Many people looking to gain muscle weight can become very confused when they read and hear all of the conflicting information that’s spread on TV, magazines, the internet, and diet books. One of the most misunderstood techniques is the low carb diets that have been very popular in the last several years.
The popular belief lately is that sugar (carbohydrates) should be kept to moderate to low levels in your eating, even if you are trying to build muscle mass and/or gain muscle weight. The reason for this is because of the recent popularity of low-carb diets, such as The Atkins diet, The Southbeach diet, The Zone diet, etc. Even in bodybuilding magazines all of a sudden everyone and their mother are recommending to keep carbs in your diets almost to a minimum.
Well, the misconception that sugar is somehow “evil” and will cause you to get fat, raise your bad cholesterol, and even lose your “insulin sensitivity” is based on several MYTHS that have been passed around by the media and “monkey see, monkey do” nutrition and exercise “gurus”.One of the main misconceptions is that eating carbs will cause a sharp rise of insulin in your blood, which supposedly causes your body to store fat.
A lot of this is based on the incorrect belief that you should avoid eating “high GI (glycemic index)” foods, and to mainly get most of your carbs from “low GI” foods.
Basically, the Glycemic Index is a chart that was developed years ago that measures how much of a rise in insulin a certain food causes in the blood once digested. To put it simply, the higher the GI number is, the higher and quicker it makes your insulin rise.
(For some odd reason that’s NOT based on any real, conclusive evidence. People seem to think that raising your insulin levels is “bad”).
Well, in 1981, researchers at the University of Toronto were the first to accurately notice that “simple” carb foods (having a high GI) actually produced a smaller increase in blood sugar than most “complex” (or low GI) foods (everyone today thinks the opposite is true, of course, based on what they read in the latest “how to gain muscle weight” article)!
In fact, eating table sugar (sucrose) actually causes a smaller increase in blood sugar than eating foods such as baked potatoes and whole wheat bread. Foods containing added sugars do NOT have a higher GI than foods containing naturally occurring sugars. In fact, you really can’t count on the “GI” much at all!!! Why? Because the Glycemic Index does NOT take into account the differences in variety, ripeness, processing, or cooking foods, which have a huge impact on how that particular food affects your insulin levels, even if you are trying to gain muscle weight.
Also, the fat content of food also has an effect on insulin: foods that are high in fat have a lower GI, like peanuts, which only have a GI of 14. In addition, there some foods that have a high GI number, but don’t affect your insulin levels at all……..like carrots! Carrots have a GI of 95 (which is pretty high), but don’t try to tell me that you’ll get fat, get diabetes, etc., from eating carrots!!! Bodybuilding magazines, supplement companies, and the internet spread myths to all of us seeking to build muscle mass, only leading us to NO RESULTS!
I guarantee you that if you are desperately trying to gain muscle if you go on a low carb diet, not only are you not going to build any muscle weight, but you are actually going to get smaller than what you are already are.
If you are trying to eat your way to a leaner, more defined, more sculpted you, there is NO NEED TO BREAK DOWN YOUR EATING DOWN TO ALL KINDS OF RATIOS or PERCENTAGES.
Regardless of what type of foods you eat and in what combinations, “IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THE CALORIES”!