Ask almost anyone what they need to do to lose a few pounds, and they’ll probably say, “Cut back on the carbs.”
As a nutrition researcher, I’ve heard it hundreds of times. It is one of the most damaging mistakes I see people make.
While the low-carb movement has waxed and waned in popularity since the Atkins revival of the late 90s and early 2000s, currently most folks assume that carbohydrates are inherently fattening.
The truth of the matter is that, biologically speaking, we are primarily carbohydrate eaters.
Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source and are necessary, not only for remaining active, but also for brain function.
Insufficient carbohydrate levels in the diet lead to an array of health concerns, primary among which are various eating disorders, hypoglycaemia – which is often associated with diabetes, ketosis, intense food cravings, fatigue, and weakness.
In addition, because humans naturally have a sweet tooth (as we are biologically frugivores, adapted in nature to eat fruits), we are more attracted to carbohydrates than fats or proteins.
The low-carb diet, as promoted by Atkins and Paleo diets, are nothing more than disguised “high-fat” diets, as by eating less carbohydrates we increase the amount of fat we consume in most cases; assuming we continue to consume the same number of calories that is.
Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine and clinical nutrition at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine, said of the Atkins diet plan, “This is absolutely the worst diet you could imagine for long-term obesity, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. If you wanted to ruin your health, you couldn’t find a worse diet than Atkins.”
Despite the advertising hype of the meat and dairy industries, humans require an extraordinarily small amount of protein in their diets.
Many official organizations, including the U.S. National Research Council, suggest that eating a mere 10% of our total calories as protein is sufficient.
Our ideal diet should consist of at least 80% carbs, but they must be the right carbs.
Before our cells can utilize food for fuel, whether it contains carbohydrate, protein, or fat, it must first be converted into simple sugars.
Fruit comes in an intricate, highly nutritious package that matches our nutritional needs better than any other category of food, and it is considered ‘health food’ by almost everyone in the health field.
Eating plenty of fresh fruit is the obvious choice for obtaining carbohydrates, as they provide the only substantial and healthful whole-food source of simple sugar.
Yours for health!