4 Secrets Behind Carbs’ Impact on Your Body

blog you tube Jun 11, 2024
Graphic with a photo of Lesya and the title

Think carbs are just about calories and weight? 

Think again! There's much more to the story, especially for women. 

Today, I’m uncovering four surprising secrets about how carbs positively impact women's health and hormones.

These insights might just change the way you think about your next meal.

As a nutritionist, I've uncovered some fascinating facts about carbs over the last few years since quitting keto that are especially crucial for women. 

I'm here to share these secrets with you, so you can make informed choices about your weight loss journey and overall health.

1. Carbs and Thyroid Function

Let's dive into our first secret: Carbs play a crucial role in regulating thyroid function, which is vital for metabolism, energy, and how quickly or slowly you burn fat.

You might be surprised to learn that your thyroid, the small butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, is deeply influenced by your carb intake. 

It's like the conductor of your metabolic orchestra, and carbs are the music that keeps everything in tune.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism shed some light on this fascinating relationship. 

Researchers found that low-carb diets can lead to decreased thyroid hormone levels, particularly T3, the active form of thyroid hormone. 

T3 is like the spark that ignites your metabolic fire, and without enough of it, your metabolism can start to sputter and slow down.

But why do carbs have such a significant impact on thyroid function? 

It all comes down to insulin. 

When you eat carbs, your body releases insulin, which helps shuttle glucose into your cells for energy. 

Insulin also plays a key role in converting T4, the inactive form of thyroid hormone, into T3. 

So, when you cut carbs too drastically, you reduce insulin levels, which can in turn reduce T3 levels. It's like turning down the volume on your metabolic symphony.

So, what does this mean for you? 

It means that completely cutting out carbs in an attempt to lose weight might be counterproductive, especially if you're a woman.

 Your thyroid needs a certain amount of carbs to function optimally, and skimping on them can throw your metabolism out of whack.

Instead of banishing carbs from your diet, focus on incorporating healthy, nutrient-dense carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. 

These are the carbs that not only support your thyroid but also provide a host of other health benefits.

So, lady, don't skimp on those healthy carbs if you want to keep your thyroid and metabolism in top shape! 

Embrace them as part of a balanced diet, and your waistline will thank you.

2. Mood Enhancement through Serotonin

Moving on to our second secret: Carbs are not just fuel for your body; they're fuel for your mood too. 

Have you ever noticed how a bowl of chickpea pasta or a piece of dark chocolate can lift your spirits? 

That's because carbs play a key role in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter often dubbed the 'feel-good hormone.' 

It's like carbs have a secret superpower to boost your mood and bring a little sunshine to your day.

Serotonin is like the happy messenger in your brain, carrying signals that influence your mood, emotions, and overall sense of well-being. 

When serotonin levels are just right, you feel calm, happy, and balanced. 

But when they're off, you might feel down, anxious, or irritable. It's like the difference between a sunny day and a cloudy one in your mind.

So, how do carbs come into play? 

When you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into glucose, which triggers the release of insulin. 

Insulin helps glucose enter your cells for energy, but it also has another important job: it helps tryptophan, an amino acid, cross into your brain. 

Tryptophan is like the building block of serotonin, and without enough of it, your brain can't produce optimal levels of this mood-boosting hormone.

A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine supports this connection, showing that diets higher in carbs can lead to improved mood and reduced depression in women. 

But, as with everything, balance is key. 

Overloading on sugary, refined carbs can lead to a quick spike and crash in blood sugar, which can actually worsen your mood. It's like riding a rollercoaster of emotions. 

Instead, focus on complex carbs that provide a slow and steady release of energy, keeping your mood more stable and your spirits lifted.

By incorporating the right types of carbs into your diet, you can support your mental well-being and add a little more joy to your day. 

So, don't be afraid to embrace those mood-boosting carbs – your brain will thank you!

3. Carbs for Stress Reduction

Now, let's unveil our third secret: Carbs can be your ally in the battle against stress. 

