After many years of practicing Obesity Medicine, I have found that there is no difference between the one who tends to eat sugary treats versus the ones that prefer salty snacks and starches. Both types are carbohydrate dependent. These types of dietary carbohydrates will release insulin, the hormone responsible for the storage of fat in our body.
So, who is a carboholic?
A carboholic is the individual who will select food made from grains or starchy vegetables over protein or fat. They usually prefer savory or salty food over sweet treats. However, the consumption of these types of carbohydrates will have the same effect in brain and liver as the sweets consumed by sugar addicts.
Before we continue, take this brief quiz and find out if you are a carboholic.
____ I eat potatoes, pasta, rice or bread every day
____ I tend to skip meals
____ I feel relaxed, happy or relieved after eating carbs
____ I cannot limit the amount of carbohydrates I eat
____ I tend to lose weight when I limit the amount of carbs
____ I mainly eat whole grains and non-starchy vegetables
____ I eat a balanced meal three times a day
____ I feel tired, fatigued and sluggish after eating carbs
____ I eat more starches close or during my period
____ I can limit the amount of carbs in my diet
**To get the answers, go to the end of the page.
Individuals eating more starches tend to skip meals, placing their body in starvation mode. Once their blood glucose levels drops, they have to increase the blood sugar level by eating more simple carbohydrates, non-starchy vegetables or grains. The load of glucose into the bloodstream will cause the release of a large amount of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels. It moves glucose (sugar) obtained from the food into the cells. The cells are then able to use the glucose for energy. An excess of glucose not utilized by the cells will be stored as fat. Chronic carbohydrate overload causes an excess of insulin, resulting in increased on body fat storage. This chronic cycle will eventually cause insulin resistance, high blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetes.
Also, simple carbohydrates can have the same effect in the brain as alcohol, nicotine and some illegal drugs. They work in the area of the reward system of the brain, releasing the two neurochemicals dopamine and serotonin. These neurochemicals are responsible for the emotions of reward and addiction. Carboholics are not satisfied until they eat starchy vegetables or grains. They can develop episodes of low blood glucose levels that are corrected by eating more starchy carbohydrates. Weight gain leading to obesity is very common in this group. Obesity is linked to a variety of chronic medical conditions such as elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers.
• Do not skip meals
• Eat a well-balanced diet
• Pre-plan your meals
• Eat more protein with your meals
• Exchange starchy vegetables for non-starchy vegetables
• Eat a snack before eating out (you will be less tempted to pick from the bread or chip basket)
Answer to quiz:
If you have more than 2 answers from Set A, you are a carboholic.
If you have more than 3 answers from Set B, congratulations, you don’t have to worry
If you answer 2 questions from Set A, you could be at risk
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