Member Comments for the Article:

The Truth About Carbohydrates

Not all Carbs are Created Equal


9/2/2009 12:01:52 PM

SOON2BNYC's SparkPage
This left me more confused..especially regarding honey, it's said to be a "superfood" by other sources here it's listed under "eliminate"?!? Uhh ever frustrating..
9/2/2009 11:52:39 AM

I am disappointed in the lack of a balanced viewpoint in this article. The author is spewing the same old information that low carb dieting is bad, without taking into account the success that so many have had by following such diets both in the extreme and moderation.
The inflexible position taken is unfortunate and not helpful to so many who have benefitted from choosing an alternative eating plan.
9/2/2009 11:24:49 AM

Hmm... no references listed. Wonder why.

Honestly, after being grain-free for about 3 months, I can't imagine going back. Plenty of carbs can be gotten by eating veggies and fruits (which are full of nutrients, unlike grains, even "healthy whole grains").

The body "needs" a surprisingly low amount of carbohydrates in a day, and can get those by converting SOME dietary protein (not all of it; don't worry) if it needs to. But you should be eating enough protein that you can "sacrifice" a little if need be... .5g to 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass per day.

Your brain can run very well on ketones, and ketosis is only an unnatural state because of all the sugars and grains that are consumed in the typical American diet now. You can bet the Inuit people think that ketosis is quite natural (and it is... ketoacidosis isn't to be confused with ketosis... THAT is the dangerous one).

Some people experience headaches or fuzzy memory for a little while when making the switch, but that's to be expected with any withdrawal symptoms... but once it sorts out, many people experience a huge increase in mental clarity, energy, etc.

Also, about the Calcium? The more grains you eat, the more calcium you need... there is a phytoenzyme in grains that binds to calcium in your body and makes it unusable (which is why a lot of wheat products are "fortified" with extra calcium)... if you eliminate that, the calcium you eat (many fruits and veggies have it) can actually be utilized by your body properly.

This is a scary-sounding article, but anyone who was taught to read "spin" in news articles rather than just the words themselves (read between the lines) will see that this is the same "conventional wisdom" as always, recycled and spouted back, without any real studies to back it up.
9/2/2009 11:21:41 AM

PAMELAHJ's SparkPage
There is a lot of conflicting information - but my dad has been living a low carb lifestyle - to the extreme since the 70's and has not had to take any medications until the last year he is 78 so what does that tell you??
9/2/2009 11:18:14 AM

On the "dangers" of low-carb:

1. With a low-carb diet, there's MORE protein in the diet. If the body is using some of it for energy, it doesn't matter. There's still plenty for those things that protein is needed for.

2. There's nothing wrong with the type of ketosis created by a low-carb diet. There's been some confusion with ketoacidosis that occurs in diabetics, but they are not the same!

3. The headaches and other side effects generally do not last beyond the de-inflammation that occurs as excess carbohydrates are cleared from the body, which may last for a few days. I've known lots of people who have felt better than they ever have before once they have gotten past this hurdle.

4. A low-carb diet done properly actually has lots of fiber. Atkins followers are encouraged to eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables, contrary to popular understanding of what Atkins is about. Even in induction, Atkins followers are encouraged to get 15 of their 20 grams of net carbs from non-starchy vegetables. If you have ever tracked carbs in non-starchy vegetables, you will know that this is a lot of vegetables, and that can add up to a lot of fiber!

5. My experience has been that I have MORE energy for exercise, etc., when I am following a low-carb diet. Grain foods make me sleepy, so I know they are better avoided, at least for me.

6. The long-term risks postulated for low-carb diets do not materialize in practice. Followers of the Paleo Diet (the no-grain, no-sugar, no-sweetener caveman diet), for instance, find relief for these very conditions.

7. Reductions of cholesterol while following a low-carb diet are long-term. Blood pressure may likewise be improved long-term.

8. If I ate 6-11 servings of grain food every day, I'd be fat for sure! The USDA was bending to the grain lobby when they set that one. In fact, the only reason grains and legumes are in our diet is because it's an economic expedient. It's cheap to feed large populations on them. They were not a regular part of the human diet until the advent of agriculture, only 10,000 years ago. Before that, humans lived on a hunter-gatherer diet of meats, vegetables, and fruits. Dairy was even more recent. Simply put, we did not evolve to eat grains, legumes, and dairy.
9/1/2009 5:27:03 PM

I was reading the article below and I dont want fellow California residents to get into trouble with their kids by feeding them honey. In our state we CAN NOT give honey to our toddlers and under ( I am not sure about above the toddler age where the cut off is). The bacteria in the honey is seriously threatening to their health! I am not sure if there are any other locations with this same warning but I learned about it since Im a california mommy.

