Spirulina and Carbohydrates – Really, I can eat carbs?
We hear a lot of about Carbohydrates or “carbs” and most of the time carbs are described as the big enemy, the one thing we should avoid if we want to stay fit, healthy and vibrant.
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The truth is that you don’t NEED carbs to survive – Eskimos are eating no carbs and thrive on a high lean protein, fat, water and minerals diet, or at least the traditional Eskimos do.
I don’t advocate a diet with no carbs because carbs provide fuel and energy to our bodies. BUT what you have to pay attention to is the TYPE of carbs your are consuming. You see there is 2 types of carbs: simple and complex.
The simple carbs are sugar, such as the one you can find in fruits, candy, donuts, desserts, baked goods, etc. The complex carbs are starch; you can find in nuts, whole grains, nuts and vegetables.
If you eat the wrong type of carbs, then you have a long long list of problems that will come up. Check out this little video I’ve made for you to explain you the impact of eating the wrong type of carbs, the simple carbs (or the sugar, what a surprise….).
So you should avoid as much as possible the simple carbs, sugared cereals, pop tarts, honey, ice cream, fruit drinks, pretzels, cookies, donuts, candy, pastry, caramels, etc. The good news is that you can eat as much as you want of complex carbs like all the veggies in the world – Yesss…
So what about grains, like wheat, barley, rice, etc? Well, you should avoid the refined ones (white bread, white pasta, white rice, etc) and refrain from eating large quantities of whole grains. What, no whole grains? Yep that’s right, as little as possible. This is not what most of people want to hear and therefore, not really what you find in most books, blogs, interviews…
So why not too much whole grains? Dr. Mercola explains it very well: “Your body prefers the carbohydrates in vegetables rather than grains because it slows the conversion to simple sugars like glucose, and decreases your insulin level. Grain carbohydrates, on the other hand, will increase your insulin levels and interfere with your ability to burn fat.” More info on that on Dr. Mercola’s article: The Amazing Anti-Aging Discovery Experts Say Deserves the Nobel Prize… http://bit.ly/M8p2lR
Ok, now that you know what carbs to eat and what carbs to avoid, what about spirulina? In general, carbohydrates constitute 15-25% of the dry weight of spirulina. The majority are complex carbohydrates like rhamnose, xylose, galactose and glycogen. Simple carbohydrates – glucose, fructose and sucrose – are present only in very small quantities
Spirulina does not have cellulose in its cell wall, a feature that makes it an appropriate and important food for people with problems of poor intestinal absorption.
From the nutrient standpoint, the only carbohydrate that occurs in sufficient quantities to be of interest is mesoinositol phosphate, which is an excellent source of organic phosphorus and inositol (350-850mg/kg dry matter). This inositol content is about eight times that of beef and several hundred times that of the vegetables with the highest levels.
Spirulina’s polysaccharides are believed to have a stimulating effect on DNA repair mechanisms, which might explain the radio-protective effect mentioned several times in relation to spirulina.
Certain polysaccharides are also thought to have immune-stimulating and immune-regulating properties.
So yes, you can indulge and eat as much spirulina as you want to 🙂