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SUNSHINE6442 Posts: 2,259
12/11/13 10:41 A

I agree with RENATARUNS...How much and what kind of carbohydrates you eat matter.

Resistant starches resist digestion in the small intestine so you feel fuller.

Pumpernickel Bread has resistant starch and is a fat burning carb. Rye is also a good choice.....once resistant starch reaches the large colon, it is fermented by bacteria, similar to how fiber is digested, so it does not raise blood sugar levels

Foods with high resistant starch levels along with high fiber content are black beans, northern beans, navy beans, red kidney beans, lentils, split peas, black-eyed peas, brown rice, rolled oats( STEEL CUT OATS are more dense), millet, corn, black rice. Also check out red quinoa, black quinoa and tri-color quinoa which is available at Trader Joe' eating foods high in resistant starch you may lose weight.....beans, barley, or long grained brown rice and wild rice are digested more slowly, and cause a much slower and lower blood sugar rise.

The #1 carb-fighting hormone is insulin.... lower your blood sugar, and boost fat loss. ... the less insulin the more you can lose....

High Fructose Corn Syrup is the #1 worst carb.

15 carbs is usually recommended for a snack...when you eat a snack rich in carbohydrates you may even get hungrier

Carbs are the nutrient that has the most influence over your blood sugar levels...some low carb veggies are asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, romaine, olives, peppers and spinach...low carb fruits are pears, peaches, plums, cherries, apples, kiwi, all kinds of berries. Berries have the least impact on blood sugar.

Some wild rice in your diet may help..... it has less calories than brown rice, fewer carbs than brown rice, more fiber and higher in protein and should fill you up quicker. Rye bread is another good choice as it too digests slowly and the sugars in rye flour are absorbed into your bloodstream much more slowly.

Hope this helps.....

Edited by: SUNSHINE6442 at: 12/11/2013 (10:46)
DPRYER SparkPoints: (3,565)
Fitness Minutes: (6,554)
Posts: 53
12/11/13 10:05 A

agreed RUSSELL_39 I eat the way I do to keep my blood sugar under control. Most people don't need to keep the carbs that low. Even good things like oatmeal spike me so I weigh the benefits with my diet the rest of the day. Sometimes oatmeal is what I really want!! I spike when I eat too many servings of fruit also so I try to limit them while increasing the non starchy vegetables. It is all a balancing act with diabetes. Some days I can eat everything I should and still get a high reading... everything from stress to a little cold can send my blood sugar soaring.

RENATARUNS SparkPoints: (4,367)
Fitness Minutes: (2,155)
Posts: 1,379
12/10/13 10:33 A

Bithoo, I think some of the confusion here might be stemming from people using the word "carbs" a little vaguely, and some more from people hearing the number 252 and thinking that must be insanely high simply because they themselves are eating so much less. Let me clarify at least what I am thinking.

Personally, I think that 65% carbohydrates, while it may be just fine in terms of health, is going to be pretty rough on someone who is on a restricted calorie diet. The reason for that is that if you are eating 65% carbohydrates you are leaving only 35% for protein and fat combined. Many people at a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to everything else, and on reduced calories as well, could have more trouble with hunger than they really need to. You've said this is sometimes a factor for you (and particularly so if you try to go beyond your current maintenance level) so that is one reason it gets noted.

The other thing that caught people's eyes was -- as noted -- the types of carbohydrates you are eating. Personally I eat rather a lot of carbs myself as the nearest thing to a vegan that any omnivore could ever claim to be, and I might even max out the 65% on any given day if fat and protein go lower than usual. I'm not sure. But it's a good amount. What I do do differently is, only about half of those carbohydrate calories are coming from starches and sugars. The rest come from non-starchy vegetables, legumes, and various other odds and ends like the carbohydrates in nuts. It makes a huge difference.

Let me just give you an example. 3 in the afternoon, feeling hungry, have:

150 calories worth of pretzels. Consists of: nothing but starch. Result -- hardly makes a dent in the hungry, and by 4:30 I'm about falling over needing to eat something NOW.

150 calories worth of carrots and hummus. Consists of: some sugar (carrots), some complex carbohydrates (carrots, hummus), some protein (hummus), some fat (hummus). Result -- 15 minutes later not hungry at all, still fine at 4:30, hungry and hoping someone's got dinner started by 5:30.

That's what people are trying to get at and are hoping will help you. Good luck!

