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Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss a recent study looking at the effects of certain specific carbohydrate-rich foods and the resulting insulin and blood sugar responses. They interpret the results and provide insight on practicing carbohydrate, macronutrient, or whole food group restriction and short-term results vs. long-term sustainability and maintenance.
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Show Transcript: www.thefastingforlife.com/blog
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Fasting For Life Ep. 89
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:01] Hello. I'm Dr. Scott Watier
Tommy Welling: [00:00:03] And I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:08] This podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health. Achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve. Each episode is a short
Tommy Welling: [00:00:17] Conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss and health and wellness to the science
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:23] Of lifestyle design. We started fasting for life because of how fasting has transformed our lives, and we hope to share the tools that we have learned
[00:00:30] Along the way.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:00:40] Everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier, and I'm here, as always, is my good friend and colleague Tomi Welling. Good afternoon to you, sir. Hey, Scott, how are you doing? Great, my friend looking for a fun conversation today around a research article that we stumbled across? And it is going to be talking about carbohydrates and how important they are to long term success of weight loss. Now, before we ruffle some feathers, we're going to give you some context and some nuance here. And then we're going to, as in typical fasting for live fashion, give you an action step to walk away or take away to walk away from today's episode with. And I think it's going to be a fun conversation and something that we have seen quite a bit in the fasting. Weight loss, health world. And I think it'll be a fun conversation.
Tommy Welling: [00:01:37] Yeah, I do, too. Carbohydrates are, you know, like you implied, they're almost kind of a loaded conversation because you have you have some, some serious advocates and detractors on both sides. And then you have a lot of like there's there's natural cards, carbs and unnatural and processed and ultra processed and everything in between. So I think just just shining a light on on some of the things that are that are actually physiologically relevant and long term goal relevant and related is is just an important thing to to kind of help give some guidance there.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:02:13] Yeah, let me get the the bona fides out of the way here. So this article that we're going to be talking about and then really applying it into a simple application to fasting, a lot of the things that we talk about is insulin resistance and insulin friendly lifestyle being the vehicle that is combined with fasting. Of course, that is going to get you long term results that you've not been able to get. Doing it the other way, right, doing it, the other diets, the weight loss programs, et cetera, and the power of this is that we're the study really takes into account looking at blood sugar related issues, things and metabolic diseases that stem from having blood sugar issues from diabetes to heart disease and all those other comorbidities, obesity, the increased costs, health care costs and more risk of severe adverse health effects as you get into the later decades of life. But I want to start. With where this study came from and where we want to take it, so this comes out of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in Twenty Twenty One, and it's the impact of starchy food structure on postprandial glycemic response and appetite, a systematic review with meta analysis of randomized crossover trials not done yet.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:03:31] The background says starchy foods can have a profound effect on metabolism. The structural properties of starchy foods can affect their digestibility and postprandial metabolic responses, which in the long term may be associated with the risk of type two diabetes. The review sought to evaluate the clinical evidence regarding the impact of the microstructures within starchy foods on glucose and insulin responses. This is the key part here along side appetite regulation. So all of that word jargon the cool part about this study that we're going to have a fun conversation around today. Tommy was looking at the clinical evidence of starchy foods, so carbohydrate foods right on post-meal, glucose and insulin spikes, so blood sugar alongside appetite. Regulation, so that means the hormones that control whether or not you're full or whether or not you're hungry, and some of those things can be out of whack if you've got insulin resistance or blood sugar related problems. Yeah, and this excuse is I'm sorry, I was going to saying,
Tommy Welling: [00:04:36] Yeah, yeah, go ahead.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:04:38] The good news is we're not going to break down the chemical structure of the carbohydrates that they do in the article.
