All that said, I read more about this and I feel the urge to share it. I spoke with someone today about this, and it slipped off my tongue to easily these days, and she nodded her head so reassuringly that she understood what I meant. She's a vegetarian. She doesn't have a good diet. It won't change.
But maybe 1 person reading this will understand, and will make changes and will improve their health because of it.
I don't have a great deal of time to write at this moment so I'm going to summarise everything into pretty abrupt points. If you have questions because I didn't give you enough detail then please ask.
Why carbohydrates make you fat.
|Eat carbohydrates; become sumo.|
I read some fantastically supportive evidence for this.....Sumo wrestlers. We know they are fat right? It's a necessity for their sport. A 1976 study led by the University of Tokyo reported on their dietary habits. Their normal meal; chanko nabe (a pork stew). The upper group of sumo consume some 5500 calories per day, of which 780 grams were carbohydrates, 100 grams of fat, and 365 grams of protein. In perspective this constituted more than twice the calories and carbohydrates of the typical Japanese diet of the era, slightly less than half the fat, and four and a half times the amount of protein. (E.g. 57% of the calories came from carbohydrates, and only 16% from fat). The lower group of sumo who weighed the same but were considerably fatter with less muscle only ate 5120 calories of chanko nabe each day, but this time it consisted of 1,000 grams of carbohydrates, 165 grams of protein, and only 50 grams of fat. These sumo maintained their corpulence on a diet of nearly 80% carbohydrates and only 9% fat.
And they say fat is the evil in our diets.
But we need carbohydrates right?
Wrong! Evidence suggests that if the body consumes less than 130 grams of carbohydrates per day (I would suggest it needs to be even lower than this), the liver increases its synthesis of molecules called ketone bodies, and these supply the necessary fuel for the brain and the central nervous system. If a diet contains no carbohydrates at all, ketone bodies supply three-quarters of the energy to the brain. The rest comes from glucose synthesized from the amino acids in protein, and from glycerol that is released when triglycerides in the fat tissue are broken down into their component fatty acids.
All meat and no blank make Stefansson and Anderson healthy boys!
But we need a 'balanced' diet right; sufficient fruit, vegetables, etc. Well perhaps not. The inuit (the preferred name for Eskimos) spend extended periods of time eating nothing but meat with almost no reports of ill health. As a test to this in 1928, two scientists; Stefansson and Anderson became subjects in a year long study where they would consume only meat. The study was designed and managed by a dozen respected nutritionists, anthropologists and physicians. For the initial 3-weeks Stefansson and Anderson consumed a normal diet of fruit, vegetables, cereals and meat, and then switched entirely to meat for the remainder of the year. It was evident that they hadn't cheated throughout the year as "acetone (ketone) bodies were present in amounts so constant that fluctuations in the carbohydrate intake were practically ruled out". Both participants consumed on average 2600 calories per day (equating to about 2lbs of meat). This equated to a diet of 79% fat, 19% protein and only 2% carbohydrates. The surprising results were particularly unsurprising; both Stefansson and Anderson were in perfect health, with retained physical and mental vigour. They showed no mineral deficiencies and in fact the only change was that Stefansson began the experiment with mild gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), but this was cleared up entirely.
But what of dietary vitamins.....well for example it was often assumed that vitamin c was essential for sailors (and everyone) to prevent scurvy. In fact the evidence suggests that it is not that we do not consume enough vitamin c in meat. It is that carbohydrates and blood sugar block the absorption of vitamin c into our cells.
I realise that for many people who have read my blogs previously then this doesn't come as anything new. However, I also realise that for some (even those who have read previous blogs) then all of this is somewhat surprising to say the least. I promise you the evidence is there. I promise you that carbohydrates are the silent assassin that the government somehow chooses to ignore, instead guiding you to a 'balanced' diet.
Please explore the evidence given herein, please ask the right questions.
If you have any further questions or are looking for any more information on this area then I wholeheartedly recommend 'googling' "Gary Taubes". I think you'll find a list of videos and his books are excellent. Without question The Diet Delusion is a masterpiece, though be warned; it is lengthy.