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Eating too many carbs? Find out with litmus paper!

Controlling your carb intake is key to controlling your blood sugar levels, and thus your insulin response.  If you eat a plate of pasta at lunch, you’re probably nodding off around 3pm because all that pasta spiked your blood sugar, causing your body to respond by pouring insulin into your blood stream.

The problem is that you do need a certain amount of carbs.  But how much?  It’s difficult to say because it varies with your weight and activity level.  On days when you’re doing a 2-hour training run, you need more carbs than on days when you don’t work out.

You could spend a lot of time running calculations…or you can find out the easy way if you’re eating too many carbs. 

What’s the easy way?  Litmus paper!

Here’s how it works: carbs break down into glucose or blood sugar. If you "over-carb” by eating either refined carbohydrates, or just too many unrefined carbs, your blood sugar spikes.

Your body uses some of this glucose for energy, and stores some of it as fat in your fat cells. When there’s too much glucose in your blood sugar, it is burned anaerobically. The byproduct is lactic acid, which causes your body and your mouth to become very acidic, technically known as acidosis.

The pH of your mouth should normally run slightly alkaline, at around 7.4.  When you over-carb, your body tries to buffer the resulting acid by releasing calcium from your bones and teeth.  This is another reason why sugar and refined carbs are bad for your health—they rob your bones and teeth of calcium.

When you over-carb, you create an acidic environment makes a great breeding ground for anaerobic bacteria (yeast, fungus and parasites), and that’s not good. This also means the destruction of aerobic bacteria-the good guys. They can't survive in such an acidic environment.
Gerry Morton, CEO of EnergyFirst, has these suggestions for using litmus paper to test your pH:

  • Purchase litmus paper in the range of 5.5 to 8.0 pH—available from energyfirst.com.
  • An hour after a meal, when carbs have had time to hit your blood stream, test your saliva with the litmus paper and a plastic spoon.
  • Put some saliva into the plastic spoon.
  • Dip the litmus paper into the saliva, then remove it.
  • Wait 3 seconds.
  • Compare the color of the litmus paper to the color chart that comes with it.
  • Yellow indicates very acid saliva, and that means you’re over-carbing.
  • Dark green to blue indicates a neutral to slightly alkaline or basic saliva.
  • Your goal should be to test neutral or slightly alkaline i.e. pH 7 to 7.5.

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How was this discovered?

Well, one day Dr. Dan Rosen D.D.S., formerly of Austin Texas, took his youngest child's class on a field trip to his dental office. At 10 am he handed out plastic spoons and litmus paper to the children, asked them to spit and then dip the paper in their saliva.

Every child except for Dr Rosen's children showed litmus paper that was bright yellow, indicating extremely acid saliva with a pH around 5.0. Dr Rosen's children displayed dark green litmus paper indicating a pH of 7.4-perfect saliva!

So then they talked about what everyone had eaten for breakfast. The kids with the bright yellow litmus paper had had all carbs-orange juice, pop tarts, breakfast cereal, and toast.

But Dr. Rosen's children had eaten an omelet, avocado, and sprouted barley toast with butter and a glass of water-a healthy balance of lean complete protein, good fats and good carbs which supports an aerobic metabolism and alkaline or healthy pH.


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