This Might Be Why Your Friends Can Eat So Many More Carbs Than You
No, it’s not all in your head. Some people can down three slices of pizza without blinking while just a few bites leave you feeling fatigued, bloated and resentful that your treat day could have just wrecked your entire diet. Not all bodies are created equal when it comes to processing carbs, and we’re here to explain why.
There is such a thing as “carb resistance,” and it goes beyond gluten sensitivities, food allergies and inflammatory issues. Instead, it can have something to with how your body handles insulin. Now, pause before you panic and immediately associate the word “insulin” with “diabetes” because we don’t all have diabetes.
Insulin is what you would call a storage hormone, which means the more storage space (AKA body fat) you have, the more dominant of a role insulin will play in your digestive health. As you consume carbohydrates — especially junky, sugary, highly processed ones — insulin kicks in to help your body handle the load. And the more that reaction occurs, the more your body acclimates rather than remaining sensitive to these blood sugar spikes, which could then lead to insulin resistance. And the more resistant you become to insulin, the more it feels like carbs immediately go to your hips and thighs rather than simply serving as fuel for your body.
So that makes life even more unfair, right? Our fit and lean friends can handle all the pasta their hearts desire because they have lower body fat percentages and those of us with a little more curve have to watch ourselves. Hmph.
There is a silver lining, though: not all carbs are created equal. Fruits and vegetables are predominantly carbohydrates, but their vitamin and mineral contents make them critical components of any healthy diet. Sweet potatoes, oats, brown rice and various whole grains are nutritious complex carbs that won’t throw your insulin levels out of whack. It’s more so the processed, white flour-based baked goods and sugary treats that make life difficult (of course).
So even if you think your body is a carb-hating monster, don’t even begin to try to swear them off entirely because you’ll only be hurting your nutritional intake and morale when it comes to healthy eating. Just pick your carbs wisely, indulge occasionally for your soul and stop comparing yourself to the carbo-loaders around you. Just do you.