garcinia cambogia pure

5 Key Facts about Garcinia Cambogia Pure You Need to Know

Have you done your research on how to boost your health, prevent disease, and get the body you’ve always wanted the natural way? If you have, there’s a food you may have heard of: garcinia cambogia pure. Native to Indonesia, garcinia cambogia is a pumpkin-shaped fruit. It’s most well-known for its impact on weight loss, but it has a range of other health benefits as well.

You may have never seen garcinia cambogia in your local grocery store. But this fruit isn’t anything new. It’s been used in Southeast Asian cuisine for many years. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel around the world to experience the benefits of garcinia cambogia. Instead, you can get them by adding garcinia cambogia pure extract to your diet.

Here are 5 key facts about garcinia cambogia pure you should know:

1. It has more than one name

Unlike most people, garcinia cambogia goes by more than one name. Its scientific name is Garcinia gummi-gutta. However, it’s also known by several common names, including garcinia cambogia, garcinia, Malabar tamarind, brindleberry, and kudam puli. When sold as a health supplement, it is often referred to as garcinia cambogia.

2. The active ingredient is in the rind

The key active ingredient in garcinia cambogia isn’t in the fleshy part of the fruit. It’s in the superfood’s rind. Known as hydroxycitric acid (HCA), this substance may increase weight loss by blocking fat production and suppressing appetite. Specifically, scientists believe that it stops a key enzyme in the body, citrate lyase, from producing fats from carbohydrates. It may also suppress appetite by increasing levels of serotonin, a chemical produced by the body that affects mood, appetite, and sleep.

3. It can help with weight loss

Even if other weight loss methods haven’t worked in the past, garcinia cambogia pure can help you shed those pounds. In particular, scientists have found that garcinia cambogia can produce weight loss. Researchers have found that these effects apply even to those who have a hard time losing weight. When scientists studied 60 obese people, they found that those who took garcinia cambogia experienced a 5-6% drop in body weight and body mass index. Those who didn’t take the extract didn’t experience a change.

4. It has other health benefits too

Science shows that garcinia cambogia pure does more than just help with weight loss. It also has a range of other health benefits. These include reducing cholesterol, stabilizing blood sugar, and aiding digestion.

5. What to look for

Be aware that not all garcinia supplements are the same. Many brands contain only a fraction of HCA and are full of fillers, binders, and artificial ingredients. Maximize the health benefits you get from this powerful fruit by looking for “pure garcinia cambogia.”

Experience the benefits of garcinia cambogia pure

Garcinia cambogia pure isn’t a treadmill, diet meal program, or synthetic weight loss pill. But it can give you the body you’ve always wanted and boost your health in a variety of other ways.

Are you ready to look and feel great? Try our pure garcinia cambogia extract, which contains 95% HCA and no fillers, binders, or artificial ingredients.

 

glucosamine chondroitin

4 Key Ways Glucosamine Chondroitin Improves Joint Health

When your knees, hips, or hands hurt on a regular basis, it can be hard to do even the simplest everyday tasks. You may find it hard to climb the stairs in your home, go for a run, or even simply chop vegetables for dinner. To find relief from the pain, you can try taking an over-the-counter pain killer or a prescription pain medication. However, even when they work, these medications can produce unpleasant side effects. What other options do you have? You can incorporate glucosamine chondroitin into your diet.

What are glucosamine and chondroitin?

Glucosamine and chondroitin are both natural substances that are present in the human body. Glucosamine is an amino sugar that’s found in cartilage cells and other connective tissue. Chondroitin, on the other hand, is a complex carbohydrate that helps cartilage hang onto water. To optimize their health benefits, glucosamine and chondroitin are often combined into a single health supplement.

Here are 4 ways glucosamine chondroitin supplements can improve joint health:

1. Reduce joint pain

Need relief from the pain of achy joints but don’t want to rely on medication? Give glucosamine chondroitin a try. Scientists have found that it can reduce pain associated with arthritis, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome, and other joint conditions. For example, in a large randomized clinical trial, researchers found that glucosamine chondroitin provided significantly more pain relief than a placebo in participants with moderate-to-severe knee osteoarthritis pain. Scientists have also found evidence that glucosamine works as well as ibuprofen (a common over-the-counter pain medication) at relieving pain from TMJ.

