Fearing CarbsOn this plan I never go to bed hungry. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to check whether I’m dreaming. Eating starches was hard for me to comprehend after years of starving myself and restricting carbohydrates with my never successful attempts to maintain my weight. Now that I understand nutritional science and how the body utilizes nutrients, I am able to see the good from the bad when it comes to food choices. I can eat potatoes, whole grain pasta, rice, and fresh corn tortillas until I’m full and satisfied every day for the rest of my slim and healthy life. I never count points, calories, or measure portion sizes. This is one of the most difficult concepts for my students to grasp.
We have been brainwashed into thinking that carbs are the enemy when it comes to weight loss. The media began grouping processed, packaged, and refined foods together with starch based plant foods. Yes, donuts, cookies, and sugar-covered treats are carbohydrates. For some unknown reason there is no longer a separation between health-promoting, whole grains and these nutrient-poor refined foods. Antioxidant rich fruit was even labeled as an unhealthy food because of its high carbohydrate value. Big thanks to the countless personal trainers and the Zone Diet. Carrots were off limits due to being high in sugar and carbohydrates. Then the potato was the problem. The Atkins Diet was all the rage and it gave people the approval to eat a diet rich in fat and protein. Carbs were off limits. I can remember my first introduction to a high protein low carb diet. My older sisters were at a party and they snacked on chunks of cheese, sausage and celery. No carrots or bread for them. I joined them a few years later and adopted the plan. I managed to increase my cholesterol, develop gallstones, and gain weight on a plan I couldn’t sustain. Even with all the ill health developing from this low-carb plan, America still feared the carb. This low carbohydrate trend is still going on with the new diet trends of The Paleolithic Diet and the books Wheat Belly and Grain Brain.
Why do so many people believe in these nutritional misconceptions? If you look at countries where the main supply of calories is corn, rice, potatoes or wheat you will find health. These communities are fit, trim and disease free. If we look at how a complex carbohydrate is used in the body, it will explain the fear away. Carbohydrates are used to regulate our body temperature, supply us with energy, and are not easily stored as fat. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber. Fiber is essential for optimum health. Whole plant based foods that are often categorized as carbohydrates also provide us with a perfect amount of protein and fat.
For example, let us review the potato. It has developed a poor reputation in modern diets, including diets designed for diabetes maintenance. Unfortunately it isn’t the potato that is the problem. It is all the junk people are putting on the potato or the oil they fry them in that is causing weight gain. The butter, cheese and bacon are the problem, not the potato.
Let’s look at a medium baked white potato with the skin on. It’s a satisfyingly delicious 130 calories, 3 grams of protein, double that of fiber and full of vitamins, including a great source of vitamin C. It has twice the amount of fiber found in broccoli. I can’t believe the potato has been put on a diet don’t list for so long. Potatoes can also promote serotonin production. This is one of the reasons we feel so satisfied after eating potatoes. The same goes for whole grain bread, pasta and rice.
When my students are given the go-ahead to eat complex carbohydrates, they are often hesitant. I have to insist they try it for 30 days. They are always amazed at the sustainable weight loss, increased energy and satisfaction from eating a diet rich in whole grains and starches. They never go to bed hungry and neither should you. Check out Protective Diet recipes featuring starches. Enter the word potato, rice or pasta in the search box and start eating. Learn to easily make deliciously satisfying recipes with the support of Protective Diet recipes and cooking videos.Adding starch based complex carbohydrates back into your diet is a life changer. I can’t wait to hear about your experience and success while eating high-energy starch based plant foods that promote fat loss and optimum health.