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Low Carbohydrate Stupidity

Stephen Bucaro -- With all the weight loss trends currently in the news, here's one viewpoint that argues against today's low-carb diets.

The latest buzz word for today's diet scams and prepackaged food rip-offs is "low carb." "Eat all the fat and meat you want and still lose weight." Yeh, when your cold dead body starts to dry up!

Let's make one thing clear: without carbohydrates, you die. Carbohydrates: fruits, vegetables, and grains provide the fiber, sugar, and electrolytes your body needs to survive. Without these vital nutrients, you die.

How did this carbohydrate stupidity get started? It started as the result of confusion about a new discovery called the glycemic index.

When you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar level rises. Excessive blood sugar is not good for your body. To clear the sugar from your bloodstream, your pancreas releases insulin. This causes the sugar to be stored in your fat cells.

The fact is that you need some sugar in your blood because that's where your energy comes from. Without blood sugar, neither your muscles nor your brain will work. But excess blood sugar is a problem.

New research has discovered that eating certain refined carbohydrates causes your blood sugar to rise much higher and stay high longer than eating whole carbohydrates.

Note: As you age, your pancreas becomes less efficient at producing insulin. As a result, sugar is not effectively cleared from the bloodstream, resulting in diabetes.

The gylcemic index uses the blood sugar rise caused by eating pure sugar as a guide for rating other foods. Pure sugar has a glycemic index of 100. To stay thin and healthy, you need to avoid foods with a gylcemic index higher than about 50.

The gylcemic index of thousands of foods has been measured by monitoring thousands of people's blood sugar after eating the food, and then calculating an average. The results have been published and you can find gylcemic tables on the Web.

What are the offending foods?

1. Any food made of refined flour: bread, cake, cookies, cereal, crackers, donuts, etc.
2. White rice.
3. Potatoes.

The above foods will cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly and stay high for a long period. If the above foods are a regular part of your diet, you will be gaining weight uncontrollably. Avoid these foods and your weight will gradually fall back to a normal weight zone.

What are the good carbohydrates?

1. 100% stone ground whole wheat bread.
2. Whole grain wheat bran cereal.
3. Surprisingly, pastas like spaghetti, macaroni, and ravioli have glycemic indexes lower than 50.
4. Even more surprising, chocolate has a glycemic index less than 50.

Most fruits and vegetables have a low glycemic index, but there are some exceptions. Oranges and grapefruits have a low glycemic index, but turn them into juice and the glycemic index zooms up.

Beans and nuts have a low glycemic index, but watch those calories! Plain baked beans have 240 calories per cup and walnuts have 190 calories per ounce. And just because a product contains a food with a low glycemic index doesn't mean the product's recipe has a low glycemic index.

Locate a good glycemic index table and use it to select low glycemic index carbohydrates to replace the high glycemic index foods in your diet.

Don't be fooled by listening to the low carbohydrate stupidity. Don't eat only fat and meat. That will cause health problems that will eventually lead to your death.

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