- "Oh, no! Not the Carbs!"
- WOWY Update
- Submit your Success Story on Video!
- 2004 Hollywood
- 2003 Beachbody
"Oh, no! Not the Carbs! Anything but the Carbs!"
Denis Faye breaks down the nutritional "Evil Empire," but are
they really evil?
Whether it's the
low-carb beer you can sip at your local watering hole, or Monica and Rachel
slinging Atkins quips on the latest episode of Friends, carbohydrates
are the new "bad guy" du jour. Fast food joints are offering "protein
style" bunless burgers. KFC's latest ad campaign features a skinny dude
chomping on fried chicken, implying that a 470 calorie, 28 g of fat (8 g of
it saturated), 1230 mg of sodium, 0 g of fiber Extra Crispy Chicken Breast
will actually help you lose weightbecause it's low carb. It's getting
Funny thing is,
most people don't even know what a carbohydrate is or what it doeswhich
is sad indeed, considering it's the body's primary source of fuel and a powerful
tool for even the most casual of athletes. Like any food group, carbs should
be eaten in moderation, but they have an important job to do, so let's shed
some light on them. Sit down, set aside that tub of greasy poultry, and let's
take a look at our much-maligned little buddy, the carbohydrate.
At their simplest,
carbs are sugars, most notably glucose. Also known as blood sugar or dextrose,
glucose flows through the bloodstream, where, thanks to the conductor insulin,
it is absorbed by every single cell in your body and converted into energy.
Excessive amounts of carbs are stored as fat, so it's important not to overeat
them. But carb consumption should be directly associated with activity level,
since you burn them quickly whenever you do any level of exercise. Excessive
carb consumption can make you fat and lethargic, but so can excessive protein,
fat, or alcohol consumption. Without enough carbohydrates, your body's ability
to perform, both athletically and mentally, becomes compromised.
Carbs come in several
forms. They can be simple carbs, complex carbs, or fiber, all of which play
important roles in the dietary scheme of things. Let's look at them one by one.
called "sugars," there are six types of simple carbs. Three of them,
the monosaccharides, are carbs at their most basic: glucose, fructose, and galactose.
Glucose, as we
discussed, is the body's primary energy source. If you get too much, it's stored
as glycogen. When your blood sugar is low, your body taps into these glycogen
stores. However, in the event that your glycogen stores are also maxed out,
then the glucose is stored as fat.
Fructose, or fruit
sugar, is the second monosaccharide. Unlike glucose, fructose doesn't go straight
into your system. Instead it passes through the liver, where it is usually turned
into glycogen, or occasionally glucoseand, as is the case with all sugars,
the too-much-turns-to-fat thing still applies. Depending
on who you talk to, or whose scientific report you read, this extra step can
either be a good thing or a bad thing. Some sources insist that it increases
triglycerides, or fat levels, in your blood. Others claim that this extra step
prevents blood sugar levels from spiking.
The third monosaccharide,
the cosmically titled galactose, only occurs naturally in dairy products. Like
fructose, galactose must pass through the liver to be processed.
The other three
simple carbs are the disaccharides, meaning, on a molecular level, that they
are just two monosaccharides pasted together. They are called sucrose, maltose,
The most famous
of these is sucrose, otherwise known as table sugar. It consists of a glucose
molecule and a fructose molecule. When you consume sucrose, the glucose is quickly
digested while, as you may have guessed, the fructose heads for the liver.
In an interesting
aside, it's worth noting that high-fructose corn syrup, another villain in the
world of healthy eating, is actually approximately 50% glucose and 50% fructose,
making it very similar in composition to sucrose. All the hysteria over "HFCS"
may indeed be warranted, insofar as Americans are eating too much of itbut
at the end of the day, too much sugar is too much sugar, whether it's HFCS or
common everyday sucrose.
The second disaccharide
is maltose, which is two glucose molecules bonded together. Later we'll learn
about starch, one of the complex carbohydrates. When starch is broken down,
it turns first to maltose, then glucose.
The final disaccharide
is lactose, which comes from dairy products. Lactose is a combo of glucose and
galactose. Lactose intolerance happens when your stomach doesn't have enough
of the special enzymes needed to separate the two simple sugars.
So there you have
the simple carbohydrates. Let's move on to the complex ones.
carbs are just a bunch of simple carbohydrates bonded together. The fancy name
for them is polysaccharides. Again, there are three kinds: glycogen, starch,
Glycogen, as we
learned earlier, is the way we store glucose for easy access. There's no way
to eat the stuff, so there's really no need to discuss it further.
Starch is the vegetable
answer to glycogenthousands, sometimes millions of glucose molecules bonded
together. Corn, potatoes, yams, rice, and other grains are some of the better-known
starch sources. It's generally believed that complex carbs, because they are
complex, break down more slowly in our system. However, when starch-containing
foods are overly processed, they become a lot more like sugar than starch, meaning
that your body pumps them into your blood more quickly.
way to see this in action is to take a piece of white bread, which is heavily
processed white flour, and put it on your tongue. Notice, after a second, that
the taste becomes sweet. That's the sugars breaking down, right there on your
tongue. Now try it with whole grain bread. It doesn't work the same, does it?
