?
            I'm convinced the first order effect (the 20% effort to get 80% of the results) is all about insulin: response and sensitivity. The closer one gets to metabolic syndrome, the harder it may be to reverse it and get it all under control. But, there's no avoiding it.

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            • #7
              I started tracking my food in FitDay just out of curiosity and then I realized it could become unhealthy for me. I don't care a whole ton about losing weight, although I've lost about 10 pounds in the last couple of months without trying. The more I deduce this to a numbers game the more I will stress about it and deny myself things--such as food right before bed even if I'm really hungry, for example. I think exposure to all the VLC stuff here does impact my thinking subconsciously enough, so FitDay is just a cumbersome chore that will make me think I SHOULD be VLC even though I feel and look better doing low to moderate carbs. If I hadn't ever done a bit of FitDay toggling I'm sure I wouldn't even know my approximate carb intake.
              I don't own a scale and don't care to!

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              • #8
                I've also noticed that there seems to be a wide range of carb tolerance.

                For me, the most interesting question is why. I'm really not sure if it is something inborn, like lactose tolerance, or more a result of different levels of metabolic derangement from varying exposure and sensitivity to fructose, gluten, etc. And of course, physical activity (and its metabolic effects) is a huge variable here too.

                Another thing to keep in mind is carbs as a total percentage of energy expenditure. I'm a smallish lady who needs about 2000 calories a day. If I eat 100 grams of carbohydrates, that's 20% of my energy intake. If a big dude who needs 3000 calories a day eats 100 grams of carbohydrates, that's only 13% of his energy intake.

                Ultimately, I think that a more accurate carbohydrate curve would need to take these variables into account. But, in the meantime, the most practical thing to do is just tweak your individual diet until you find your sweet spot, and keep in mind that it might change over time.
                The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by js290 View Post
                  I'm convinced the first order effect (the 20% effort to get 80% of the results) is all about insulin: response and sensitivity. The closer one gets to metabolic syndrome, the harder it may be to reverse it and get it all under control. But, there's no avoiding it.
                  Ah! I think you two might be on to something. Maybe what is happening is that when one first goes PB your body is healing its insulin resistance, & in doing so requires fewer carbs. Once you have reestablished insulin sensitivity your body will tolerate more carbs, though of course still in the PB range. The questions I still have are:
                  How long does your body take to reset insulin sensitivity?
                  How do you know when you have reset it?
                  Also I wonder if even after sensitivity is reestablished the continues to be a carb tolerance range.

                  This also supports the insulin resistance/carb intolerence theory.

                  Also, can you define metabolically deranged? Thanks for the video!
                  Last edited by me2; 02-25-2011, 05:07 PM.
                  Notebook of a Nutrition Nerd

                  ‘THE FOOD YOU EAT CAN BE THE SAFEST AND MOST POWERFUL FORM OF MEDICINE OR THE SLOWEST RELEASING POISON' - Dr Ann Wigmore.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by me2 View Post
                    How long does your body take to reset insulin sensitivity?
                    How do you know when you have reset it?
                    That probably varies with each person. The first step is definitely converting from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism. There's also various blood tests that can help.

                    Originally posted by me2 View Post
                    Also, can you define metabolically deranged?
                    Metabolic syndrome.

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                    • #11
                      My husband, who has always been slim and active, can tolerate a lot more carbs than I. He can do about 100-130 carbs per day and stay perfectly healthy.

                      On the other hand, I'm overweight, and until recently, I've been mostly sedentary due to ongoing poor health and an insanely stressful career, so I can't go above 60 carbs per day without gaining weight.

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