2. Decrease inflammation

In addition to reducing the pain associated with joint conditions, science shows that glucosamine chondroitin reduces inflammation. In a study of 217 American participants, researchers measured how much men and women supplemented their diet with it. They also assessed levels of inflammatory biomarkers (which indicate the presence of inflammation) in their bodies. The results showed that participants who took more glucosamine chondroitin had lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers.

3. Improve joint function

Even if your joint pain and inflammation are under control, you may have difficulty performing everyday tasks because your joints are stiff. Glucosamine chondroitin can help here too. In a network meta-analysis that included 54 studies of 16,427 participants with knee osteoarthritis, scientists found that taking glucosamine chondroitin significantly improved joint function.

4. Enhance joint structure

When you have a chronic joint condition, you don’t just want temporary relief from your symptoms. You want to improve the structure of your joints to prevent symptoms in the future. That’s where glucosamine chondroitin comes in. Experts have uncovered some evidence that chondroitin can improve joint structure. In addition, in a study with rats, scientists found that daily glucosamine supplementation boosted the health of connective tissues surrounding bones and strengthened newly formed bones.

Get joint relief with glucosamine chondroitin

Science shows that glucosamine chondroitin can improve joint health in a number of ways. However, unlike other dietary supplements, such as iron and folic acid, glucosamine and chondroitin aren’t present in the foods we eat. That’s why you want to look for high-quality, potent glucosamine chondroitin supplements to harness the power of these natural healing substances.

Get relief from stiff, achy joints so you can get back to living your life. Buy glucosamine chondroitin from our website.

ceylon cinnamon

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon That Will Blow Your Mind

Ceylon cinnamon is a flavourful spice that’s used in baked goods, savoury side dishes, and breakfast foods. However, cinnamon is more than just a spice that makes food taste delicious. It also has powerful, disease-fighting properties. That’s why people around the world have used it for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

Ceylon cinnamon vs. Cassia cinnamon

When you’re thinking about the health benefits of cinnamon, it’s important to distinguish between two types of cinnamon: Ceylon cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Native to China, Cassia cinnamon is the type of cinnamon you’ll find in most grocery stores. It’s lower in quality and inexpensive. In comparison, Ceylon cinnamon, which is also called “true cinnamon,” is native to Sri Lanka. It’s higher in quality and more expensive.

How can Ceylon cinnamon help you fight disease and boost your health? Check out these 5 surprising health benefits:

1. High in antioxidants

Ceylon cinnamon may seem like just any old spice. But it beats out most foods, spices, and herbs when it comes to its antioxidant content. In fact, research shows that cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant concentrations, beating out garlic, oregano, and thyme. As a result, cinnamon helps to fight oxidative stress, which can lead to disease, and slow the aging process. In addition, it may protect the body against DNA damage and tumour growth.

2. Reduces inflammation

Because Ceylon cinnamon contains a high concentration of antioxidants, it has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. For example, scientists have found evidence that cinnamon can improve pain management by reducing muscle soreness. In the long term, it may also reduce the risk of developing heart disease and experiencing a decline in brain function.

3. Stabilizes blood sugar

If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to regulate your blood sugar levels. Scientific evidence shows that cinnamon may be able to help. In a review of 16 studies, researchers found that Ceylon cinnamon showed promising results as a supplement that may help manage diabetes symptoms. Science also shows that it may increase sensitivity to insulin and regulate blood sugar levels.

4. Boosts heart health

Want to reduce your risk of developing heart disease? Give cinnamon a try. This powerful spice can help to prevent heart disease by reducing not just one but several risk factors. In particular, research shows that cinnamon can reduce high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels. It also reduces LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) while keeping levels of HDL cholesterol (the “good” kind) stable.

