How Carbs Such as Rice, Pasta and Potatoes Cause Weight Gain and Hunger
Many struggling to lose weight eat rice, pasta and potatoes daily. I call these the “major carbs” as opposed to bread, fruits, cookies, chips which I call “minor carbs.” All have few nutrients, high calories, and high carbs. Quickly broken down into simple sugar in the stomach they raise blood sugar and are converted to fat and produce hunger. Some of this sugar is utilized by the body to fuel your activities, from digestion and breathing to walking and exercise. Insulin converts excess sugar and is stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen and the remaining is converted to fat.
Reducing these carbs will lower your sugar cravings and help you feel “normal” about food. Many people feel more energetic and active by consuming less carbs and they tend to be more productive as they lose the extra weight.
Green Giant and Birdseye sell various cauliflower and zucchinin alternative to rice and pasta all less than 25 caloires per cup.
Weight loss through reduction in fat storage is only one of the reasons to reduce these carbs. Here are some risks associated with eating these major carb:
- Increased sugar cravings and hunger
- High blood sugar spikes which later result in lethargy and fatigue
- Mental fog
- Feeling full and uncomfortable after meals
- Stomach issues such as flatulence, belching and bloating
- Mood swings
- Increase sugar can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- Increased carbs leads to elevated LDL cholesterol
- Elevated sugar increases risks for cancer
Are Carb Cravings an Addiction?
Whether carbs like rice, pasta and potatoes are actually is an addiction is controversial. Some scientific evidence in rats, and brains of people who are already obese suggest they are. Pure sugar is probably more closely related to addiction. For many people eating these foods cause pleasure, calmness,hunger and desire for more and more. The problem is that they all turn to pure sugar in the stomach, are rapidly absorbed into the blood stream and if not used for metabolism immediately rapidly turn to fat and produce more hunger and the need for more and more.
LOW CALORIE/LOW CARB ALTERNATIVES TO THE MAJOR CARBS: CAULIFLOWER, ZUCCHINI, SPINACH AND SHIITAKE NOODLES TO THE RESCUE
Understanding the danger of eating the major carbs: rice, pasta and potatoes on a daily or even 3-4 times a week, manufacturers have produced many alternatives. Green Giant ads Birdseye have lead the pack with many produces with very low calories (25 calories/ cup with 1-3 net carbs) compared to rice or pasta with 240 carbs and 45-50 net carbs! The cauliflower based products are the lowest at 25 calories per cup, the fresh zucchini products are not much more. The frozen zucchini and spinach based products are about 110 calories/ cup with about 16 net carbs. Still about less than 1/2 of the originals. Here are some of the choices from frozen vegetable section of Publix in Florida. There are 5-8 more variants of these produces.
Comparison of Major Carbs vs. Vegetable Alternatives
Shirataki or Miracle Noodles: No Calorie-No carb Noodles from Japan
Shirataki or Miracle noodles are thin, translucent, jelly like noodles from Japan that are derived from the konjac yam (devil’s tongue yam or elephant yam). “Shirataki” means “white waterfall”, which is how the noodles appear. They are made up of water and glucomannan which is a fiber that is very low in calories and carbs. They have little taste to their own and tend to pick up the taste of surrounding flavors and foods. Often very bitter with a fishy taste they and need careful draining and rinsing. Here is the typical nutritional information:
“Shirataki noodles are almost zero calorie and zero carb. They are 97% water, 3% fibre and traces of protein, fat and calcium. There are 4 kcal and ~ 1 gram of net carbs per 100 g / 3.5 oz of shirataki noodles. If you find that the packaging says “zero” calories or “zero carbs”, etc. it’s because the FDA allowed products with less than 5 calories / less than 1 gram of carbs, protein and fat to be labeled as zero. Shirataki noodles are almost zero calorie and zero carb. They are 97% water, 3% fibre and traces of protein, fat and calcium. There are 4 kcal and ~ 1 gram of net carbs per 100 g / 3.5 oz of shirataki noodles. Ifalories / less than 1 gram of carbs, protein and fat to be labeled as zero”. How to cook these noodles,