Are Your Carbs Making Your Jeans Tight?
The effects on the body of nature’s natural carbohydrates versus man’s processed carbohydrates are polar opposites. In nature, fruit and vegetables provide valuable energy to the body in the form of glucose (sugar). They come with health-promoting vita¬mins, minerals and enzymes which allow the glucose to be used appropriately. They naturally contain their own fibre, fats and proteins, which help the body to regulate the level of glucose in the blood, so that sustained and consistent energy is achieved for both body and mind.
Carbohydrates like fruit and vegetables are essential for the growth and development of the human body and provide a natural sweetness in our diet. Their sweetness indicates their natural state of ripeness and peak nutrient density.
In stark contrast, refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar are stripped of their nutritional status. Grains in general break down into simple sugars in the body and are hard to digest, cre¬ating inflammation. If you are eating a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates and / or grain, such as cereal, bread and pasta for breakfast, lunch and dinner you will certainly be depleted in many vitamins and minerals and in turn will have impaired organ and gland function.
These types of carbohydrates take more energy out of the body to digest and assimilate than they actually provide, and are known as empty calories. Eating these foods creates a huge burst of glucose into the blood stream which can only fall again. This is the time when most people reach for the cake or coffee to rev them back up. These peaks and troughs cause an enormous amount of strain on the hormonal system, pancreas, liver, adrenals and thyroid gland and can lead to obesity, chronic fatigue, depression, exhaustion and behavioural problems such as ADHD.
Refined sugar, such as white (or even brown) table sugar, originates from sugar beet or sugar cane. Once refined and processed, the sugar is stripped of its naturally high levels of B vi¬tamins, magnesium and chromium. The body no longer reaches nutritional satiety when eating the sugar and so simply craves more and more sugar in a bid to sustain its nutritional needs. This type of sugar and, in fact, grain consumption can be linked to the increasing epidemic of type 2 diabetes and obesity. Obesity and excess stored fat arises due to the liver’s limited capacity to store glucose as glycogen. A daily diet rich in simple sugar will soon fill up the liver’s stores and will then be shuttled out to the body’s cells via the blood stream, to be stored as fatty acids in the buttocks, breasts, belly and hips.
Processed sugar is hidden everywhere and appears in many guises. High fructose corn syrup can be found in processed foods and bottled sauces: sugar is added to meat and poultry, spreads and soups. Its many aliases include fructose, glucose, maltose, lactose, sucrose – basically anything ending in ‘ose’ denotes sugar in your food!
There are still some great natural sugar products out there that you can enjoy in moderation and which actually have health-promoting qualities, including stevia (a herb), coconut sugar (which has a very low glycaemic index (GI) value) and organic raw honey. As far as grains go, I suggest a no-grain diet until you optimise your health and get any blood sugar instabilities and gut pathogens under control.
This may sound scary but there are over 100 grain-free recipes in my book, Meals That Heal – Inflammatory Healthcare & Free From Cooking to get you started.
Excerpt taken from, Meals That Heal – a Beginners Guide to Inflammatory Healthcare & Free From Cooking
3 Carb Combining Tips:
1. Swap your grains for fresh seasonal fruits and veggies.
2. Always eat your carbs with high quality saturated fats such as butter, ghee, coconut oil or tallow.
3. Accompany your carbs with an organic animal source protein such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish or poultry.