Tommy Welling: [00:04:43] Go ahead. Yeah. Yeah, there's some, some dense chemistry going on in there. But you know, the the more, the more practical. The reason why we're even discussing this is because, you know, every time we go to sit down with a meal, when we're breaking our fast, we have we have choices between which carbohydrates we're having, how they're prepared. How much of them are we having and then their effect on on actually how full we feel and what our insulin and glucose responses are. And then as we get into tapping into those long term fat stores or having blood sugar related issues, higher insulin resistance and maybe even type two diabetes or, you know, being on insulin and other medications, these these factors can be important for for the physiological effects and if we're storing more, more fat, et cetera.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:05:32] In a couple of the things that they talk about in the article are the gelatin ization and the retro gradation of foods, right? So this means how the foods are pretty much processed and then what the effect is of those foods on your blood sugar, which then relates to the things that you were just mentioning, Tommy. So the reason I found this interesting and the reason that we, we we we we're talking through this, I'm like, OK, how what is the overall takeaway message of a study like this? It's kind of blasé in terms of the effect, and we're going to use an example of of of something here in a minute when it comes to potatoes. But the glycemic response or the insulin, the amount of insulin that you have in your bloodstream. Of course, the across the days to weeks to months has a drastic effect on prevention and management of chronic metabolic diseases. And starch is one of the primary food sources in the human diet. So if you go to the American Diabetes Association website and you look at the food pyramid and things like that, you're going to see a host of six to eight, sometimes more servings of starchy, carbohydrate laden foods.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:06:42] And one of the things in the fasting world the low carb world, the keto world, the carnivore world is that the complete removal of carbohydrates as a macronutrient food source, meaning macronutrients, you've got carbs, proteins and fats. And looking at that is the complete removal of one of these food sources. We find that very common amongst those groups, especially in the fasting world, and we don't necessarily subscribe to that. And we did an episode on low carb diets or low carb studies, and they tracked people that had prediabetes and diabetes. And at the 12 month, 18 month and twenty four month mark, the research showed that the results were actually worse on low carb for long term weight loss and benefit to blood sugar. So it's the complete opposite of what we're trying to do with fasting, which is create a long term, sustainable lifestyle that allows you to have balance and not restrict and omit an entire wonderful macronutrient from from your from your from your meal planning from week to week.
Tommy Welling: [00:08:00] Right, especially when when it's coming from natural sources and then it's it's it's able to be put into your your meal planning in long term sustainable ways. And you know, like like one thing that's always comes up for me whenever people are talking about extreme carbohydrate restriction is just like, where are most of your your vitamins and your micronutrients actually coming from? Because those those natural sources of carbohydrates are one of the most potent delivery sources of of vitamins and things that our body really needs. We can't we can't just get those from just necessarily natural fats and natural meats, other protein and fat sources, too. So I really like where they're going with in this article as far as trying to figure out what's the best way to ingest them and is it important that we consider the different ratios and the different components of the carbohydrates that we're bringing in?
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:08:59] Yeah, the main one, we're going to give you just a drive by list of things and then a couple of action steps. Here are takeaways. But some of the examples of foods with different digestive abilities used in the studies that were looked at in the meta analysis was the difference between high and low ameluz breads, rice and pastas. And AMLO's is like that starchy component of the food. And then we'll mention the fiber component here in a minute. Then you've got like raw versus cooked carrots or lentils that are boiled short versus long term. You've got less versus more gelatin. Is rice coarse versus fine porridge, whole peas versus pea flour? And again, I promise we're not going to go into those nitty gritty details of gelatin and retrograde, but the property of the starch related to the glycemic response in the hormones it was it was pretty boring as an outcome where it showed that the starchy foods that were higher in that starch content, right, they have a lower gelatin and higher retro gradation. Right. That but the thing that the takeaway here is that they result in a lower glucose and insulin response. Hmm. Ok. So starch your carbs and veggies and beans and legumes results in a lower glucose and insulin response. And the second part, which I was surprised by, were minimal to no effects on appetite hormones or reported measures of satiety, meaning whether or not you were full. This is where I like the conversation about processed refined carbs versus natural allulose laden starchy carbs.
Tommy Welling: [00:10:46] Yeah, there's a there's a very big difference there because what they're measuring here in the study was. Was differences in in natural sources they weren't bringing in like ultra processed carbohydrates, there was no no measurements on pizza or anything else like that that we that we kind of find out there. Engineer wise. But when we're when we're actually looking at natural sources here, you know, that's where that's where our study is coming from.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:11:14] Yeah. And so just simply speaking, so recently, we got some feedback from one of our podcast listeners who was quite frank in the dislike of the fact that that on that episode, we talked a lot about food and there's no way to talk about fasting without talking about food as ironically, as ironical as that can be, because it's like, OK, well, what are you doing during your feeding window, during your eating window to make sure that you're getting quality foods to promote a healthy body composition in health long term? Well, the make up of what you're eating is important to a certain degree, and you know, we are not A. We're not like low carb fanatics. If you're trying to reverse a metabolic condition like diabetes, the removal of the majority of the carbohydrates can be helpful in the short term. But for long term sustainability, like we mentioned in those studies that we talk about in an earlier episode, you need to have some balance between the restriction and the omission. And so I just want to make sure that it might sound like we're fence sitting a little bit in terms of, OK, what was it, good or bad? And I want to make sure that we really land the plane here in an actionable way, that there is a benefit to having things like beans and legumes and corns. And and, you know, natural rice is potatoes, sweet potatoes. The more starchy veggies. The vegetables. Yeah, root vegetables, right? Like those, that's actually something that we recommend. If you're having some HPA access or some adrenal stimulation with fasting where you're having issues sleeping or you're feeling kind of wired or tired or you wake up kind of wired and your mind's racing, you want to actually incorporate some of those starchy vegetables into your weekly routine because they're going to have a long term benefit. Just like this, meta analysis proves it's going to reduce your insulin and glucose in the long term.
