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Low Carb and Blood Sugar

In individuals who are non-diabetic, blood sugar levels before a meal are usually around 4.0 to 5.9mmol/L. This level can rise up to 7.8mmol/L two hours after a meal has been consumed.

Sugar spikes in the blood are normal and occur after any carbohydrates have been consumed. All carbohydrates break down into simple sugars via digestion and enter the bloodstream directly via the gut lining. Once in the bloodstream, these sugars (in the form of glucose) are then readily available to be used up by organs and muscles to provide energy.

How sugar becomes fat?

Any glucose above healthy levels is removed from the bloodstream by the action of the hormone insulin.  Insulin directs the liver to convert the extra sugar into glycogen which is stored both in the liver and in muscle cells. Once all the glycogen storage spaces is full, insulin will then direct the fat cells to absorb all the extra glycogen and store  it as fat.

This incredible ability to store sugar as fat derives from our evolution to survive periods of famine.

So what is the science behind low carb diets and losing weight?

By following a low carb diet, you eat significantly less carbohydrate and this in turn lowers blood sugar levels. Because you do not have such high levels of blood sugar there is less demand for insulin.

The lower level of insulin in the blood stream indicates to the fat cells to start releasing their stored energy to provide for the energy as the body cannot find easy accessible energy from carbohydrates.. This biochemical pathway is called dietary ketosis whereby the body’s main energy source is coming from stored fat. 

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