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The Truth About Carbohydrates

Not all Carbs are Created Equal

88 Comments




 
5/6/2009 4:21:25 PM

JTBARRINGER's SparkPage
Great article. However, fruits still need to be avoided in diabetics, as the fructose is immediately converted to glucose.
5/6/2009 12:48:58 PM

LCHADDON's SparkPage
Thank you for the article. I myself tried the low carb, high protein Atkins diet a few years back. While I did loose weight, after a few weeks I was sick as a dog. I am a firm believer that there is no one diet plan or eating program that suits everyone. I believe that some people do very well on the high protein, low carb. Some people do better going the opposite way, and some people are right in the middle, doing best on a truly balanced diet.
As long as what we eat is healthy, while limiting the "bad" foods, I think we should eat as our bodies need.
But then, that is just my opinion.
5/6/2009 10:01:40 AM

LOGHOUSE's SparkPage
I've been following the TNT plan from Men's Health magazine since October. The TNT plan is a low carb, high fat diet that encourages it's followers to eat lots of veggies, a normal ammount of protein, and a good amount of natural fat, and discourages calorie counting. There are several eating programs within the TNT plan to choos from based on the amound of weight or fat you have to lose or what your strength training goals are. The TNT plan also includes a structured weight lifting plan which frequently changes up the routine to discourage plateaus. Since starting the TNT plan back in October, I've lost an additional 50 pounds (I'm down 82 pounds overall so far), and have seen DRASTIC changes in my body composition (as can be seen in my latest pics on my Spark page from a couple days ago), as the TNT plan encourages your body to use it's fat stores for fuel.

Contrary to the article, I have found this plan to be ANYTHING but boring, and have been eating in a much more healthy way than I ever had before, and I have loads of energy to complete my workouts, and in fact have added much to the regular strength training program (400 pushups before each strength training session, for instance). I do strength work 3x per week and alternate strength training days with light core and cardio days. Every week I discover new things I can do that I never could before (most recently, I can run 2 miles without stopping - never knew I could run at all). Lack of energy to complete workouts or get through the day couldn't be further from the truth, at least in my case and the case of TNT users over on the Men's Health TNT forum.

I know everyone is different and responds differently to different diets/eating plans, and your results may not be the same as mine, but I'm very much looking forward to my next check-up with my Dr., as the TNT plan as spelled out in the book and Men's Health magazine has promised to help lower my cholestoral as well as improve the ratio between the good and bad, and that has proven to be the case in scores of the plan's followers. I already know my blood pressure is way down (as shown by my monthly trips to the blood center to donate), and the edima in my lower legs is completely gone. I'm expecting my Dr. to tell me I'm no longer "pre-diabetic" too, at least that is my hope.

I would encourage the author of the article to read the TNT book and give her impressions. I don't believe all low carb diets to be nearly as bad/boring/dangerous/disasterous as this article presents. All low carb plans are not created equally.

Rick
(loghouse)
5/6/2009 9:24:37 AM

PATREENA325's SparkPage
I was once advised by my holistic practitioner to reduce the carb intake in my diet to under 60 grams a day and refrain from eating anything that had ingredients ending in "ose" (glucose, sucrose, fructose...you get it)....and OF those 60 carbs they had to be WHOLE grain and unrefined. I had to do this, in conjunction with vitamins/supplements to rid my body of a host of problems (yeast, depression, dry skin, anxiety....the list goes on)

IN the process of this "cleanse" I lost a lot of weight. I can only assume it was this low carb lifestyle. But it wasnt carb-LESS and it was just common sense. Eat carbs, just dont eat all that processed crud. Eat Fruits and veggies all you want....they are NATURAL sugars able to be digested by the body more appropriately than the fake sugar substitues and processed stuff and foods deemed "low fat" or "fat free".....

I understand this may not work for everyone but I thought Id share my experience.
STEVEPARAFIN
5/6/2009 9:06:56 AM

I always believed a "BALANCED" diet was the best kind of "diet".
BUTTERFLYMOM83
5/6/2009 8:43:05 AM

I get really annoyed by Anti Low-carb crap. I'm here to tell you it works!!!!!!! I've been on a low-carb lifestyle for over 4-years and it's the best decision I've ever made for myself. I've lost 57 lbs total and the the diet has made me more consious of what I eat. Now I never really followed it exactly to the strict guidelines of say the Atkins diet. For example I never extremely stressed upon myself to staying under 20 carbs a day or cutting out all fruits and veggies. I just took the basic principle and made it fit my life, I did cut all fried foods, potatos, white breads and white pastas, desserts, etc. Also the reason I chose the "low-carb" lifestyle is b/c I once took an evaluation test and based on your answers the test put you in a certain body type catagory w/ a diet plan. The test revealed to me that I was a body type that does not metabolize carbs well anyway and the diet plan for that body type had very limited carb intake anyway. Aside from veggies the diet plan said I could only have a grapefruit and 1/4 cup of brown rice and that was it for carbs. Thats what confirmed that a low-carb diet was the right one for me and it has worked and continues to work so dont put down this diet, I do not believe it is anymore "Unhealthy" than any other diet out there. Just as with any diet moderation is key , the low-carb diet does not mean you can have bun-less cheeseburgers and bacon everyday , you just have to use common sense. Eat your veggies....green beans, spinach, brocoli and your fruit......peaches, blueberries, strawberries etc. Anyway real point being you have to find the diet that works for you. The one that fits your lifestyle and changes it too and that is the healthiest choice you can make. There is nothing wrong with a low-carb lifestyle if it works for you.
5/6/2009 6:39:46 AM