Tommy Welling: [00:13:17] Yeah, you know, and it seems like every every few weeks or, you know, every time a challenge comes up, we always have some people that kind of join us or kind of start the conversation with us who say, You know what, I've been, I've been fasting. I'm really diligent with my fasting. Here's what I'm eating. I'm eating very low carb, so I should be continuing to lose weight. But I'm actually stuck at this plateau and I have been for a while and we say, OK, well, well, what are your fast actually look like and what are you eating whenever you break those fast? And a lot of times it, it tends to be that they've been very, very restrictive on carbohydrates like even natural carbohydrates, almost kind of afraid of them for for a long time. And what we find is, you know, a little bit of time of deliberately bringing those back in can help them feel more more full, more satisfied with their meals and actually get the scale moving again to and and once again, those are those are powerful delivery sources of vitamins and other micronutrients, too. So there's there is a balance there. And again, we're talking about natural sources of carbohydrates, not ultra processed ones.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:14:22] Yeah, take it one step further and then I want to I want to. One of the questions that was posed in the article review that we were reading is hilarious. Tommy and I want you to. I just love the way that you delivered it about the about the potatoes. So one step farther is there's research that shows that GLP one, which helps increase insulin sensitivity, which is the opposite of insulin resistance. So you become resistant to your insulin having its normal effect so you require more insulin to process the food that you're eating. And that's like the light switch of turning fat burning on and off. So if you're constantly snacking and eating and having large increases in blood sugar, which then requires larger increases in insulin because it's not as effective. There's studies that show that including natural forms of carbohydrates and starchy veggies into your feeding window into your meal after breaking a fast shows to increase the GLP one, which increases your insulin sensitivity. So it is actually undoing the resistance portion and makes your cells in your insulin work better in processing the food that you're eating.
Tommy Welling: [00:15:39] That's also an outright counter, intuitive or counter to the conversation that we we oftentimes hear, which
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:15:45] Is here, right? Right. So let's talk potatoes.
Tommy Welling: [00:15:48] I want to hear that restricting it enough, you know, keep restricting it some more. But but oftentimes it's already overly restricted and it actually needs to go the other way to to find that that kind of balance point. But I think that's really good for for long term because, you know, like you've mentioned a couple of times, long term data on extreme carb restriction is is not good for for diabetes or blood sugar or weight management because it tends to have this rebound effect. And I think that's because for most people, that's just not sustainable. So there tends to be kind of a rebound effect. I've known people in my personal, my personal life to go down the low carbohydrate diet route lose significant weight. But but put it back on because it was almost like I put life on hold for for so long. And then when I started bringing it back, it's like they just brought back. Too many didn't know how to kind of balance that weren't controlling, like eating versus fasting windows at all. And then it was just kind of it didn't take long for for it all to kind of come back.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:16:53] And it's everywhere. It's all around us, right? So the marketing, the advertising, big food, the grocery store, you know, we joke like, I take my I've always taken my kids, you know, ever since they were could sit up on their own, on errands with me, and then I would go get a coffee and then we go do shopping. And, you know, a a parent hack on how to still be able to get stuff done while you have little kids, taking one is definitely different than taking two, by the way. But. It was always funny because my daughter at one point, I think she was probably around three, three and a half where we went to the grocery store. She's like, Daddy, why don't we ever go down those aisles? Right? I'm like, What do you? What do you mean? She's like, Well, the aisles in the middle like those, and she's pointing at the middle aisles and I'm like, What we do? Box is your daddy. But Daddy, I see. I see, I see. She called them treats. I see treats in that aisle and I'm like, Damn right, you do. And that's why we don't go down that aisle. All right, right now, now we are not the we. We do have healthy snacks and we and we try to keep that stuff in control right to a certain degree. You know, I grew up eating frosted pop tarts and frosted toaster strudel with the icing packets. And so really dessert for breakfast, my point are bringing that up. And to your point of the rebound or the binge effect is we need that healthy relationship food over long over the long term and omitting an entire food supply for the long, you know, macro nutrient from our diet long term just doesn't seem sustainable for most people.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:18:31] So if you're listening, you're like, Oh, I've had great success with keto, then keep doing it. You do you like. Absolutely. There's some there's some docs I follow out there that are carnivore MDS and they are pure carnivore and they are killing it and their body is responding. You know what? Good for you. The idea here is, you know, going back to the reason why I brought up my daughter's example. You know, why don't we go down those aisles? Well, because then you're more susceptible to it. The carbohydrates are are there everywhere, especially around the holiday season, like look at any dessert table or appetizer table. It's pigs in a blanket. It's it's cookies, it's cakes. It's breakfast dessert for breakfast conference the tables that businesses usually have some type of candy in it, and it's just hard to withstand all of that. If you've got some imbalances and you've got some, you know, some cravings and you're dealing with trying to get results long term and operating outside of the status quo or what we see around us, which is normal, which is, you know, 70 plus part of the percent of the population is overweight and 42 percent is obese. So, you know, we're we're we're swimming upstream here, and I think this episode will this conversation will probably swim upstream for some people as well. But I think to bring a little levity would be the conversation around one of the takeaways from this study, from some of the readers in regards to potatoes. And then we'll land the plane with some action steps for you.
