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Do carbs cause food cravings?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 by: PF Louis
Tags: carbohydrates, obesity, food cravings

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(NaturalNews) Before you get up in arms over that fact that part of our diet should include carbohydrates, or before Paleo diet people shout we told you so, let's qualify this title.

It's about refined carbohydrates, The type many of us have consumed for at least part of our lives while many still do.

Sugar and HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) are put into all types of processed foods, even though many of them are not even meant to be sweet.

It's not only that they are just empty calories lacking nutrition, they create metabolic and biochemical anomalies, cascading into worsened health and a myriad of diseases.

The effort to curb obesity and stem heart disease has focused on reducing fat consumption since the 1970s. Something is apparently very wrong with that.

Corresponding to the decreased fat consumption, sugar and now corn syrup consumption has gone through the stratosphere, permeating almost all processed foods, even appearing, ironically, in low and no fat foods for the diet conscious!

Yet, obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes 2, and non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) have flown off the charts. Could it be refined, processed carbs and not saturated fats are the culprits behind these epidemics?

The burn and crash syndrome of refined carbohydrates

Both sugar (sucrose) and HFCS are used extensively in sodas, which are consumed more than ever before. Both rank high in the glycemic index (GI), which graphs the rapidity and quantity of a food's conversion to glucose.

Beware: Diet sodas and sugarless sweet foods are neurologically damaging trade offs using aspartame, a neurotoxin, as a sugar substitute.

The higher the GI, the more the one feels quickly stimulated, and the more one crashes enough to actually crave more. This occurs without any nutrition or metabolic balance.

Unprocessed whole grains have lower GI ratings than processed grains used in most off the shelf breads and other baked items. Fructose from whole fruits is much less condensed than HFCS additives.

As part of a natural whole food, the conversion to glucose is impeded by the fruit's fiber and is balanced by other nutritive factors.

Science steps into the carb addiction controversy

A very recent study published in the June 26, 2013 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition used 12 overweight but otherwise healthy subjects in a randomized double-blind crossover trial to determine the effects on the brain and hunger from high glycemic index (GI) foods compared to low GI foods.

A crossover trial is usually created when there aren't enough subjects involved to have one-half only treatment and the other half only control (placebo). With the cross-over technique, each subject undergoes treatment and placebo at different times.

This method is used to hopefully dispel notions that trial results occurred by chance and are inconclusive. In addition to observing satiety periods, or how long cravings took to set in, the subjects brains were scanned.

The low glycemic meals enabled more time before feeling the urge to eat, while the time it took to feeling the urge to eat was shorter after eating high GI foods. Four hours after each high GI meal, blood sugar levels were lower than four hours after low GI meals.

What impressed the researchers more was what the brain scans showed. After the high GI meals, the region of the brain associated with reward and craving behavior had increased. This stimulated other areas of the brain associated with the sense of smell.

Boston pediatric endocrinologist David Ludwig, MD, was co-author of this study. He is a crusader for demonstrating refined carbohydrates as the source of over-eating, obesity, and diabetes type 2.

He asserts that removing refined carbohydrates from one's diet alone will lead to less addictive compulsive eating in addition to improving overall health.

Sources for this article include:




Dr. Robert Lustig's incredible live audience lecture - "Sugar: The Bitter Truth":

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