JUNIAATROME's SparkPage
Am I glad that this insulin business has been discovered! I grew up in an environment that swore by carbs (in the 70ties) and dreaded fats and proteins. I ate as commended and felt hungry ALL THE TIME. Sure, this was suiting my appetite as I love cookies and cakes and pasta and bread but I'd eat and be hugry. In fact, I eat cake and half an hour later I have to eat some proper food. I'm so hungry.

Half of my life I was hungry that way dreading that most of my life I'll be running around hungry. I'm so thankful to those who opened my eyes to complex carbs and a good portion of protein every day. I do get emotionally hungry for sweets now and then (but am learning that this is not curable through eating) but normally, I'm NOT HUNGRY all the time any more. In fact, I discovered on SP that my hunger behaves normally when I abstain from simple carbs. Great stuff!
3/6/2009 11:08:00 AM

MELANCON2630's SparkPage
Education is KEY - The essential foundation to knowing and understanding yourself what you need to accomplish a goal. Here's my take: If you still have questions after reading an article, go get more information. I have read many many many articles books, etc. on this very topic and can honestly say that this particular article is simple to read, lays the foundational understanding of what carbs are and basically is 'On Point' guide for one to use when determining what your body needs. Not everyone is the same; Therefore, we all need different balances in our diets. Again; My point, want to know more, want to make a difference, GO GET IT!!!
2/26/2009 9:47:55 AM

DAREDEVIL23's SparkPage
It would have been nice to have included *evidence and references* for the negative claims against low carb diets, not just blanket statements.

Although not a magic cure-all these authors don't slam low carb...

# A randomized trial of a low-carbohydrate diet for obesity. GD. Foster, HR. Wyatt, JO. Hill, et al., New Engl J Med, 2003, vol. 348, pp. 2082--2090


# A low-carbohydrate as compared with a low-fat diet in severe obesity. FF. Samaha, N. Iqbal, P. Seshadri, et al., New Engl J Med, 2003, vol. 348, pp. 2074--2081
2/23/2009 2:38:22 PM

SASSYNQUERKY's SparkPage
Carb limiting is good to jump start and identify problem carbs - agree the Atkins gets a bad stigma as a meat only diet when it is simply about eliminating bad carbs from the palate and reintroducing the good carbs. ++ where is the scientific proof to this general statement article - although i agree with some of it doesn't make it fact.
11/3/2008 4:39:49 PM

SUNNYARIZONA's SparkPage
This is a VERY good and detailed , yet simplified article on Carbs. Having tried the
KIM KINS diet which is a diet using only 20 grams of carbs a day, I could never go back to that, I was craving my veggies and fruits all the time. It is so much easier to eat a normal well balanced diet.

11/3/2008 2:59:29 PM

CINDYPSYCH's SparkPage
Starvibes, I think the problem is in the labeling of Atkins and South Beach. This article isn't biased. Actually, South Beach certainly, and Atkins a bit less, really follows the guidelines in this article (Atkins is a bit more limiting of fruit, legumes, and vegetables like carrots and green peas than South Beach is). Both of these diets should be called "Good Carb" or "Healthy Carb" diets, not low carb diets.

- CindyPsych
CINNALATTE
11/3/2008 10:06:37 AM

Whatever happened to "Everything in moderation"?
11/3/2008 9:59:33 AM

STARVIBES's SparkPage
Eh-hem. I think this article is a bit biased against the concept of "low-carb". I did Atkins for a while, and I find that many people have a false perception of what a low-carb plan really is, and how it works.

I find that many people hear about the first two weeks of Atkins, and they assume that is the whole diet - which it most certainly is not. The first two weeks of a new intensive exercise class will feel like torture for your body, because you are making changes to which your body must become accustomed. After that, it gets much better and you might look forward to exercising. Likewise, after you get thru the induction period of Atkins, you start introducing more and more healthy carbs. Once you reach your goal and get into maintenance, you find yourself eating a wide variety of ONLY healthy carbs. Because you invested the time and energy to go thru induction, you have broken your addiction to unhealthy carbs and find it much easier to make the right choices.

So a diet like Atkins, aka "low-carb", will work wonders if properly researched, understood and implemented. It is not all bacon and steaks; it is an investment in your future.
11/3/2008 8:59:02 AM

KUKANNA's SparkPage
Yes, most of this makes sense. I already eliminate the 'forbidden' carbs, other than freshly-squeezed fruit juice for breakfast, and since I love fruit and veg I have no problems eating 3-5 of each every day.

But 6-11 servings of wholewheat bread/rice/cereal etc seems rather excessive. By the time I've eaten my fruit and veg, some meat or fish for protein, some legumes and low-fat yogurt, and two or three servings of bread/cereal (etc) I'm at my maximum calories for the day.

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