How Do You Know If You’re Carbohydrate Intolerant?
We’ve often heard how people with autoimmune diseases like lactose and gluten intolerance have to consumer specific kinds of food to avoid eating anything that contains lactose or gluten. But how about if you’re carbohydrate intolerant? Does a disease like that even exist? Here’s what the health experts would like you to know.
The Gray Area
According to the health expert Dr. Lipman, it’s quite difficult to diagnose carbohydrate intolerance since it usually refers to the number of carbs one person can take based on his or her metabolism. Based from his experience as a doctor, he’d seen the growing number of patients who limit their food intake on sugary foods and carbohydrates due to health and weight gain issues.
They’ve switched to eating whole grain products like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and fresh fruits. Yet their efforts have been futile, and they are still overweight. He also noticed a surge of fatigue, cravings, and light-headedness in his patients. While his other clients were skinny, they still have abnormally high levels of blood sugar. This concern brought a robust debate in the nutrition industry.
Other health experts suspect some patients develop an intolerance to carbohydrates due to a combination of factors like a sedentary lifestyle, chronic stress, lack of sleep, decades of eating processed foods, relying on medication too much and even consuming too much healthy food.
These unhealthy factors lower your tolerance for carbohydrates, which causes your blood sugar to remain elevated more than what your cells can handle. It ultimately triggers insulin resistance, which increases your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer.
How to Determine If You’re Carb-Intolerant?
Simply answer the questions below with a simple Yes or No to determine whether you’re tolerant or intolerant to eating carbohydrates.
- Are you overweight?
- Do you feel sleepy or fatigued most of the time, especially after eating a heavy carb meal?
- Is your appetite out of control?
- Do you live a sedentary lifestyle?
- Do you always crave starchy and sweet foods like bread, potatoes, pasta, and beans?
- Do you feel dizzy or lightheaded when hungry?
- Are you struggling with anxiety, depression, skin and joint pains, hormonal issues, or sleeping problems?
- If you recently had a blood work test, the health experts recommend you to look at your hemoglobin A1C levels. Is the number still above 5.5 even if you already clear many sugary and starchy foods in your diet?
If you’ve answered yes to most of the questions above, Dr. Lipman recommends you cut all grains, legumes, and starchy foods in your diet like beans, peas, carrots, potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, yams, and fruit for 14 days.
This includes sugary foods like agave, honey, maple syrup, as well as packaged sweetened drinks. On day 15, revisit question number 2,5,6, and 8. If you’ve experienced the symptoms listed above after your diet change, then you’ve discovered you may be carbohydrate intolerant.
What Should I Do Now?
If you’ve discovered you’re carb-intolerant, Dr. Lipman advises you to undergo a low-carb diet since it helps you lose weight, improve your blood sugar, suppress your sugar cravings and hunger. You can follow the advice below to live a healthy, less-carb dependent diet.
Cut off sugar and refined carbohydrates in your diet while increasing the amount of cruciferous and leafy vegetables in your meal. You also need to lessen your intake of complex carbs like beans, grains, legumes, and quinoa. It’s recommended to only take 2-3 portions of complex carbs per week.
- Eat more healthy fats in your diet like avocados, nuts, hummus and even incorporate olive oil when cooking.
- Limit your eating and drinking of dairy products as they’re loaded with carbs.
- Eat fresh or frozen fruits that are low with sugar and carbs like berries, citrus fruits, and green apples. It’s recommended to only eat them 2-3 times per week.
- Limit your alcohol intake as well since they’re loaded with carbs. No to beer. Choose the lowest-carb options like whiskey, vodka, and tequila. Also, avoid drinking sweet drinks and mixers since they contain crazy amounts of sugar.
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