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Question
Posted by: Racoon | 2011/12/14

Sleep deprivation and carbs

Hi DietDoc

I have noticed that when I am very tired, I have no willpower and will eat anything high in carbohydrates. Currently I am quite stresses, and also sleep-deprived due to a teething toddler. What can I do to regain control?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Racoon
Carbohydrates are the best fuel for the human body, so it is only natural that you would want to eat carbs when you are tired, sleep-deprived and exhausted because of a teething toddler. The trick is to eat carbs with a low glycaemic index (GI) and NOT to add lashings of fat to them (e.g. butter, margarine, oil, mayonnaise, cream, etc). Click on 'Diet & Nutrition' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. Carbs esp those which are high in dietary fibre, have the lowest energy content of all the macronutrients, namely 16 kJ/gram or less, whereas fats provide 37 kJ/gram of energy. So you can certainly eat low-GI carbs and low-fat proteins to boost your energy levels and this will not cause weight gain. If you suspect that your tiredness may be due to iron or vit B12 deficiency, please ask your dr to send you for the relevant blood tests, so that you can be treated with an iron-folic acid or a vit B12 supplement. Also take naps during the day if possible to make up for lost sleep at night.
I hope those teeth soon make their appearance and that you can get back to your normal routine.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011/12/14

Dear Racoon
Carbohydrates are the best fuel for the human body, so it is only natural that you would want to eat carbs when you are tired, sleep-deprived and exhausted because of a teething toddler. The trick is to eat carbs with a low glycaemic index (GI) and NOT to add lashings of fat to them (e.g. butter, margarine, oil, mayonnaise, cream, etc). Click on 'Diet & Nutrition' and 'Weight loss' and 'The Glycaemic Index' and read the articles on the GI. Carbs esp those which are high in dietary fibre, have the lowest energy content of all the macronutrients, namely 16 kJ/gram or less, whereas fats provide 37 kJ/gram of energy. So you can certainly eat low-GI carbs and low-fat proteins to boost your energy levels and this will not cause weight gain. If you suspect that your tiredness may be due to iron or vit B12 deficiency, please ask your dr to send you for the relevant blood tests, so that you can be treated with an iron-folic acid or a vit B12 supplement. Also take naps during the day if possible to make up for lost sleep at night.
I hope those teeth soon make their appearance and that you can get back to your normal routine.
Best regards
DietDoc

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