Maybe we should redefine low carb eating as ‘conscientious eating’, or a ‘blood sugar regulation dietary protocol’, ‘optimal carb eating’ or even ‘responsible carb eating’? The only reason we have to define ‘low carb’ as such, is because we have gotten way out of hand with our diets in this nation, not to mention we are far from what our ancestors ate and what Paleolithic man ate. Low carb
As you can tell I am a bit tired of all the confusion about what a low carb diet is, and how it might be ‘dangerous’. I am also sick and tired of the ‘carbs’ debate period. So let’s talk a bit more about it. What the heck do we even mean when we say ‘carbs’? Cause honestly, I think everyone sees it differently. Personally, when I think of low carbohydrates, it’s referring to lower starchy foods, refined foods and sugars. Foods that will turn into sugar once in your bloodstream. Foods like grains, legumes, sugars, tubers, even fruit and of course any kind of refined processed starch type food. Carbohydrates can be a very healthy part of one’s diet, so long as they are the right carbs such as low glycemic vegetables, fresh fruits focusing on lower glycemic fruits and in small amounts due to blood sugar managing. As well as some properly prepared legumes, properly prepared soaked/sprouted whole non-gmo grains in a very small percentage of your overall daily consumption. Preferably around 15-20%, as a gauge. Definitely nowhere near the amount most Americans are consuming. I don’t care if you soak your grains and sprout your wheat, that still is a starch. You can eat it, if you choose, but that would be considered a starchy carb and should be eaten in moderation (again as a gauge 15-20% of your overall intake), and only if you do not have gut damage such as a leaky gut or any kind of gut dysbiosis like Crohn’s or IBS. Some amount of starchy carbs can be okay in the diet, but not typically for most people in this modern day as we are dealing with metabolic syndrome. Something that didn’t exist in Price’s day. At the very least, a lower carb diet is important for optimal health and managing blood sugar, as well as healing other health maladies such as endocrine issues or even healing the gut from the damage done by eating a typical modern day diet. I am not suggesting to not eat ANY carbs, just be mindful and limit them.
Today we are all most likely starting from a point of some level of blood sugar disregulation. Every single one of us. Unless you
If you are against low carb eating and think it’s dangerous, I challenge you to test your blood sugar with a glucose meter on a high carb diet. Then test it on a low carb one. It should be between 80-100 mg/dl optimally. What is far more dangerous is having blood sugar too far out of that range, namely on the high side. Since blood sugar is one of the most tightly regulated systems in the body, we really can’t argue or mess with the facts on this front. Oh, and did I mention that when it swings too high out of range, your adrenals have to fire up and come in to the rescue? Do that again and again and again each time you eat too many carbs and you get tired adrenals. And aren’t we all rather adrenally fatigued as it is? These are very crucial things to consider when wanting to die on a hill of high carb consumption.
Carbohydrates can provide a quick source of energy for our muscles, and primarily they are used in the body as an energy source. They can also provide fuel for the brain, though I believe we have adapted to run on glucose for our brains when we once did with
I could go on and on, and talk about how grains have changed and the history of corn and potatoes and we’d be here all day. At this point I want to turn it over to some folks that have more ‘clout’, if you will, than I do. Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low Carb wrote an excellent post on the issues going on in the real food camps out there lately. He interviewed several experts in nutrition and in the paleo or ‘low carb’ community on the issues and confusion surrounding low carb eating. I highly recommend reading it, it is rather long, but very thorough with loads of great resources. Check it out here!
For those who may have jumped wholeheartedly in the low carb thing with all zeal and vigor, but yet experienced ill effects, consider that going too fast can be problematic. If you are used to a higher carbohydrate/starch diet it’s critical to go slowly into a lower carb diet. Read more here by Dr. Shannahan about how going too low carb too fast can upset your hormones.
Primal Body, Primal Mind. – this book taught me the most about how to regulate blood sugar. Also why and what impact consuming too many starches/carbs has on our body overall. I can’t recommend this book enough!
Primal Blueprint- a dietary plan to follow our primal ancestry, since we are after all 99.9% genetically the same, consuming the appropriate diet to our original genetics is ideal for optimal health. This covers the reason to lower starch consumption and how to go about it. Ideally to manage blood sugar and stay in weight loss mode you need to consume between 50-100 grams of carbohydrates per day. Once you get your blood sugar regulated you can add a bit more carbs if you want to, but stay under 150 grams per day.
Dangerous Grains – an understanding into how modern grains and their over-consumption are wreaking havoc on our bodies causing all kinds of health maladies, with an emphasis on gluten.
GAPS – this focuses on the removal of starches for the most part, in order to heal the gut lining to recover from a plethora of health ailments. It does not eliminate all carbohydrate foods, but the more problematic ones on digestion. Dr. Natasha is a highly educated successful doctor that healed her own son of autism. I trust her research immensely.
Life Without Bread – Written by 2 doctors based on lots of scientific evidence, this book is a MUST read. (I only just recently finished it!) Their suggestion is 70 grams of carbs per day for optimal health.
Wheat Belly – I have not yet finished reading this book, but I did listen to this awesome presentation summarizing the book very thoroughly and I highly recommend doing so. It covers so much that relates to low carb and understanding why we are in the predicament we are in. For a review of the book, ‘Wheat Belly’, check out this post by Joy of Liberated Kitchen.
So how about you? Are you confused about all the low carb dogma? What are your thoughts on this subject? Share in the comments…….
This post contributed to Fight Back Fridays.