Your Carbohydrate Metabolism
Let’s start with the essentials. Any food that is not a fat or a protein, it is a carbohydrate.
When you eat a carbohydrate it breaks down into a simple sugar like glucose or fructose. As the glucose enters your bloodstream your liver tells your Pancreas to release Insulin, which literally pushes the glucose into your cells. When your cells have enough glucose to do their job, your body starts storing the glucose as glycogen, especially in your muscles. A simple analogy is to think of glucose a quarter and glycogen as a roll of quarters.
If for some reason (hint, hint), you keep adding to the pile of glucose in your blood, your liver will start turning the glycogen into triglycerides. And as you have probably already heard, triglycerides are stored in your fats cells, making them and you ‘bigger’.
On an evolutionary level, this was a rare event and only happened in fall when there was an abundance of fruit and starchy foods to be had. The rest of the year, particularly in Spring, your cells would become little fat burning machines.
All of this happens inside your trillions of cells, through what is called the Krebs Cycle. This is kind of like a little car engine inside of your cells. This engine loves sugar but will rearrange itself to burn fat, specifically as ketone bodies.
This is the limiting factor in the health of everyone’s metabolism. It takes a while for your Kreb’s Cycle to adapt to changing its primary fuel. For this transition to be successful and comfortable you have to pace your dietary transitions to your individual response.
If you have hypoglycemia or metabolic syndrome or several other metabolic glitches, making this transition is going to test your willpower. The craving and mood swings can get intense. I always recommend my patients move to low carbohydrate and nutrient dense diet for a month and then practice intermittent fasting for another month before attempting full Nutritional Ketosis.