Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Carbohydrates: The One Armed Man

If you haven't seen The Fugitive, that title probably makes no sense, so just ask someone else what it means. I've stumbled across a couple of articles the last couple of days that have helped to reinforce the silly notion that fat may not be the fugitive the diet police should be chasing. Processed carbohydrates like sugar and corn syrup may be the real killer!

The Scientific American ran this article. It more or less states that carbohydrates, specifically the more refined varieties like sugar and corn syrup, are more likely to cause diabetes and can be more directly linked to heart issues than fat.

In the comments, I found that, The New York Times ran this article a while back. In those 11 pages, you're definitely left with the feeling that nobody knows what to eat. One camp tells you fat is a killer and the other camp tells you it's your best friend.

These articles provoked some thoughts that I'd like to share.

I grew up in the 80's and 90's, so low-fat was a way of life for me. I never knew any better. Fat has always been bad. So for me to begin eating fatty food was difficult for my brain to comprehend. It was hard to not feel like I would have a heart attack from enjoying a juicy steak and creamy spinach, but once your mindset changes, you'll open up to new ideas about what your body wants you to consume.

I've been eating a lot more fat than I ever have over the last 3 months and I haven't been this healthy since I was in high school. It has been hard to look at some of my meals where half the calories come from fat and think that what I'm eating is healthy. The key has been that I get most of my fat from good sources. I eat a lot of salmon, tuna, nuts, grass fed beef, organ meat, and free range eggs. I'll give in and have some grain fed beef and cheese, but those are becoming increasingly rare. The key to not getting fat or sick is that I've eliminated all processed foods from my diet at the same time. The only sugar I get comes from berries or the occasional citrus fruit. What I've found is that I don't really get hungry any more. I'll be ready to eat a couple times a day, but I don't think about my next meal constantly. I'm losing body fat at a steady rate. I lose about 1-2 lbs a week while only exercising for about 30-40 minutes each week. My energy levels are steady and I feel more alert.

It sounds kind of like Atkins, right? No carbs, lots of fat, I've heard this before. Atkins may have understood a thing or two about fat, but I don't think he took it all the way. I still believe in eating fruit, but only in small quantities like our ancestors would have found. Also, genetically modified fruit is very different than what we would have found in the wild a long time ago. We still need to be conscious of where the fat in our diets come from and make good decisions as to not poison ourselves. At least one generation has been screwed by the idea that anything is better than fat idea. Let's not screw another one over by starting an "anything is better than carbs" craze.

That's all I'll say tonight. I've already rambled on more than I intended. I really just wanted to share those articles. Take care and happy reading.

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