I get messages almost on a weekly basis, regarding the issue of carbohydrates, because many believe that the paleolitic diet does not contain carbs. This is a misunderstanding!
When it comes to carbohydrates, cereals, breads, baked goods, pastries and sugar comes to our mind, and these are definitely things we should avoid on a paleo diet, but these are not the only types of food that contain carbs.
What’s wrong with the carbs?
The problem with carbohydrates is that after ingesting they are converted into sugar in our blood and that leads to a sudden rise of the blood’s glucose concentration, and then it drops just as suddenly, going up and down like a roller coaster. The more refined the carbohydrate, the faster it raises blood sugar levels. For example, bakery goods that are covered in powdered sugat or a portion of mashed changes the blood sugar level in no time. Then our pancreas produces insulin, which leads to the cell where the sugar is stored as fuel.
However our body is not ready for this type of action genetically. The high amount of insulin production forces our system to eventually give up, because it is not programmed for that type of activity, and our body’s insulin sensitivity changes, it has to produce mor insulin to transport the sugar to the cells, and the vicious circle starts, which usually ends in causing diabetes. Are you familiar with the phenomena of after lunch tiredness or the strong craving of sweets?
Are all carbs bad for me?
Thankfully, no! Carbs have two types, there are good and bad carbs. The bad carbs include foods that are absorbed quickly and rapidly turn into sugar in the blood. For example corn, potato, rice, cereals (even the whole ones), milk, sugar, etc.
Good carbohydrates include foods that are absorbed slowly, so the blood sugar level does not rise quickly after consumption. These are for example fruits and vegetables. The slow-absorbed carbohydrates provide the ideal level of blood sugar and therefore the amount of carbs that is necessary for the brain function is ensured.
This is why when you start paleo diet, after a while you will notice that you are able to handle more mental strain, and your cravings and after lunch tiredness will vanish.