12/10/13 8:35 A

The one thing that all successful diets have in common is an abundance of whole vegetables and fruit. Vegan, paleo, primal, vegetarian, Mediterranean and Sparkpeople all recommend eating 8-10 servings of vegetables and fruit every day. More is better as far as whole vegetables and fruit are concerned and one should never be concerned about eating too much.

The kinds of carbohydrates one needs to limit in order to achieve optimal health are the starchy refined ones like crackers, cakes, breads, pasta and cookies, candy, fruit juices and pop.

Everyone's carbohydrate intake is going to be slightly different based on their glucose tolerance. Heck it's even different for an individual based on their exercise routine and activity level on any given day.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/10/13 8:18 A

I have to agree on the range.. If you eat 1550 calories, then 252 is 65% of your diet, and 135 is less than 35 %. The range should be smaller. I eat 2200 calories a day, and SP would have me eat around 275 grams a day +/- 5%.

At 1550 calories a day, 45 % would be 175 grams, and 55% would be 213. Your range should probably be something close to this.. 175-213 or thereabout. I would just aim for 50 % on your tracker, and whatever amount of carbs that is, based on your calories consumed. 135 grams of carbs is 50 % of 1080 calories, so even at 1200 calories, would be low in carbs, if your goal is 50 %.

Like I said also.. I eat around 10-12 % carbs myself, and I eat 10 servings of vegetables/fruit, and I also eat beans, so these carbs are not causing you to overeat on carbs, or a problem at all. I agree with Azulviolet. You can eat a ton of vegetables/fruits/legumes, as well as sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, or brown rice, and stay around 50 % of your diet in carbs. You have an extra 40 % of your calories to eat in carbs, so you will eat higher carb foods, and to a low carber, that may seem like too much. What someone else thinks is the proper number of carbs, shouldn't matter to you. What is the correct amount for YOU is all that matters.

Where you use up carbs a lot is in pasta and bread ( you may want to limit some.. or not ), but most of all in sweets, and empty calories, like the crackers. You may want to clean up your carb selections some, and get a proper range, but other than that, I wouldn't worry what others say.

AZULVIOLETA6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
Posts: 3,293
12/9/13 10:50 P

Strange that Spark is giving you such a huge range. 252 G/day is an ENORMOUS number of carbs. That's the equivilant of fifteen whole-grain waffles.

Yes legumes have carbs, but not that many. You can certainly include them in a low or medium-carb diet with moderation. Yes, vegetables have carbs, but not that many--you can eat a ton of vegetables and maybe a fruit or two a day plus a couple of servings of whole grains and still stay in a moderate-carb range.

I looked at your tracker recently. I saw very few vegetables but crackers, crackers, everywhere. Since you are stuck and wondering what you can do to kick-start more weight loss, eliminating empty calories from high-carb, low nutrition, highly-processed foods like crackers could be an easy switch.

Nobody was suggesting that you try a low or no-carb diet. Rather, we were saying that eating at or near the lower end of your Spark range could make a big difference for you. It could also be a way to stay in the same calorie range but feel much less deprived while at the same time doing some good things for your long-term health, such as consuming more fiber.

I wonder if you are reaching for things that are already prepared or grab-and-go. With a little prep of your own, you can add one salad a day to your diet (do you know about the salad-in-a-jar method?) or a couple of handfuls of chopped veggies to go with your hummus. You could also prep things like hard-boiled eggs to have on hand. Healthier grains like brown rice (has carbs, but also has fiber, nutrients and less salt than a cracker) can also be made ahead of time and frozen in portion-sized servings. Yes, I know that you are too busy, but this is the kind of thing that you can do in less than an hour a week. It is possible to do prep while hanging out with your family, watching TV, etc. This Sunday I spent an hour in my kitchen (actually two half hours) with NPR in the background...I made six salads-in-a-jar, a huge pot of marinara, 4 servings of kale salad and made up an entire lasagne which went into the freezer for later. I also figured out what other ingredients I want to use up this week--in less than 60 minutes.

Like you, I do most of my work from home (plus I teach some evenings), and I find that being in my house an extra 8 hours a day is a real advantage. I can start a soup on my lunch break and let it simmer on low all afternoon. The same with homemade spaghetti sauce, a slow-roasted sweet potato (SUCH a satisfying healthy carb), etc.

Edited by: AZULVIOLETA6 at: 12/10/2013 (01:54)
BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
12/9/13 1:17 P

"If I'm eating within the SP norms, is there still something I should do differently?"

I would say if you're eating within the norms, WELL DONE.

If you are eating within the norms AND are feeling good, losing-or-maintaining your weight, and are happy with your food choices (i.e. not feeling deprived or like you're having to "live on diet foods"), then this is a big WIN.