5. Protects the brain

In addition to its role in preventing cardiovascular disease and regulating blood sugar, Ceylon cinnamon may protect the brain against neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease. People with Alzheimer’s have a buildup of tau (a protein) in their brains. Research shows that key compounds in cinnamon make it more difficult for tau to accumulate.

Optimize your health with Ceylon cinnamon

Although you may associate cinnamon with sugary treats that aren’t good for your health, Ceylon cinnamon has a range of health-boosting properties. Not only is it packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, but it also reduces your risk of heart disease, stabilizes blood sugar, and protects the brain. Ceylon cinnamon sure is one sweet spice.

Fight disease and boost your health with Ceylon cinnamon today. Buy it from our website today.

artificial sweeteners

Why You Should Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners have little to no calories. And because they can be thousands of times sweeter than sugar, they’re often used as a substitute for it (1, 6, 12). For this reason, food manufacturers market artificial sweeteners as a way to reduce the sugar and calories in your diet and help you lose weight.

But, do artificial sweeteners increase weight loss? No. In fact, many studies suggest that people gain weight by eating them (1, 10, 12). And even though some food governing bodies have deemed most of them safe, are they really? Not necessarily. In reality, there are many conflicting studies about the safety of artificial sweeteners, although some studies that support their safety are funded by companies that make and sell them (10). Hence, you should be cautious when consuming artificial sweeteners because they could be less healthy than table sugar (1, 10, 12).

Are artificial sweeteners safe?

There haven’t been enough longitudinal studies on artificial sweeteners to demonstrate their safety (12). However, because there isn’t much evidence proving that they aren’t safe, food companies have pressured governing bodies to allow their use (10). Why? Because artificial sweeteners are cheap to make and much sweeter than sugar. So food companies know they can get uneducated consumers hooked on them (7, 10, 12). The reality is that some artificial sweeteners have been linked to side effects. For example, they may cause cancer in rats, disrupt the body’s calorie counter, and increase cravings for refined sugars (1, 10, 12). These effects make sense considering how some artificial sweeteners are made.

How are they made?

Some artificial sweeteners come from simple carbs, such as sucrose. Sucrose comes from refining sugarcane or beet sugar to make table sugar. Sucralose, an artificial sweetener found in major brands that are sugar substitute for coffees, teas, and baking. It’s derived by taking sucrose and replacing hydrogen-oxygen groups in it with chlorine (9). This is clearly an unnatural substitute.

Whereas some artificial sweeteners are chemically synthesized, others are processed more naturally. For example, the first artificial sweetener to be chemically synthesized was saccharin in 1879. Chemist Fahlberg discovered saccharin by accident because he didn’t wash his hands before eating. He was working with a combination of substances, such as sugar and coal tar. Saccharin was accidentally found by boiling over a cocktail of sulfobenzoic acid, phosphorus chloride, and ammonia (3, 10).

More natural and extracted from a plant native to Paraguay and Brazil, stevia is a sweetener that is 300 times stronger than sugar. By using leaves, an alcohol, and heat, it’s possible to make a liquid form of stevia. Unfortunately, some food companies extract stevia and refine it into a less natural powder form. Advocates argue that stevia has no negative effects. But some studies have shown that it may lower sperm counts and lead to smaller offspring (10). Regardless, if you understand how some artificial sweeteners are made, you can make healthier choices.

Why aspartame stands out

Since its approval in 1981, 75% of all artificial sweetener complaints to Accounts Receivable Management Solutions (ARMS) have been about aspartame. (Note, however, that only about 1% of people who have problems with products report them.) Some people have suggested that aspartame causes several symptoms and conditions, including dizziness, headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, and cancer (10). Critics argue that even though aspartame breaks down into digestible amino acids, these amino acids are normally accompanied by others amino acids in natural foods that “balance” out their effects. Having abnormally high concentrations of the amino acids aspartame produces may have adverse effects (1,10).

Regardless, top governing bodies stand by their aspartame regulations. Moreover, aspartame was the victim of Internet hoax reports in the late 1990s, which led the public to think it was far worse than scientific reports suggested (5). This prompted governing bodies to affirm its safety (2, 4, 8).

