Apparently, we really do become what we eat. There are lots of scientific studies to sustain that what we eat becomes a part of our cells and body over a certain period of time. Let's explore this concept as it relates to Low Carb Digestion to allow us to THRIVE, not only SURVIVE.
Low Carb DigestionSo if you’ve started to explore the LCHF world, you can easily lose sight of the bigger picture of what this lifestyle actually means. What’s actually happening in your body (and specifically your digestive tract) when you increase the fats and restrict the carbs?
I had a talk the other day with our nutritionist, Cara Halber, about the digestive system. It was really amazing and I would like to share with you a few interesting things I found out about our bodies and our digestion process.This information is crucial and pretty insightful in helping you understand exactly what’s going on with regard to your digestive system while eating low carb. Let’s start with figuring out our digestive system.
Low Carb Digestion: Chewing
One of the crucial pieces of information about digestion is that it starts in the mouth, not in the stomach.
Although you may find it obvious that chewing your food is an essential first step to help your stomach break it down, so many of us just gulp down food. Let's break down how to chew properly.
Ideally, you would chew your food 15+ times per bite...
But if you haven’t paid attention to chewing lately, start as a beginner would rather than an olympic medalist. Begin by counting how many times you chew each bite the next time you eat.
You might be in for a surprise when you discover how soon you get the reflex to swallow. Don’t worry about it. All you need is a little practice and your body will remember this natural process before you know it.
Why is CHEWING so important?
By properly chewing your food, you put less pressure on the rest of your digestive system. And you’ll be able to get more nutrients from your food.
That means you'll have more energy and more focus.
Plus, when your cells function better… you function better too.
Keep in mind that chewing your food properly is also important for preventing some serious chronic disease. I'm talking about cardiovascular issues, diabetes and potential mental imbalances like anxiety and depression.
Low Carb Digestion: Enzymes
The stomach’s job is to mechanically break down your food into long chain molecules. As your stomach empties, the real fun begins. That’s when your small intestine starts to do its magic.
Your small intestine is where the enzymes from your pancreas and bile from your gallbladder break down larger molecules of food into smaller or single molecules. Different enzymes take care of different macronutrients.
Lipase digests fat, protease digests protein and amylase takes care of carbs.
Amazingly, the lining of your small intestine is very thin – it has only one layer of cells. That is almost unimaginably thin... But this layer is strong enough to ensure that only the tiniest molecules of digested food pass from the small intestine into the bloodstream.
Why are Enzymes important for Digestion?
Oftentimes, your digestion can become faulty.
For example, if you have low stomach acid, your food is not broken down enough for the enzymes to be effective. And a leaky gut causes fatigue, food allergies and so much more.
Plus, a lack of enzymes can mean you're not absorbing the nutrients that you’re ingesting.
There are many simple and effective solutions to optimize your digestion and I promise I’ll get back to you after I have another conversation with Cara about that.
Low Carb Digestion: Nutrients
Once the nutrients enter the bloodstream, they are being absorbed by cell surfaces. Sometimes they even have carrier molecules that help them get where they belong.
When the nutrients are absorbed, they diffuse into our cells and they will be used according to our needs.
For example, fats are the building blocks of the cell membranes. Proteins are used for cell signaling, for our immune system, and for every other system in the body.
Why are Nutrients important?
If you’re eating poor quality fats, too many sugars, and carbohydrates, your cell membrane and proteins are in pretty bad shape.
This means that nutrients may not be able to enter the cells. As a result, poorly functioning cells lead to decreased levels of energy, weight gain, and chronic disease.
Low Carb Digestion: Why we become what we eat.
Our bodies are extremely complex. Over time, old and bad components get out of the body and they're replaced with nutrients from what you’re currently eating.
If you're eating low energy food (processed or fast foods) then you will become low energy.
If you're eating high energy, high vibrational food (fresh proteins, fresh produce) then you will show signs of higher energy very quickly!
You are constantly producing millions of new cells and you literally replace your entire body with vibrant, healthy cells every week through what you are eating.
Adopting healthy habits like eating low carb or keto will help you create these healthy cells and live an amazing life.
Hopefully this article has help to explain a little about how low carb digestion can affect you in a very positive way!
Here are a few other resources which may help on your low carb or keto journey as well:
How to Start a Low Carb Diet provides tips that will get you going in the right direction.
Learn about the differences between Ketosis vs Ketoacidosis, particularly if you have high blood sugars.
I share my thoughts on if you can Lose Weight by Eating Low Carb and weigh in on this sensitive subject.
Lastly, take a look at my FREE 7 DAY LOW CARB DIET MEAL PLAN. It's loaded with recipes not on my blog along with tips and a BONUS Grocery List to make everything easy.
The nutritional information from this article was provided by Cara Halber, a registered holisitic nutritionist. To learn more about her, please visit The Soulful Living Academy.