Carbs are Your Enemy?

_101883728_xand_carbsLow-carb and ketogenic diets are extremely popular, and a lot of health experts recommend these diet for preventing and reversing many diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obese.  However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition and there are a lot of people who failed to continue low-carb and/or ketogenic diet because of improper implementation (nutrition deficiency), but sometimes it could be your genetic make-up. 

Some people can eat carb-heavy foods without piling on fat because their bodies can process them very efficiently. You may have friends who eat carbs at every meal but stay lean and healthy all the time. Earlier this month, the BBC aired a documentary TV show called, “The Truth About Carb”, which performed the Cracker Test experiment on several people on the show. The 60 second test is meant to reveal how predisposed we are to metabolize carbs according to our genes – and how this affects the amount of carbs we should eat.

The cracker test is created by geneticist, Dr. Sharon Moalem who outlined the test in his 2016 book,  “The DNA Restart: Unlock Your Personal Genetic Code to Eat for Your Genes, Lose Weight, and Reverse Aging“. In order to take the test, all you need is a plain unsalted cracker and timer. Simply chew on a plain cracker until it changes in flavor from a bland biscuit to quite sweet. You need to fill your mouth with as much saliva as you can before you chew because your saliva is the key for this test. You need to pay attention and use the timer to time how long it takes for you to notice the taste change. Repeat twice more and divide the figure by three to calculate the average.

Below is what your time means, and which level you fall into:
0-14 seconds: Carb consumption category: Full
15-30 seconds: Carb consumption category: Moderate
More than 30 seconds: Carb consumption category: Restricted.

If the taste changes under in under 14 seconds, a person has a lot of amylase chopping up starch molecules into smaller sugar-like molecules. Such people likely inherited multiple copies of the AMY1 gene used to make amylase in the mouth and pancreas, as their ancestors may well have had a diet full of grains. 
Those who take between 15 to 30 seconds fall into the “moderate” category. Their bodies take longer to break down starchy carbs, but they are still likely to handle carbs well. These people could eat some carbs and not experience significant weight gain. However, If it takes a person more than 30 seconds to recognize the sweet taste — or if they recognize no taste change at all — then that means that their bodies cannot break down carbs sufficiently. These people are more likely to gain weight when eating some carbs.

The hose of “Truth About Carb”, Dr. Xand van Tulleken added that while it’s still the early days of Moalem’s research, “the cracker test demonstrates just how varied our carb tolerance is”.  Isn`t quite interesting is it? You can try this test with your lean carb lover friends and see which category they fall into. However, even if you are classified as carb tolerance, it doesn`t mean you can eat junk chips, cookies, and cupcakes. Always stay in with whole foods.


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