Carbohydrates / Sugar
Carbohydrates make up an enormous amount of the Western diet. The definition of carbohydrates: Mainly sugars and starches that the body breaks down into glucose, a simple sugar that the body can use to feed its cells.
Simple sugars (refined carbohydrates) get into the blood stream faster and complex carbohydrates like whole grains take longer to break down into sugars.
Eating refined products means that you are eating foods that have had most if
not all of the original nutrients taken out, leaving the ‘energy’ or the starch that
will be turned into glucose sugar in the body. Any glucose that is not used for
energy, gets stored as FAT.
As these foods mix with saliva – the salivary amylase
breaks down the carbohydrate chains easily and quickly.
These foods can cause an insulin response
and are very high on the Glyceamic Load and
Glyceamic Index charts.
The Western diet is overloaded with refined carbohydrates,
and now many experts are saying that it is excess dietary carbohydrate
and NOT fats (natural fats) that is causing the frightening surge
in obesity. The real obesity epidemic started to escalate at the same time
that the FDA approved a new food pyramid, which had the majority of the diet as carbohydrates. Our diet,
especially children’s diet is overwhelmed by carbohydrates – and these are mostly highly refined.
– Pizza bases
– Potato (and other starchy vegetables)
– All other grains
– Sweet drinks
– Anything with sugar in (tastes sweet)
– Fruits and fruit juices
– Thickeners in sauces
– Added sugar in many foods
And so on – this list is not exhaustive, carbohydrates permeate our diet.
Reducing carbohydrates by two thirds would help towards most
people’s health and well-being, with the exception of athletes and
people doing endurance training. Even those that regularly working
out at the gym are likely over consuming carbohydrates.
When you look at this list – you can see that the base, the staples
are all Carbohydrates. As a natural being (primitive man), or even
before the 2nd World War humans never ate carbohydrates
on the scale that we now consider normality.
It’s not to say that carbohydrates don’t have a place in our diet,
they are important for energy, as they are cleaner fuels
than fats or protein. The body can and easily does use proteins
and fats for energy. In fact they are vital for energy production.
Good fats, natural fats are VITAL in our diet and it saddens and
worries me that it is fat that has been demonized and not the excess
carbohydrate. In fact Sweden has just introduce a “FAT TAX’, on foods
that contain fats, our government is considering this approach too.
It shows a complete unwillingness to listen to the experts about what
we really need to do and that is cut back carbohydrate consumption.
Some of the best forms of carbohydrates are the unrefined
nutrient dense type. That is not to say that sometimes white rice or
whiter forms of these foods are okay. Very weak digestion does better
on less wholegrain for example. The key is to have a small amount
and not make carbohydrates the bulk of the meal.
Avoid bread before a meal,
Don’t drink sweet drinks with a meal
Consume very small portions of carbohydrates and starchy foods.
Even wholegrains should be eaten in moderation, and should not take
over the dinner plate.
Note: Even healthy grains (except rice and quinoa) contain gluten,
if you suspect that you are sensitive to gluten try to avoid all grains
for a month and observe how you feel. Many people have underlying
gluten sensitivity that isn’t picked up on a celiac test (Gluten Allergy test)