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Carbohydrate Intolerance & Obesity

Studies have shown that Carbohydrate Intolerance plays part in obese people. Moreover it was also found that obese men may not process carbohydrates as efficiently as obese women, a condition that can, ultimately, lead to a decrease in fitness level and the development of metabolic disorders. 

Carbohydrate intolerance and obesity.
Carbohydrate intolerance can explain why some people find it more difficult to lose weight.

A new study published in the CHEST, a journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), showed that severely obese men were more carbohydrate intolerant and had less physical endurance than severely obese women, leading researchers to believe that gender plays a strong role in physical fitness and a person's ability to metabolize carbohydrates.

“Carbohydrate intolerance, the inability to metabolize sugar found in carbohydrates, may lead to a build-up of fat deposits on muscle tissue, which can cause a person to gain weight and, eventually, impair physical endurance,” said study co-author Emile F. L. Dubois, MD, PhD, FCCP, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Hospital Reinier de Graaf Groep, Delft-Voorburg, Netherlands.

“It appears that carbohydrate intolerance is more common in obese men, which would cause them to be less physically fit than obese women.” Researchers also assessed patients for carbohydrate intolerance, according to American Diabetes Society Guidelines. 59 percent of men had overt diabetes or were carbohydrate intolerant, as compared to 35 percent of women. Researchers note that patients with carbohydrate intolerance usually suffer from metabolic syndrome, a group of medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, that can lead to cardiovascular disease.

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I wonder what the fat intake of these people was during this study? 


I have real problem with the authenticity of studies like these which blame macronutrients for people's obesity. Having spent quite a lot of time in various parts of the world and seeing what people eat, I have not found that high carb made anyone fatter. For instance I lived in various Asian countries for almost 10 years. Asians as a whole eat rice with everything, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, are not fat. The Asian people who started eating more like westerners began to gain weight. Their diets started to include more fast food. In America, people are eating more and more fast food and drinking sodas. My observation is that Americans are getting fatter and fatter not from more carbs but from an ever increasing amount of calories which are nutrient deficient. IMO, if people begin focusing on nutrient density of their foods they will see an improvement in their health and weight.

I think the point was people that cannot absorb carbs become overweight. So the point is that not being able to absorb carbs or not eating enough carbs can lead to weight gain probably through binging etc.

I'm suffering from it right now... Fructose ***** me, carbs from quinoa rice etc do as well but not so much.

Chemotherapy has ruined my guts.

Are you able to digest fat, though?  You have a traumatized gut, so you have trouble digesting.  That isn't the same thing as carbohydrate intolerance, is it?  If the food is not digesting in your guts, then it never has the opportunity to get to the cellular level, where the "carbohydrate intolerance" would occur.  Just wondering...

Sorry for what you're going through.  It must be a pain!

Well a noted side effect of chemo is both fructose intolerance and carb intolerance. Fast replicating cells are killed off and the GI tract is full of fast replicating cells. I'm not sure if the lack of cells hinders absorption as well as not producing enzymes to break things down.

Gotcha.  What a bummer.  :(

Yeap! Ironically I can handle fat and protein ie cancer causing foods... Kind of ironic!

Oh, dear.  Best wishes on a speedy recovery.

Hey Carlos

Hope you are consuming plenty of green vegetable juices to get your nutrient intakes up. You will need lots of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals after the chemo. How do you get on with sweet potatoes? They are one of the easier to digest cooked carbohydrates and are lower GL than some others. Papaya as well might be an easier to digest fruit. Lower in carbs, gentle on the digestion. Maybe just need to ease yourself in after the chemo.

Take care

Adam x

Hey Adam,

I've been trying to juice as many vegetables as I can. I usually try carrot/beets/green apple/broccoli as a staple. I NEED to do more green smoothies.

I haven't tried sweet potatoes yet. I'll steam some tonight.

Thanks for the help! 

That sounds like it will be nutritious. Maybe try adding in some kale or bok choy (pak choi), or some spring greens (collards) as well. You can add your juices to smoothies. When you are up to the extra fibre (if that is an issue for you right now) I would go for spinach in your smoothies.

See how you get on with peas as well. Some pulses would be a good idea to start adding some food for the friendly bacteria in your gut (fruit do a great job too, but if you are struggling to eat fruit, don't know how much you are consuming). They are also a good source of zinc, which you will undoubtedly be low in following the chemo. Zinc forms the backbone of your DNA, so you want plenty of it for chemo recovery.

Good luck

Take care

Adam x


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