BG = Blood Glucose
I loathe giving a limit to dietary carbohydrate intake but I get a lot questions regarding this.
Ideal Carb Intake for the Metabolically Challenged
20 to 40 grams daily
(with carb cycling 40 - 80 g on rare days -- to replenish glycogen after full depletion)
Why? This works, for broken metabolism.
Carb intake for those with 'broken metabolism' like myself who used to carry 50 lbs of fat previously require meticulous and vigilant control of dietary carbohydrates and maintenance of basal metabolic rates via exercise. For us, carbs, fructose and omega-6 signal 'INSTANT' hibernation (fat gain, impaired immunity, sdLDL, low HDLs, autoimmunity, poor gut-brain axis). INFLAMMATION.
It is the Winterization v. Over-Summerization concept where our bodies are furtively storing for the winter that never comes. The adipose organ is damaged and continues to believe it is fulminant fat-storage time, not fat-burning time. Prior nephropal: Phat Fat Accumulation versus Mobilization
20 to 40 grams per day is an amount that helps to control insulin, BG (blood glucose) and improves body fat recompositon. Yes -- improves sdLDL (small dense LDL) and Lp(a) as well and allows subcutaneous and visceral fat regression, regression of vascular calcifications (e.g. plaque, hypertension), prevention of senility (Alzheimer's also known as Type 3.0 Diabetes), cancer protection and overall optimal health and lifespan (and an X-image *wink*). Carb cycling (+resistance training/exercise) prevents long-term reduction in basal metabolism as well as maintains enough subcutaneous fat. Under the skin fat, subcutaneous, is brown GLORIOUS fat which provides the youthful, X-image, in all the right places. Without brown fat we can get excessively saggy, droopy, wrinkly skin folds. (also that just takes TIME to tighten up after dramatic weight loss... like 18-24 months... sorry) Intermittent ketosis (intermittent fasting and ketogenic diets) improve insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion. Ketosis is like a cheat... simulates a negative energy balance (as carbs are taken out of the picture). We are built to be ketotic and use the prime fuel of our mammalian systems: fatty acids and ketones. Newbornes are ketotic the first 2 weeks of life as the maternal colostrum and milk are coming in.
What the h*ll are carbs?
Anything your tongue perceives as sweet (including fruit) or starchy.
Use Nutritiondata.com for help. Do note their reported servings sizes which are often not typical. Take into account in the calculations. Fitday.com is good as well I've heard.
Examples of 15 grams of carbs:
--1/3 cup oat bran (i.e. 2 bites and I have a big MOUTH; this raises my BG in 5-10min to 150-180 g/dl. No SH*T)
--palm-size orange, apple, banana (the worst due to starchiness), grapes, CUTEYS
--1/3 cup brown or white rice (doesn't matter they ALL raise BG)
--candy -- 1 bite
--ice cream 1/2 cup (not as huge a BG rise due to fat buffering effect from full cream)
--1 cup of milk (doesn't matter if low fat or full fat)
--1/3 to 1/2 cup juice or reg soda (depends on brand and HFCS content)
--1/3 cup pasta
--1 slice bread (rice bread is worse due to higher density)
--1/2 cup mashed potatoes
BG Mini Curve: Monitoring
Do you have a glucometer? The blood glucose curves for cats are better done than for humans IMHO (see diagram, courtesy of Vetsulin). Consider doing a 'mini curve' examining the effects of dietary carbs and combinations of food and lifestyle effects (exercise, intermittent fasting, STRESS STRESS, sleep deprivation, resistance/weight training, etc). Consider monitoring closely and tightly from 5-15min after food and additionally 30 v. 60 v. 45 v. 60 v. 90 min after food.
Feline 'mini curve'
Remember Ai M's study on carb loading v. fat loading and the insulin effects? Click here: insulin and aging. The same curve can be superimposed for dietary carbohydrates -- blood glucose rises within 5-10 minutes of a carb load. If I consume (depending on the time of the month and how much exercise I'm doing), my sugars can climb and peak to 180 mg/dl easily with 1 cup of rice in less than 10 minutes. And... I generally feel cr*ppy for the rest of the day (flushed, fast heart rate, hypersensitive).
When a diabetic patient has a hypoglycemic reaction (low glucose < 60 mg/dl; signs and symptoms include sweating, hot flash, tremor/shakes, fast heart rate, irritability, anxiety, palpitations, hunger, tunneling vision, headache/migraine), a glucose source will generally start to raise the blood glucoses within 5 to 10 minutes. Usually only medications lower the glucose so significantly (insulin or an oral drug, e.g. glyburide, glipizide, Amaryl). Exercise + medications is a potent combination. Exercise for some individuals is equivalent to 10 to 20 units of insulin.
What are goal glucoses? Why are they elevated in the first place? Adrenal insufficiency (which is associated with reactive hypoglycemia)? Untreated, undiagnosed hypothyroidism? Excessive carb intake? Lack of resistance training? Sarcopenia? Lack of exercise? Sleep deprivation? Excessive mental stress?
Fix these first then consider focusing on BG.
Here is the relationship between HgbA1c and average glucoses (click HERE) -- written by a fan of Dr. Bernstein's , a patient educator and advocate who has an A1c of 4.7% and is a Type 1 diabetes patient himself and medical physician.
Goals stated previously (HERE): HgbA1c < 5.0%
Glucoses > 140 mg/dl are associated with AGEs RAGEs and other glycosylation products and damage, including diabetic complications (kidney, eyes, nerves, brain, blood vessels, erectile dysfunction, hormone dysregulation, endocrine glands, etc).
We are not M&Ms. Don't sugar-coat yourselves.