However, in 2015, aspartame was replaced with sucralose in diet drink products. Aspartame also isn’t safe for people with phenylketonuria – a genetic metabolic condition (2, 4, 8, 11).

How artificial sweeteners affect our bodies

It’s important to note that many countries have deemed the artificial sweeteners mentioned here and many others to be safe. Hence, most acute negative effects on health are probably minor (2, 4, 5, 8). However, even without evidence from longitudinal studies, some conclusions suggest that artificial sweeteners throw off our body’s ability to “count calories” (1, 10). This refers to our body’s ability to match how many calories we are consuming with how many calories we need each day.

The problem with “counting calories” is that our body uses the taste of how sweet something is to estimate how many calories we’ve consumed. Because artificial sweeteners contain little to no calories, they disrupt our body’s calorie count. Specifically, studies have shown that eating artificial sweeteners regularly can lead the body to think that sweet taste equals minimal calories. So when you eat sweet foods without artificial sweeteners, your body underestimates the calories you’ve consumed, which makes you overeat (1, 10, 12).

Foods that contain artificial sweeteners

You’re most likely to find artificial sweeteners in foods like diet soft drinks, gum, candy, powdered soft drinks, flavored water, condiments, instant coffee, baking mixes, and desserts. However, you can also find them in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewable vitamins, and cough drops. Because they show up in so many products, be aware of what you consume by reading ingredient lists of the foods you buy.

Here are some of the most common artificial sweeteners:

  • Aspartame
    • Additive Code: E951
  • Saccharin
    • Additive Code: E954
  • Sucralose
    • Additive Code: E955

 

References

 

  1. Davidson, T. L., & Swithers, S. E. (2004). A Pavlovian approach to the problem of obesity. International journal of obesity28(7), 933-935.

 

  1. Scientific Opinion on the re-evaluation of aspartame (E 951) as a food additive. (2013). EFSA Journal. 11 (12): 263. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3496

 

  1. Fahlberg’s account of how he discovered the sweetness of saccharin appears in: (Anon.) (July 17, 1886) “The inventor of saccharine,” Scientific American, new series, 60 (3) : 36.

 

  1. (2017). Aspartame. Retrieved on 6 March 2017 from https://www.food.gov.uk/science/additives/aspartame

 

  1. Hattan, D.G. (2015).“FALSE: Aspartame — sweet poison”. Snopes. Retrieved 6 March 2017 at http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/aspartame.asp.

 

  1. Li X. D., Staszewski L., Xu H., Durick K., Zoller M., Adler E. (2002). “Human receptors for sweet and umami taste”. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 99 (7): 4692–6. doi:10.1073/pnas.072090199.

 

  1. Lin, S. Y.; Cheng, Y. D. (October 2000). Simultaneous formation and detection of the reaction product of solid-state aspartame sweetener by FT-IR/DSC microscopic system. Food Addit Contam. 17 (10): 821–7. doi:10.1080/026520300420385.

 

  1. Magnuson B. A.; Burdock G. A.; Doull J.; et al. (2007). Aspartame: a safety evaluation based on current use levels, regulations, and toxicological and epidemiological studies. Critical Reviews in Toxicology. 37 (8): 629–727. doi:1080/10408440701516184

 

  1. Myers, R. L.; Myers, R. L. (2007). The 100 most important chemical compounds: a reference guide. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press. p. 241. ISBN 0-313-33758-6.

 

  1. Obringer, L.A., (2005). “How artificial sweeteners work”
    com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/artificial-sweetener.htm> 5 March 2017

 

  1. Roberts, M. (2015). Pepsico to drop artificial sweetener aspartame. Retrieved on 6 March 2017 at http://www.bbc.com/news/health-32478203

 

  1. Yang, Q. (2010). Gain weight by “going diet?” Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings.Yale J Biol Med83(2), 101-108.
complex carbs

Complex Carbs vs. Simple Carbs

Because of food manufacturer marketing strategies that oversimplify the low carb diet, carbohydrates have been demonized. But just as there are healthy and unhealthy types fats, there are also healthy (i.e., complex carbs) and unhealthy (i.e., simple carbs) types of carbs. Below is a breakdown of the types of carbohydrates to eat and the types to avoid. However, note that this information does not apply to people who have certain genetic conditions, such as lactose intolerance, galactosemia, or celiac disease, which restrict the body’s ability to metabolize certain carbohydrates (1, 3, 5).