Now of course we can always look at areas to tweak for improvement in our diets... I would not necessarily say that "less carbs is always an improvement" though (it is for some people but not for all of us!) Instead what you COULD look at is the quality of the carbs you are eating. Do they mostly come from fruit, veg, dairy, WHOLE grains? If so, excellent! Keep on doing that. But, if you find you're getting a good amount of your carbs from added sugar, candy, cake, white flour/refined starches, chips and other junk-snack-foods... you might think about how you could swap out more of the junk/treats/refined carbs for food of a higher quality.

In my opinion, much more important than worrying about the end number of "how many carbs did i consume" is thinking about the overall quality of your food.

I don't think it's appropriate to be telling you that you should aim to do something different than what SPARK suggests - given that this is, after all the SPARK site... ! Unless you have expressed that you are having difficulties with your diet (some people do note that carb-heavy diets seem to lead them to being more prone to bingeing, or experiencing other unwell feelings), I am sure you'll do just fine working within the wide margins given to us by Spark.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/9/13 11:04 A

DPRYER - I eat the same way, and have been off my diabetic meds for 3.5 years now, but what works for us, may not be needed by the OP.

Unless she feels the need to cut carbs, or thinks that too many carbs are causing her to not lose weight, why not stick to her SP ranges?

DPRYER SparkPoints: (3,565)
Fitness Minutes: (6,554)
Posts: 53
12/9/13 10:42 A

I eat low glycemic carbs and keep it about 50-100 a day if possible. I am a diabetic and a wonderful slice of whole wheat bread will spike my blood sugar as high as a cupcake will. So nothing white at all. I also am gluten free (which takes a lot of the high glycemic foods out of the running) I pretty much stick to low carb higher fat diet.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
12/9/13 9:31 A

Bithoo.. actually you can eat 10 servings of veggies/fruit, and I do so while staying under 80 grams a day, sometimes as low as 60 grams.

The problem is, you aren't on low carb, so why do you need to limit carbs? If they aren't a problem for you, why limit them? Even if they are, sometimes just eating lower glycemic carbs can do the trick. Also, the problem is usually certain types of carbs, not all types of carbs, so for most people, they don't need to do any drastic carb cutting.

If you are at a healthy weight, or on your way there, I would just eat the way you are, and be happy that you don't need low carb to achieve success.

The answer to your question is that it varies. Some people thrive on very high carb ( over 300 g ), and for others, 30 grams a day may be too much. The only thing that matters is that the amount you eat works for you.

BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,355)
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Posts: 423
12/9/13 9:16 A

NIRERIN -- that's pretty much what I was thinking: you can't eat fruits and veg (and I eat quite a bit of both) without eating quite a few carbs... So is the issue carbs per se, or starches and sweets (e.g., eat less plain white bread and fewer sodas and more fruits, veg and lean meats) even though that means eating quite a few carbs? If that's the message, then it's loud and clear all over the place...

NIRERIN Posts: 14,249
12/9/13 8:28 A

it's a personal, how it works for you sort of thing. personally i don't bat an eye at being over 300 grams of carbs a day. but i eat pretty close to 2000 cals a day and i eat little to no meat. which means that most of my protein sources are also carbs. i also find that i'm the sort of weirdo who finds carbs more satisfying that protein. in other words, so long as i'm getting more than about 30 g protein on a regular basis, protein just doesn't do much to fill me up. potatoes, on the other hand, are the most filling food i can eat.
there is a certain point that the more people you ask for advice on how to do something, the more ways to do it you'll be presented with. if what you're doing works for you, there isn't any reason to change it. if it's not working and if your goal is reasonable, then you start looking at which option might work better for you.
the other thing about carbs is that both kale and krispy kreme are carbs. if you're eating more on the kale end of things, i think the higher numbers are less of something to worry about. if you're on the krispy kreme end of things, well, then cutting out carbs might do you some good.

BITHOO SparkPoints: (12,355)
Fitness Minutes: (3,359)
Posts: 423
12/9/13 8:11 A

According to SparkPeople, I should be aiming for 135-252 grams of carbs per day. I always come in between those two numbers without really thinking much about it... and thought I was doing fine. But last week, several Sparkers told me I was eating FAR too many carbs.

While I understand that protein can stave off hunger longer than carbs do, and that REALLY overdoing carbs (and avoiding other foods) can be a problem, I'm a bit confused. For instance, aren't super-healthy foods like legumes loaded with carbs?

If I'm eating within the SP norms, is there still something I should do differently?


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