Yes, you heard that right! In a world where stress is a constant companion for many of us, especially busy working moms, it turns out that carbs can play a role in keeping our stress levels in check.

It's like they have a hidden talent for soothing our frazzled nerves.

When you're stressed, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, releasing cortisol, the stress hormone. 

Cortisol is like the alarm system of your body, signaling that it's time to take action. 

But when cortisol levels stay high for too long, it can take a toll on your health, leading to fatigue, anxiety, and even weight gain. 

It's like your body's alarm keeps ringing, and you can't find the off switch.

Here's where carbs come into the picture. 

Consuming carbs can help regulate cortisol levels and bring some much-needed calm to your system. 

It's like carbs are the off switch for that persistent alarm. 

They trigger the release of insulin, which in turn helps lower cortisol levels and reduce stress. 

It's like a natural stress-relief remedy sitting right on your plate.

A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that diets higher in carbs were associated with lower levels of cortisol and perceived stress. 

So, when life throws you a curveball, and you're feeling the pressure, a balanced meal with healthy carbs might be just what you need to help you relax and regroup.

But, as always, the key is choosing the right types of carbs. 

Opt for fruits, and starchier vegetables, which provide not only stress-reducing benefits but also a wealth of nutrients to support your overall health. 

It's like choosing the right tools to defuse the bomb of stress.

By incorporating healthy, nutrient-dense carbs into your diet, you can help regulate cortisol levels and keep stress at bay. 

So, the next time you're feeling overwhelmed, remember that a serving of carbs might be just what you need to restore peace and calm to your mind and body.

4. Enhancing Metabolic Flexibility

Let's dive into our final secret: Enhancing metabolic flexibility. 

This might sound like a fancy term, but it's a crucial concept for anyone looking to optimize their health and fitness. 

Metabolic flexibility is the body's ability to seamlessly switch between burning carbs and fats for energy. 

It's like being bilingual in the language of metabolism, effortlessly shifting from one fuel source to another depending on what your body needs at the moment.

Imagine your metabolism as a hybrid car, capable of running on both electricity and gasoline. 

When you're active and need quick energy, your body taps into carbs, just like the car uses electricity for a quick burst of speed. 

But when you're at rest or engaging in low-intensity activities, your body switches to burning fats, similar to how the car conserves energy by using gasoline for longer, slower journeys.

A balanced intake of carbs is key to maintaining this metabolic flexibility. 

When you consume a healthy mix of carbs, your body remains adept at using both carbs and fats for fuel. 

This flexibility is essential for optimal physical performance, efficient weight management, and overall metabolic health. 

It's like keeping both the electric and gasoline engines of your hybrid car in top condition.

A study in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that individuals with greater metabolic flexibility have better insulin sensitivity, lower risk of obesity, and improved physical endurance. 

So, by nurturing your metabolic flexibility through a balanced diet that includes healthy carbs, you're setting the stage for a more efficient and adaptable metabolism.

Carbs play a vital role in enhancing metabolic flexibility, which is crucial for your body's ability to efficiently switch between fuel sources. 

By embracing a diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense carbs, you're not just fueling your body for today; you're equipping it for a healthier, more adaptable tomorrow.

So, don't shy away from carbs – they're an essential piece of the puzzle in your journey to optimal health and metabolic flexibility.

I’m curious, were any of these carb secrets a surprise to you? 

How do you plan to adjust your carb intake? Let’s discuss this in the comments!

Now, if you’re ready to master the art of carb cycling and unlock the full potential of carbs for your health and weight goals, go grab my Carb Cycling Quick Start Course. 

Click the link in the description to learn more.

Now that you know the secrets behind carbs, it’s important to understand the difference between good ones and bad ones. 

Don't miss my next video, 'Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs: Impact on Blood Sugar Revealed,' where I’ll uncover the truth about how different carbs affect your blood sugar.

I’ll see you there!