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I am a New Zealand registered nurse and nutritionist (Grad Cert Sci: nutrition, Massey Univ). This stems from the work done by Cordain, Eaton and others whose research found that the majority of paleo and hunter gatherer diets are lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein and fat than today’s diet. A diet high in refined carbohydrate diets is not healthy – especially the standard western diet, where carbohydrates are eaten far in excess of requirements. Of course you don’t need to count carbs, but in my observation, many in the paleo world do not eat enough carbs.
Do you know how much carb would have vegetable juice only from spinach salad and celery 32 oz? While this may be the impression that you have or it may even have been stated in comments by those who jump to conclusions, this has never been the position of any leading proponents of low carb eating that I have read: such as Gary Taubes.
Surely it is up to each of us to find out the level of dietary carbohydrate that we can tolerate?
And yes for the most part I am talking to people who have some weight to lose but are generally healthy. If you were to have more than 1 cup of the “non carbs” would you consider them a carb then? Carbohydrates are made from: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen and are, essentially, sources of energy that the body breaks down. You might associate these foods energy-boosting sources, and when blood sugar is low, we often reach for foods that provide an instant ‘hit’ to placate those hunger pangs. Now you might be wondering about whole grains and refined carbs in bread- this is where the question over complex carbs gets a little, um, more complex.
Preparing hearty meals that are made from whole grains and complex carbohydrates will help you lose weight.
The reason for this misconception may be that eating carbohydrates raises insulin, which then lowers blood sugar.
Foods containing carbohydrates can’t be cut off a healthy diet because they provide fiber, sugars, and starches, which supply energy to the body in the form of glucose (blood sugar), which is the energy source for human cells, tissues, and organs. Most of them provide the body with fuel it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function being an important part of a healthy diet.
Some studies suggest that this happens because of a decrease in blood sugar that stimulates hunger.
The truth is that combined with calorie control, a dairy-rich diet can nearly double body-fat reduction and help prevent weight gain. I am a Certified Zone Instructor, and have worked teaching Zone diet principles to hundreds of clients over the last 10 years. However it needs to be noted (again) that this may be because of the dietary availability of carbohydrates, and the higher availability of protein sources. Very low carbohydrate diets are widely promoted for weight loss, and the low carbohydrate trend has become entwined with paleo eating. Most feel better on a moderate carb diet, which is still a lot lower in carbs than the standard western diet, and more importantly if you eat a paleo diet, you will be cutting out the damaging carbohydrates.
I also see many CrossFitters eating low carb diets and suffering – low energy, poor recovery, sleep problems, adrenal fatigue. This is because they eat lots of volume of vegetables, but not enough of the carbohydrate containing ones. It was as close as I could get to net carbs, there is a lot of variation in foods, so this should be seen as a rough guideline. I juice every morning but only leafy green like spinach lettuce, celery lime lemon, cucumber, no beet no carot, how should I count it?
So, I am considering backing off protein a little and increasing carbs a little to see if this will help increase my energy and workout recovery.
However, don’t be fooled by thinking that ditching foods high in carbohydrates is the best way to lose weight, it’s not; the human body must have sources of energy. Your body will be using the energy slowly, so you won’t feel hungry again for a while, and resisting the urge to snack in between meals will be easier.
The digestion of a particular carbohydrate depends upon the complexity of its molecular structure. That is why it is smart to choose fruits over processed fruit juices and whole grain bread over refined white bread. Recent research published in the Journal of American Medical Association shows that people following a diet low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and grains actually tended to lose weight, despite their heavy carb intake.
Even fans of low carb diets agree that the carbohydrate level should be adjusted to the individual.
One of the reasons for this is the hormone calcitriol in dairy products which helps conserve calcium for stronger bones while telling fat cells to convert less sugar to fat. More recently after finding that eating Paleo food choices was the "icing on the cake" health wise, I have become a Paleo enthusiast and teacher. Quality carbohydrates eaten in the context of a paleo diet will be less that the standard diet. I then experimented with Atkins, thinking this must be the ultimate in avoiding carbs, and gave myself some sort of terrible hormonal imbalance – my skin was shocking, periods irregular, no energy, just a mess. Don’t have any food issues other than enjoy eating sugary food which I stopped since Paleo became my way of eating. Get wise by figuring out the good from the complex, to the bad and the simple and you’ll enjoy diet success and higher energy levels.
Refining is where nutrients and water has been removed to increase the shelf life of some foods: white bread, white rice, biscuits, to name a few.
Considering this, some people advocate significant reduction of carbohydrates in their diet. The more complex this structure is, the harder the digestive system works to break it down and absorb it into the bloodstream.
For reference, most experts recommend that 45% to 65% of the diet can be carbohydrates depending upon the individual.
I really don’t need to lose weight but am flabby around the waist especially after gaining weight to help increase muscle mass while lifting weights (back squat, deadlift, and military press) which are part of my Crossfit workouts. Understanding the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ carbs will help you choose the right diet plan that is healthy and doesn’t leave you feeling hungry.
Whole grains are foods that have had little or no processing, making them undoubtedly healthier and in my opinion, a whole lot tastier. But diets low in carbohydrates are likely to lack essential nutrients from plant foods, so people may not get enough vitamins, minerals and fiber. So, depending on their chemical structure, there are simple (natural) and complex (man-made) carbohydrates. Serotonin (a hormone in the pineal gland, blood platelets, the digestive tract, and the brain) helps people to feel less pain, anxiety and stress while improving mood by increasing relaxation. Also, as I’ve gotten fitter and slimmer, my carb tolerance and maybe even need for carbs has increased.
Athletes often follow a carbohydrate-loading diet, which involves increasing the amount of carbohydrates for several days before a high-intensity endurance athletic event.
Simple carbohydrates include natural food sugars (fruits, vegetables, milk products) and sugars added during food processing (cakes, sweets, sweet drinks) and refining. The data is the most current available and descriptions can be matched easily with what you find in grocery stores around the country. Complex carbohydrates include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes. This allows you to get more PRECISE results since a key step is to actually buy the food which conforms to your diet, weight loss, or nutrition plan.
A healthy diet would mean not cutting off all carbohydrates, but to avoid foods with added sugars as they are usually high in calories and low in nutrients.
The program is easy, fun, and quick to work with, and you use it with any diet, weight loss, or nutrition plan. You analyze the nutrients to find the highest or lowest value for a nutrient via the sort function; then also you quickly compare other nutrient columns to make sure that you have not found a low value for one nutrient at the expense of a high nutrient value in another column.
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