I recently had a long series of exchanges on another blog. The topic was diet. I posted some studies supporting the reduction of carbohydrate intake as a way to reduce weight and maintain health, and received a few flames for it. In any case, people doubt the veracity of what I’m saying.
One person advocated a “balanced” diet, instead of the one that he thought I prefered. I’m all for balanced, but balanced is not what Americans are eating nowadays and they are simply eating too much of their unbalanced diet. 2/3rds of adult Americans are overweight and obesity among children has tripled in the last 30 years. Clearly something is not right.
The average American is consuming between 300 and 500 grams of carbohydrates per day. And these aren’t “good carbs.” Much, perhaps most of these carbs, are refined or in the form of liquid sugar ie soda and energy drinks. This is simply unacceptable and I belive that the average American puts away more bags of Doritos per week than Porterhouse steaks. In other words, I do not believe that the obesity problem has its root in meat consumption, but in the over eating of calories in the form of carbohydrate.
One poster on the blog pointed out that the science was behind me. Recommendations in the scientific community are 130 grams of carbs per day, with 38 grams of fiber. That’s 100 grams of digestible carbs per day. That sounds right on to me. That’s about 5 slices of whole wheat bread a day. Is that “extreme”? No, what’s extreme is the current American diet, a virtual deluge of refined carbohydrates. Science is figuring out that these carbs are worse than fat.
Carbs have their uses. I’m not anticarbohydrate. But almost all of the carbohydrates I eat have some fiber mixed in, besides a few lumps of dark chocolate every now and again. In my experience, I start getting uncomfortable if I cut carbs below, say, 60 grams a day. My sleep gets messed up. Plus, I notice a boost in some physical activities and energy when I eat a few more carbs–about 100 grams in a day. My mood’s better, too. So, yes, eat some carbs. But don’t eat as many as the average American.
Lets be clear. The way an apple impacts blood sugar and insulin is significantly different than what happens after a person drinks a glass of apple juice. I say don’t drink fruit juice–ever. Eat the apple or orange. Not only will the juice spike insulin, it won’t make you feel nearly as full as the fruit. Do this for years, than decades and we make ourselves old before our time.
My diet today (it’s 3:21 pm right now) is as follows:
Breakfast: Three-egg omelet and two pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter; 2 cups of coffee; 2 glasses of water.
Lunch: A “Doner” wrap (Lamb meat with lettuce, onions, garlic tomatoes, cheese wrapped in a flour tortilla); 2 bottles of water; 1 cup of coffee; 2 sqaures Dove dark chocolate.
Does this sound extreme to anyone? Just remember though, if a person asked me if they should have 2 cans of beer after work or 2 cans of Coke, I go with the beer all the way.