Our ability to digest complex carbohydrates in the form of bread and pasta depends strongly on our hormones. The primary hormone involved in digesting carbohydrates is insulin. When minimal insulin is released when we are eating carbs then we easily take the sugar that is in the blood from the food ewe have eaten and bring it into the cells. If insulin levels are high it often means that the cells are not absorbing insulin which is called insulin resistance.
The presence of insulin in the blood may decrease the body’s ability to digest fat and lead to weight gain. This is the theory espoused by the Atkins diet and has been gaining in popularity as more people become paleo. In addition to minimal insulin release it is also important that the blood sugar does not stay consistently high. When the body does not secrete a lot of insulin on a regular basis than this is very possible. When there is minimal insulin resistance and quick and efficient blood sugar clearance then the body is set up to uptake glycogen. Glycogen is a stored sugar in the form of carbohydrate in the muscle tissue and liver. It has been popular with endurance athletes in the form of carb loading for a long time. This also relates to our ability to utilize the sugar in the blood
When our liver and muscle tissue are not chronically exposed to high levels of insulin from eating excess carbohydrates then we easily store glycogen in these tissues. If however we develop insulin resistance from chronically high insulin levels then we store glycogen as fat. This again is the main reason that many people lose weight initially when following a low carb diet. When the body becomes more sensitive to insulin then you will not have the sugar in the blood to be stored as fat and it can use carbs as energy. The solution is not necessary avoiding all grains, but instead is developing your body’s ability to be sensitive to and to assimilate sugar.
Ayurvedic herbs have a long history of being used for weight loss and improving blood sugar. My favorites for improving the body’s insulin sensitivity are: