When you are trying to lose weight one temptation that’s been around is a fad often called “carb blockers”. On the surface these seem like they may be a great idea – but it is nowhere near that simple nor is it as safe as many companies and their representatives claim it to be.
Carb blockers, also referred to as starch blockers, have been around since the 1970’s. They were taken off of the market around 1983 when they were officially classified as drugs. Carb blockers are supposed to work similarly to fat blockers by utilizing the key ingredient phaselous vulgaris; an extract of the white kidney bean. However, instead of binding to fat, phaselous vulgaris binds to complex carbohydrates.
When it comes to shedding pounds there is very little to no evidence that blockers actually work. What is clear is the fact that the side effects of these products include gas, bloating, stomach cramping, upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea and heartburn.
But even worse is that some supplements may have unlisted ingredients, maybe stimulants, that could be especially dangerous for people with diabetes according to Kathleen Dungan, MD, an endocrinologist at Ohio State University. If you do opt to try a carb blocker it is highly recommended that you consult with your physician prior to purchasing an using them. While carbohydrate blockers are these should never be taken by people with diabetes without the oversight of a physician.
Furthermore, many of the vitamins the body needs are fat soluble, which means they need fat to absorb into the body. Vitamins such as A, D, E, F and K are among them, and are essential for optimal function of organs and tissues found throughout the body. A deficiency of these vitamins may lead to health problems such as anemia, skin conditions, and inability of the blood to clot. Good fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are good for heart health, are also blocked by these types of products, which can lead to detrimental medical conditions such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.
Now yesterday on my Facebook Page I posted information about carb blockers as my topic of the day. So I had someone all mad about me saying you should NOT use carb blockers due to several health reasons. Specifically this person said “Did you also know the XXX blocker helps block POST MEAL and complex carbs, that if this is a concern you can take omega 3 supplements.”
Well there is the thing…. anyone who knows the basics of nutrition and metabolism, which clearly some people do not and, would know those are the carbs you WANT and NEED to lose weight – you do not want to block them or remove them from your diet.
Also WHY on earth would anyone be crazy enough as this person points out – to have to buy a supplement to offset the supplement they just paid for?!?!?
Complex carbohydrates come from the starch and fiber in whole grains, legumes, potatoes and root vegetables. Since fiber-rich complex carbs take longer to digest while simple carbs are quickly digested, they help you feel full longer and are therefore vital for weight loss. In addition, complex carbs help stabilize your blood sugar and play a key role in preventing ‘the afternoon crash’ so many people experience daily.
If they’re still not convinced that complex carbs are a staple of all healthy nutritional programs here is some additional information why complex-carbohydrates should be included in your daily diet:
- They provide fuel for all daily activity including basics like shopping/working plus aerobics, weight training, etc.
- They’re the primary fuel for the central nervous system which cannot fully function without them.
- Carbohydrates are metabolic primers that are absolutely necessary to completely burn fat!
- When insulin levels are chronically too low as with very low carb diets, muscle protein breakdown increases and protein synthesis stops.
- Your metabolism adapts to prolonged low carb/high fat/high protein diets and significantly decreases over time.
- Unlike high glycemic index simple carbs that set you up to crash and constantly crave them, complex carbs are rich in fiber, low on the GI and vital to your overall health.
So as you can see carb blockers are not the best way for anyone to lose weight but can in the end actually be detrimental to your overall health. There are much safer ways to shed excess pounds that do not compromise your well being.
My name is Sue and I am an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Ketogenic Living Specialist and Amare Global Wellness Partner. Coaching others is my passion. I want to be the change and help others take back control of their health and happiness!