Ultimate goal for health: as normal as possible (flat curve at 97 mg/dl or lower)
See prior paleo CAC success stories achieved with low carb, high sat fat Paleo or 'Dai-leo'(update Jimmy Moore and Scott have zero plaque): My Paleo Peeps With High HDLs
Mr. Billy E is my HERO! Reversed CHF, chronic kidney disease, Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), dyslipidemia (high TG, low HDLs) and hypertension on low carb, high sat fat Paleo. Click HERE and HERE Look what happened on the way back to the cave.
Control of BG, Insulin, and Leptin
Stephan has articulately enlightened on leptin ( still I just don't completely get it yet... coz I'm a ding-dong). Leptin appears to be the long-term messenger for energy balance, reproduction and control of hunger and certain behaviors...
Excellently expressed and illuminating insulin resources which have helped me in my understandingof the hormone cascades are below. Though I have a CDE, certified diabetes educator 'credential', these broadened my knowledge by a ~milllion-fold... because... I admit *blechVOMIT* I used to be a card-carrying ADA member.
-Dr. Guyenet (Stephan) at WholeHealthSource: Body Set Point series, Paleo Diet series, Low carb diets, Fatty Liver, Visceral Fat, Omega-6/Fructose, Butyrate, etc
-Drs. Mary and Mike Eades: ProteinPower books
-Dr. Harris at PāNu: How to lose weight and Get Started
-Dr. McGuff of Body By Science: Internal Starvation and Especially for Women
Robert McLeod's thoughts on insulin and other hormones are what I have been thinking about for a while and what I have found personally to work for lifestyles. I would agree and concur on all his 13 points.
Entropy Production: Hormone posts by Robert McLeod (I consolidated)
1. Very long and very slow exercise (4+ hrs), typically hiking or cycling in my case. This is a far cry from the type of anaerobic-limit cardio exercise one typically sees recommended, for example, by the American Heart Association. There is a yawning gulf between walking and jogging. I personally approve of anaerobic exercise, such as sprint intervals or plyometrics.
2. Consistently eat carbohydrates at a low enough level that the brain (which prefers glucose over ketones) consumes the entirety of carbohydrates that you eat, leaving the body to burn ketones. This is a slow process.
3. Periodically fast for an extended period of time so that your basal metabolism burns through your glycogen reserve and then begins to mobilize fat. This is not a calorie reduction method, rather you are simply not eating three times a day (on average), and as such having more extremely calories negative and calorie positive periods.
4. Get adequate sleep. GH production spikes during sleep. Try not to eat before bedtime.
5. Fast occasionally, for relatively short durations.
6. Conduct intense exercise. Don't eat before or during your exercise.
7. Control appetite hormones like gherlin by eating regular, satiating meals. By satiating I mean protein, fat, and fibre. Try to avoid snacking.
8. Restrict fructose and alcohol consumption to reasonable levels, day-to-day. 20 g/day of both combined would be a very healthful level, 50 g/day is I think an upper bound for people with healthy livers.
9. Eliminate industrial, refined oils, particularly refined polyunsaturates such as soy and canola oil. Go for fresh and high quality fats, in particular clarified butter, extra-virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, and the fats from animals fed their native diet. Unstable oils should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent them from going rancid, e.g. Omega-3 fish oil capsules. Most industrial oils are deodorized to prevent you from smelling when they go bad.
10. Eat more than just muscle meat from an animal. Have you eaten liver pate or roasted heart lately? Bone broth?
11. Fast occasionally for approximately 24-hours to give your liver a break and restore insulin sensitivity. Many religious groups noted for their good health (i.e. Seventh-day Adventists, Mormons, and the Greek-Orthodox of Crete and Corfu) regularly fast — is the the shared common trait. Fasting and starving are not the same thing, don't conflate the two.
12. Go on elimination dietary trials of the common food allergies: wheat (including barley and rye), cow dairy, legumes, especially soy and peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, and shellfish. Test assays may be insufficient to recognize many of the idiopathic problems (i.e. autoimmunity, neurological disorders) that these types of food may induce. It took me six months wheat-free to get better.
13. Supplement with Vitamin D, on the order of 1000 IU/12 kg of body mass per day. Consider that the recommended doses for infants are 400 IU/day, so if you mass ten-times that of an infant, you need ten-times as much vitamin D; recommended adult doses are a joke. Also consider that you produce about 10,000 IU/ 30 minutes in full-sun. Vitamin D is not a vitamin, it is the precursor material to most of the steroid hormones in your body. When the endocrine (hormone) system has adequate signaling compounds, the whole body works better.
Leptin and Leptin Resistance
Dr. A's post is eye-opening. Mastering Leptin book report (but note her '????'s where I think she politely says wtf)
Factors that shut our brain off to messages like leptin and therefore raise leptin resistance and impair transport of leptin across the blood-brain-barrier are non-paleo foods and lifestyles:
--maternal magnesium deficiency (epigenetic changes in rats)
--dairy fats (?unfermented A1 casein)
--lectins (grains, oats, corn, legumes, soy, peanuts) -- (unsoaked seeds and nuts too -- these are fattening if excessive!)
--screwed up gut-brain axis
--lack of sustained 2-4 hr exercise and/or resistance training
--factors that induce hypertriglyceridemia: omega-3 deficiency, excessive carbohydrate diets, sedentary lifestyle, synthetic hormones (progestins, endocrine disruptors, Teflon, pesticides, bisphenol, etc), estrogen/vitaminD/testosterone/DHEA deficiencies
--deficiency of saturated fatty acids (short- medium- long-chain)
--excess omega-6 and/or deficiency of omega-3
--high cortisol (stress, endurance train/events, poor sleep)
--starvation (excessive intermittent fasting, hypocaloric diets)
--gender (females more affected, esp with all factors listed above)
--genetic programming (epigenetic influences -- stressors: drought, famine, protein-restriction)