The Connection Between Simple Carbohydrates and Obesity - Facts Revealed

Carbs and Obesity

The Sciences Behind Carbohydrates for Optimal Health

Glycemic index is a measure of how fast the body absorbs carbohydrates and increases blood sugar. Foods high in simple sugars enter the bloodstream quickly and cause an intense insulin response. This reduces blood sugar quickly and triggers hunger within a few hours. Low glycemic index foods are absorbed more slowly because they are higher in fiber, fats and proteins.

They cause lower but more prolonged increases in blood sugar and insulin. University of Tennessee researchers found that mice fed a high-fat diet and complex carbohydrates gained less fat than rats fed identical diets with simple carbohydrates. Eat low glycemic index foods- including plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains- when you need energy for prolonged exercise or to prevent hunger.

Ingest high glycemic foods after exercise when you're trying to replenish carbohydrate stores depleted during exercise. Post-exercise carb feeding helps speed movement of amino acids into muscle cells and promotes muscle hypertrophy. Glycemic index is an important tool for serious bodybuilders.


More than 30 percent of Americans are obese. Poor diet and lack of exercise kills 400,000 people per year and will soon overtake smoking as the leading causes of preventable death. Few people want to be fat, but more than 90 percent of people who attempt to lose weight are unsuccessful. Drug therapies haven't worked, either. The body maintains a weight set-point. During weight loss, appetite increases and metabolic rate slows, which promotes weight gain. Sibutramine (Meridia) and orlistat (Xenical) are the only drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration for weight loss. Both cause some weight loss (about 15 pounds in six months) but can have unpleasant side effects. A new drug called Acomplia produced by Sanofi-Aventis helped people lose about 16 pounds in a year, which is comparable to the currently approved drugs. The FDA banned supplements containing ephedra last year, even though they helped people lose weight with few side effects. Other promising weight loss drugs include metformin, bupropion, topiramate, and zonisamide. The challenge is to develop effective weight loss drugs that have minimal side effects.

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