Tommy Welling: [00:20:01] Yeah, I thought that was funny because you know what was what was implied here was that you you could go through some painstaking efforts to potentially, you know, make make the carbohydrates within these natural sources a little bit less of a glucose or a glycemic response, a little bit less of an insulin response. Make it like a little slower within the body. And one of those examples was like ultra cooling your your starchy foods like bake the potato, but then let it cool for maybe three or four hours. And and what does that do for the actual structure within the carbohydrate? And I'm sure there's some conversations. I'm sure there are some optimizations going on out there somewhere in the world where some people are actually doing these things. But to actually look at the effect that it's having, what was shown in the study was that that was maybe a one percent better difference by by going through that, that painstaking effort to to make the potato like the optimal glycemic response. So, you know, instead of doing that, what I think would be a lot more actionable would be on
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:21:10] Hold on, hold on. We we we buried the lead there. So you're saying you cook a potato and you let it cool for several hours and it's a one percent decrease in blood sugar response? Right, right. No, no, no, no, no, no. I'm putting butter on the potato and I'm going to eat a small baked potato, and I'm going to know that long term, this is good for me, right? That's craziness. Ok, carry on. Sorry, when the plane hit upon me with the takeaway for today's message?
Tommy Welling: [00:21:39] Yeah, I'd much rather not have any potatoes, then have them sitting on my counter for three hours and then eat it stone cold, right? But you know what would be better? Physiologically speaking and psychologically sustainability wise would be instead of reducing carbohydrates more especially the good natural ones, create some more clear boundaries for your your eating window and your fasting window, right? So put those starchy veggies, those natural carbohydrates, put them into your eating window. And if you haven't been for a while, introduce some go for the next week or two. Yeah, right. Like, put some in there deliberately and and get get better with your fasting. Not. Your carb restriction and then and then watch some some better results probably come about and see yourself being able to do that even much more sustainably long term, too.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:22:35] So what I just heard there, Tommy was more fasting and not more carb restriction. Yes, exactly. Ok. So we did not say, go, you know, eat three cups of rice, said your next time you break your fast, right? So if you haven't been putting these things in or if you're getting great results without it, then that's fine. Just food for thought for the future pun intended, right? Right. If you're struggling with it and you're going up and down and up and down and you're finding yourself not being able to stay consistent during your eating window and kind of fallen off the wagon and still, you know, you're really struggling with that long term healthy relationship, then yeah, don't cook two cups of rice, start with a half a cup and and eat it and then know that you've done something great for yourself, for your body and for the long term again. We're not talking about that highly processed stuff, but I love what you just said there. Tommy is more fasting and not more carb restriction, so I'm sure that there's people on each side of the fence here that are probably listening, going well. I don't really agree with that man. Maybe I do. So here's the take-home message stay true to the fasting lifestyle, stay true to your fasting windows and know that there are benefits to being in both camps on this. You just got to figure out what works long term for you. So if you're new to the Fasting for Life podcast, you want some of our free resources. You want to learn a little bit more about who we are and what we do. If you haven't been to the website, and while we now have an additional free resource, it's an insulin assessment. You can go to WW fasting for LifeCare W WW, the fasting for LifeCare. You can download the insulin assessment, get on our email list and or if you're new, you can download the Fast Start Guide Tommy. As always, great conversation. Thank you, sir. Can't wait to eat my sweet potato tonight with dinner. We'll talk to you soon.
Tommy Welling: [00:24:25] Thanks. Bye bye. So you've heard today's episode, and you may be wondering, where do I start? Head on over to be fasting for life and sign up for our newsletter, where you'll receive fasting tips and strategies to maximize results and fit fasting into your day to day life.
Dr. Scott Watier: [00:24:41] Why are you there? Download your free fast start guide to get started today. Don't forget to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Make sure to leave us a five star review, and we'll be back next week with another episode of Fasting for Life.
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