Isn’t it interesting that when you have some yummy refined carbs such as breads, cakes, pasta, and chocolate as a treat, the next day you seem to crave them. Interestingly it can be almost the exact hour that you had your carb hit the day before. Sometimes after you eat a meal that has a high loading of carbs, like a pasta meal or rice, you can somehow be wanting to eat again after an hour or so, despite how much you have just eaten.
Carbs are an essential food and very important to add to our diet, but the down side is that refined carbs in particular are addictive, and lets look at why.
When you eat your carbs, as with all foods, a cascade of chemicals are released. With refined carbs, the chemicals travel from the stomach to the brain where we produce dopamine. This is a hormone and neurotransmitter that affects the pleasure and reward centre of our brain. Our pleasure response is activated, and we all like that feeling. A lot! We link that feeling with the food we are eating, and we want more of it, and more, and more. Hence the addictions to chocolate and cakes etc.
When you eat your carbs with a meal, do put a limit on the quantity, making your vegetables and proteins the king and queen of your meal. Let the carbs be the servants – giving you energy but not ruling how your body functions. Always combine carbs with fats. This helps to slow sugar absorption and control your weight and stabilise your blood sugars.
How much to have at a meal:
Carb = fist
Protein = palm
Fats = little finger
Veges – greens = grab all you can hold
Veges – starchy = fist