Although the overprocessing
of the starch is partly the reason for this, another reason white bread converts
to sugar so fast is that in the refining process, the wheat is stripped of our
third complex carb, the real key to slowing down the absorption of glucose:
Fiber is the most
complex of the carbohydratesso complex, in fact, that the human body can't
digest it. It just passes right through. There are two kinds of fiber: soluble
and insoluble. Soluble fiber turns to a gel on your insides and actually soaks
up cholesterol. You'll find it in oats, beans, carrots, and apple peel. Insoluble
fiber, which shows up in wheat bran and in kidney, pinto, and lima beans, just
goes right through you and is essential in keeping you regular.
While these are
very important functions, for our purposes, both types of fiber do one other
crucial thing: they slow the rate at which your blood absorbs glucose. So for
example, if you eat an apple, the sugar doesn't blast into your system because
the fiber in the skin holds it back. This gives you a steady flow of energy
and reduces the chance of a blood sugar spike, which is great becauseas
we all knowwhen blood has too much sugar in it, it converts the extra
sugar to fat. Also, when your blood gets too much sugar, your pancreas generates
extra insulinwhich, once it's dealt with the sugar, will have nothing
to do except cause you to crave more sugar, which you really don't need.
Fats and proteins
also slow the absorption of glucose into the blood. With this in mind, Canadian
scientists came up with something called the glycemic index (GI), a scale of
how fast the sugar in carbohydrate foods enters your body. Foods that are mostly
carbs with little or no fiber, protein, or fat, such as white bread, rush into
your blood. These foods earn higher ratings on the glycemic index. Foods with
a slower absorption rate earn a lower rating. The trick is to create a diet
that is rich in low-rated foods. When you eat higher-rated foods, make sure
to mix them with lower-rated foods, to slow absorption.
Of course, there
are times when a blood sugar rush is a good thing. For example, if you're bonking,
or running out of blood sugar while being active, you need to recharge fast.
Since your glucose and glycogen are low to empty at this point, a sugar spike
isn't going to provide enough glucose to create fat. This is when a banana or
a sports drink like Gatorade® comes in handy.
You can also take
advantage of low blood sugar with a recovery snack that is 4 parts carbs to
1 part protein. The carbs will rush into your system, replenishing your glycogen
stores, and the small amount of protein will piggyback with them, heading right
to the muscles and beginning resynthesis. Oatmeal and fruit juice with protein
powder are good examples of 4 to 1 snacks.
to remember that the GI rating shouldn't be a primary factor in food choice.
Just because a food doesn't rate high on the index doesn't mean it's good for
you. Both Coke and peanut M&Ms have acceptable ratings. Coke's carbonation
hampers digestion, lowering the GI, but it's loaded with empty calories and
has no nutritional value, so there's no point in drinking it. M&Ms have
all that fat from the chocolate and peanuts slow things down, but they too have
little nutritional value and they're full of saturated fat. When you're operating
on a calorie deficit, you need to make every calorie count. These foods count
glycemic index is relatively new to the world of nutrition. While it was founded
on solid science, research is still being conducted as to its validity for weight
loss. However, when used in conjunction with fiber intake, the case becomes
much stronger, as there is more and more research indicating the benefits of
Simply put, carbohydrates
are fuel. If abused, yes, they can be evil, but so can proteins and fats. If
eaten properly, they will increase the energy you have throughout the day and
during your workouts. A meal filled with lean protein and fiber-rich
carbohydrates will help create a healthier you in ways that KFC never, ever
The New Glucose
Revolution Complete Guide to Glycemic Index Values by Jennie Brand-Miller,
Kaye Foster-Powell, Susanna Holt, and Johanna Burani
Carbs, Bad Carbs: An Indispensable Guide to Eating the Right Carbs for Losing
Weight and Optimum Health by Johanna Burani and Linda Rao
Update from Carl Daikeler: The engineering team has added two new features to
1. Now you can
add a photo to your WOWY membership. So upload your photo and be seen while
2. Kick it in the
WOWY locker room. When you finish your WOWY session, you'll find messages from
the people you worked out with, saying "Good job" or "See you
same time tomorrow!" I don't know about you, but when I used to go to the
gym I never spoke to anyone, either on my way in or on my way out. Now we can
all support each other and give the salute for Pushing Play. Check it out after
your next WOWY
your Success Story on video!
Start now and document your journey...
In addition to
accepting your Success Story photos, we are now adding the extra benefit of
accepting videotape submissions.
While a video submission
won't replace the need for a photo submission, it'll give you an extra opportunity
to show us live and in person how your success has changed your life. Start
documenting your journey now! Move over, Coppola!
your Slim in 6® Success Story in Hollywood with Debbie Siebers! On
July 1723 we will be filming the new Slim in 6 television show in Hollywood,
CA. You could be invited!
If you've had success
transforming your body with a Slim in 6 product and feel that you can motivate
others to take action and change their lives, we'd love to hear from you! You
could be invited to an all-expenses-paid trip for two to be in the next Slim
in 6 television show!
This year's search
for Slim in 6 and Slim Series Success Stories begins now and
ends June 15, 2004.
Slim in 6? No worries. That's the beauty of Slim in 6it
doesn't take long to achieve dramatic results. Just be sure to submit your story
and photos by the June 15th deadline.
For more information,