Some people complain about not being able to tolerate carbs. They might have issues with resistant starches or soluble fibers. They’ll complain of bloating and gas. These people will believe that they can’t eat bread, potatoes, carrots, squash, rice, pumpkins, and other kinds of carbs.
In my opinion, there are five core reasons why you might have issues digesting starchy and carbohydrate foods.
1. Low levels of stomach acid is a key reason for problems digesting starchy foods. Low stomach can be caused by a myriad of reasons. It could be an infection such as Helicobacter pylori. It could be stress-induced or lifestyle induced (e.g., staying up late night after night).
Eating the wrong kinds of foods can also play havoc with stomach acid levels. Low levels of zinc and B vitamins can reduce the production of hydrochloric acid by the stomach. Lifestyle and diet play a huge part in getting your stomach back into working order.
If the stomach isn’t working correctly, the pancreas won’t function properly. That leads us to reason number two for poor carbohydrate digestion.
2. Lack of sufficient pancreatic amylase interferes with carbohydrate digestion. Check the level of pancreatic elastase 1 (PE 1) in your stool to determine if the pancreatic exocrine function is sufficient.
Exocrine means non-endocrine because, remember, a small portion of the pancreas makes insulin. But the largest portion makes enzymes and also bicarbonate to neutralize the acids – both of which are considered an exocrine function.
The pancreas doesn’t like alcohol. Pancreatic function can also be impaired by type 1 diabetes.
If you have a pancreatic problem, you need to consider enzyme supplements to make sure you don’t develop serious health problems.
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3. The third reason for carbohydrate intolerance is the type of diet you eat. Some people go back and forth between different types of diets. You shouldn’t do that to your digestive system. It’s too abrupt.
Be very careful with making dietary changes, make them very slowly and consistently over time. If you want to add a new carbohydrate to your diet, do it slowly, over a couple of weeks. Also, make sure you are eating the right kinds of foods – not the type found wrapped in plastic and packaged in boxes.
4. The fourth reason you might be having problems digesting carbohydrates relates to cooking methods. Some people can tolerate a boiled potato, but not a baked one. Experiment with different ways of cooking carbohydrates until you find one that suits you the best.
5. The fifth factor that can interfere with carbohydrate digestion is stress.
Stress can interfere with digestion, and that includes anxiety about what you’re eating.
You need to back off and relax a lot more, and you’ll find that it’ll be a lot easier for your digestive system.
When the brain is in a relaxed state, the digestion is seriously improved.