Member Comments for the Article:

The Truth About Carbohydrates

Not all Carbs are Created Equal


5/15/2009 7:38:02 AM

JESSICALYNN0102's SparkPage
I agree with you MRSDAVIS09... why is honey on the list of things to avoid?
5/7/2009 11:05:21 AM

I would like to weigh in with some thoughts, musings and observations on high fat, super low carb diets such as the Atkins Induction Phase diet. Consider the smoker who seems to be in denial as to the long term health risks of their "diet" of nicotine as they draw (undebatably) toxic chemicals into their lungs daily. Smoking in the moment does not appear to be killing them. It takes time for the hardy lungs to show signs of damage. When they do, it is often too late to counter the effects. Extremely low carb diets, I suspect, are having the same sort of invisible effect. I'm thinking blocked arteries and heart attacks in the suprisingly young and seemingly fit. It is exciting in the moment to see the pounds falling away while indulging in cheeseburgers, blue cheese dressing, steak, butter... so easy, so tasty; not boring at all! My experience with the induction phase of the Atkins diet supports many of the statements outlined in this article. (I don't think I am alone in finding that the transition out of Induction was too complicated and the dramatic weightloss too addictive to give up. I stayed on longer than 2 weeks.) I was loving the slim lightness I was feeling on the diet, although I could no longer make it through a session on the eliptical that was very easy for me before. I was suprised when I would pass a coworker who I had known for years and could not remember their name and other strange brain blip events. Yes, the brain does love carbs! It doesn't have to be simple sugars, but without some carbs the brain falters and can put you in dangerous situations. It wasn't until my mother, a nutritionist, had me write out my diet and evaluate it, that I realized I was eating a 70% fat diet. We discussed the long term effect of this and I realized that the rapid weightloss just wasn't worth it. I did not develop eating habits that I could live with and when the weight started to creep back on, it found new places to deposit that I had never had fat on before! Welcome to the weightloss/weight gain roller coaster. Every body is unique and every person has to learn to manage the issues involved with fueling it, nurturing it, hydrating it. We are so complex. We need calories but they need to be the right calories that keep us in balance, our blood sugars, our delicate chemistries, our appetites... Thank goodness there is a place that offers a variety of perspectives and information to help us make our choices and navigate the care and feeding of our bodies! Thanks Spark!
5/7/2009 9:05:05 AM

Jules- White bread IS a complex carbohydrate, but don't confuse "complex" carbs with "whole grain" ones, which are 2 different things, as the article mentions. Choose whole grains as often as possible.
5/7/2009 7:14:40 AM

Great article, BUT I THINK THERE IS AN ERROR !! Surely white bread cant be the good bread to eat? Please see the quote from the article below

" Complex carbohydrates (also referred to as starch) are made up of many sugar units and are found in both natural (brown rice) and refined (white bread) form. They are structurally more complex and take longer to be broken down and digested. "

I find this very confusing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5/6/2009 11:01:53 PM

MRSDAVIS09's SparkPage
Last time I checked, honey and molasses were packed with nutrients. I don't think they should be included in the list of things to exclude completely from the diet. That's one rule I won't be following!
5/6/2009 7:30:56 PM

"Carbohydrates are the body's ideal fuel for most functions." Then why do I feel better when I minimize carbs? Seriously: carbs make me feel tired!

"In fact, the human brain depends exclusively on carbohydrates for its energy." That is definitely not true. My brain does just fine when I'm not eating carbs. In those situations, it runs on ketone bodies very nicely. Did you know that some epileptics are put on no-carb diets called ketogenic diets? The nutrient of choice in those diets is fat. If the brain really needed carbs, the folks on that diet wouldn't thrive.
5/6/2009 5:10:46 PM

ME_HERE_NOW's SparkPage
this just makes me happy to see i am moving in the right direction and doing this the right way! :)
5/6/2009 4:21:25 PM

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.

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, 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.
5/6/2009 9:06:56 AM

I always believed a "BALANCED" diet was the best kind of "diet".
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 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

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!!!

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