• 14/07/2024 11:00

Women need carbohydrates: how to prevent them from causing havoc in the body

Recently, people have gradually begun to understand that they do not have to exclude carbohydrates from their diet. It used to be fashionable to go on a low-carb diet. But gradually a more correct approach is coming: variety and balance of nutrition is your key to health. Phoebe Lapine, author of The Health Project and SIBO: Make It Easy, recently spoke about the importance of carbohydrates for women.

ContentThe importance of carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are not the enemy, especially for women How to enjoy carbohydrates without sudden spikes in blood sugar Add a carbohydrate companion to diet Don't drink your sugar Synchronize your carbohydrate intake with your menstrual cycle Relieve stress during dinner Eat complex carbohydrates

She herself went from hating to loving carbohydrates. WomanEL will share her advice, based on personal experience, so that you and your body are fine.

What is the importance of carbohydrates: carbohydrates are not the enemy, especially for women

While many diseases are caused by chronically high glucose or insulin levels, extremely low-carb approaches can also cause problems.

Studies have shown that ultra-low carbohydrate intake can increase levels of cortisol, our main stress hormone. In women, cutting back on carbohydrates and keeping them low for too long can trigger symptoms of adrenal fatigue or HPA axis dysregulation, such as trouble sleeping, difficulty getting up in the morning, poor circulation, or thyroid dysfunction.

We need carbohydrates to produce thyroid hormones and convert them into their active form. Phoebe Lapin found that especially for those of us who already suffer from hypothyroidism or Hashimoto's disease, suddenly changing our carbohydrate intake can make our thyroid gland even more sluggish. And this will lead to even greater weight gain and fatigue.

Restricting food can also signal the body that it is time to turn off sex hormones. This can manifest itself as changes in the menstrual cycle, causing some women to stop menstruating or not ovulate. For this and other reasons, most doctors do not recommend ultra-low-carb diets for women trying to conceive.

How to Enjoy Carbohydrates Without Blood Sugar Spikes

Oatmeal is considered a complex carbohydrate with health benefits, Source: freepik.com

These tips will help prevent wild swings in your blood sugar while still allowing you to include grains and starchy foods in a balanced diet. There's even room for dessert.

Add a Carbohydrate Companion to Your Diet

Generally, one of the easiest ways to prevent refined carbohydrates like white rice and pasta from quickly breaking down and flooding your bloodstream with glucose is to switch back to other macronutrients.

Both fat and protein slow down stomach emptying. This means they help carbohydrates from your food reach the small intestine and be absorbed more slowly.

You can think of the intestinal wall as a fine sieve. If you pour a glass of apple juice through it, the liquid will pass through easily and leave no residue. But what if you added some applesauce first? Well, the skins and seeds clog the mesh and any added liquid takes longer to pass through. The result is a slow drip in the bowl instead of a smooth flow.

Don't drink your sugar

After all, drinking sugar is much worse than eating it. You're much more likely to drink a bottle of juice (or smoothie) in a fraction of the time it takes you to eat a bowl of cereal. This means that its sugars enter the bloodstream much faster.

Synchronize your carb intake with your menstrual cycle

Since moderate blood sugar levels are controlled by the hormone insulin, they can be affected by any other hormonal changes in the body. And for women, these changes occur several times a month. We need to eat slightly differently during our 4 different cycles to maximize our body's ability to process estrogen, increase progesterone levels, and keep all other hormones in check.

Focusing on healthy fats and proteins can restore energy during your period. Even if you are used to easing any discomfort with a heating pad and a box of chocolates, sweets will only make the condition worse.

During the luteal phase, the day before your period, blood sugar levels will naturally be at their highest and most unstable. For now, it's important to stick to liver-supporting foods—beets, leafy greens, fresh greens—which can help flush out excess hormones faster. Any sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause your blood sugar to spike even more than usual at other times of the month.

Relieve stress during dinner

When you are experiencing physical or emotional stress , your essential “fight or flight” hormones are released into the bloodstream. As a result, blood pressure increases, heart rate increases and blood sugar levels rise.

This is why regular practice of calming the nervous system is so important for overall carbohydrate tolerance, especially for women. Because cortisol has a cascading effect on our entire hormonal system.

Try taking a few deep belly breaths before sitting down to eat to shift into rest and digest mode. Before you get started, saying a few things you're grateful for will also help set the stage.

Eat complex carbohydrates

In general, whole foods are always better for your levels. blood sugar than processed foods. Classic oats take longer to turn into glucose than instant oats, and certainly longer than oat milk. Of course, we often choose processed foods for reasons of convenience. But choosing whole foods “slow carbs” instead can make a huge difference.

To keep your hormones in order, eat a healthy breakfast. Here are the best recommendations from an endocrinologist.

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