Oh and by the way I am SO glad that i found spark and I can now have my carbs, eat them, and lose weight doing it! I thought I would just give it a try, now almost 2 months later I'm 20 lbs down and no longer depriving myself of my beloved bread products (whole wheat/grain of course). It feels SO good to have success and enjoy those foods again while practicing moderation thanks to spark support and guidance too. When I used to deprive myself I would inevitably binge on those things I was missing out on during my carb abstinence. It was canceling out much of my efforts, and now i see why I was craving them so bad -my BRAIN needed them to function properly! When I was consistently going under on fat the nutrition tracker warned me I needed it to make hormones, that explains why I would crave fatty foods at time too! My body simply NEEDED it! Its nice to discover balance thanks to spark.
Blessings 2 ya!
8/6/2009 5:08:31 PM

NAXOS9's SparkPage
Blackstrap Molasses is a good source of both iron and calcium. How do I know this? because the nutrition feedback report on spark has recommended it to me as a way to up my iron and calcium. And blackstrap molasses is on the internet-famous list of "the world's healthiest foods," as well. ( You might want to explain or clarify this discrepancy.

The section on honey is also an information-packed and fascinating read. While it doesn't contain nutrients as does blackstrap molasses, buckwheat honey has been found to help with treatment of childhood respiratory tract infections. It also, depending on its quality, can contain beneficial bacteria, promote blood sugar control, boost the immune system, and increase antioxidant compounds in the body. There's a lot more here:
oodspice&dbid=96#descr. I would still reach for honey as a sweetener over granulated sugar because of these benefits.
8/6/2009 9:25:51 AM

STRAWBERRY69's SparkPage
Low carb dieting is the only thing that has ever worked for me. Let me say, some of the things in this article are just not true, because I've been there, done that. First, I've never had more energy than when I keep my carbs low! Second, the headache that may occur is only in the first one to two days, and that's only in extreme carb deprivation after high sugar, because your body is purging the sugar, (anyone who has done cleansing in any way has experienced this). I am not a physician and cannot disprove the other things in this article scientifically, but I have read much material on both sides of the low carb debate by doctors and I believe we should read all the information before coming to conclusions as well as trying the diet itself. I will say, I don't believe low carb is for everyone, but for those of us who have been obese for a very long time and are resistant to weight loss, it is an excellent kick - off for dieting
6/8/2009 4:23:45 PM

JEREMYM's SparkPage
SparkPeople's articles are full of so much information! I still can't believe all of this is free. SparkPeople is such an amazing web site!
5/27/2009 8:36:33 AM

True serving sizes are very small. When you realize that, it's easy to see how you can fit in all of your servings each day.
5/27/2009 12:09:23 AM

I honestly knew about carbs and the health risk of not eating them. I recently had to explain to my daughter that yes carbs can be good for, not only good for you but you have to have them. She too had heard the bad rap carbs have gotten. Now my only question is how on earth can you get all the portions you need in one day. To name a couple, 6 to 11 for the whole grains, and 5 for vegetables. There is no way I can get that many servings of those in one day. Shucks I can't even afford to eat that many servings of each and also feed them to the other 3 in my family. Great idea, just not going to happen.
5/23/2009 2:48:39 PM

LEE2151's SparkPage
Thank you for this article! I've been trying to figure out what is a complex carb as compared to a simple carb and this article helped immensely. I definitely need the KISS plan! I know now how and what to incorporate into my diet in order to increase my complex carbs. Thanks very much!
5/21/2009 11:13:28 AM

what is considered a serving?
5/20/2009 4:54:59 PM

i would like to begin following these rules. Where does protien come in? Would like for my spouse to follow with me, however not sure he will without having some meat. Thanks!
5/15/2009 9:11:49 AM

Honey, although natural, is a sweetener just like sugar is, which should be limited or eaten in moderation.

Comment Pages (7 total)

Leave a Comment

Article comments allow you to share your own tips, experiences and ideas about SparkPeople's articles. All article comments must abide by SparkPeople's Community Guidelines. Please do not ask questions here. If you have any questions, please post them on the Message Boards in order to get a response.

To make a comment, please Login or Join For Free