Simple Carbs vs. Complex Carbs

Nutritionists categorize carbohydrates as either simple carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates. One has a short chain of molecules (simple). The other has a longer chain (complex). From a chemistry point of view, all carbohydrates are technically “sugars.” But the sugar most people think of when they hear the word is also considered its own class of carbohydrates – go figure (4, 9, 11). Sugars have short chains of molecules (simple carbs). However, not all carbohydrates are sweet. And not all accompany healthy vitamins and fibre (6, 10). This is where we can start to see a divide between healthy and unhealthy carbs.

For example, table sugar (sucrose – a simple carb), is a sweet and unhealthy carbohydrate because it is not accompanied by fibre or vitamins. However, vegetables and whole grain bread (complex carbs), which are not sweet, are forms of healthy carbohydrates. Why? Because they are accompanied by vitamins, minerals, and fibre (2, 4, 10). However, it is important to note that some complex carbs are often refined (e.g., white flour and pastries). This usually means that their fibre, vitamin, and mineral contents have been stripped and unhealthy sugars have been added. So it can be a bit of a trade-off. Yes, you will probably consume some simple carbs in the form of sugar. But try to eat ones that accompany natural fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Think fruit (good) versus candy (bad). Too easy.

How to identify healthy vs. unhealthy carbs

Another helpful tool is the glycemic index (GI) of foods. Many studies suggest that the GI may be a more effective way to identify healthy forms of carbohydrates (6, 8, 13). Moreover, the simplest way to separate healthy and unhealthy carbohydrates (and most foods for that matter), is to consume foods that grow naturally and avoid processed and refined foods. For example, brown rice, oats, and broccoli are healthy whereas white crackers, pastries, and granola bars are not. Why? Because they are more processed and more likely include added sugar.

Hidden Sugars

Added sugars can be hidden under many names in ingredient lists. Below is a list of some of the most common names for simple carbs, ones you want to minimize in your diet. Importantly, it includes scientific names used by food manufacturers to “hide” sugar from the buyer. Certain prefixes and suffixes of names are important to recognize when determining if food contains added sugars. For example, the prefix malt-and the suffix “-oserefer to sugar. Maltodextrin and dextrose are two examples of sugars added by manufacturers to improve shelf life and taste.

Simple Carbs (1-2 sugar molecules)

Carbs in bold reflect names that are often “hidden” in processed foods.

  • Glucose
  • Sucrose
  • Fructose
  • Lactose
  • Dextrose
  • Polydextrose
  • Maltodextrin
  • Oligofructose
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol

Additionally, watch out for these in ingredient lists:

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Evaporated cane juice
  • Dehydrated juice
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Molasses (treacle)
  • Syrups
  • Crystals

Here are some foods that contain simple carbs:

  • White bread, pasta, and rice
    • Replace these with whole grain flour and brown rice
  • Cereals made from “enriched wheat flour”
    • Replace these with oats and bran
  • Pastries
  • Table sugar
  • Condiments, such as jams, ketchup, and BBQ sauce
  • Canned fruit
  • Sodas
  • Candies
  • Desserts

Keep in mind that simple carbs are also found in foods like apples, peaches, bananas, and all fresh fruit for that matter. This doesn’t make them unhealthy. Because fresh fruits contain vitamins, minerals, and fibre and are grown with minimal human intervention, they’re healthier (2, 7). Other healthier foods that contain simple carbs include raw honey and pure maple syrup.

Complex Carbs (3 or more sugar molecules)

Complex carbs are commonly referred to as dietary starch. They normally contain lots of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. These carbs are most common in whole plant foods but are also found in whole grains. Complex carbs also generally have a low glycemic index (GI). For this reason, they help you release energy at a longer and more consistent rate than simple carbs do (6, 8, 13).

Foods to look for that contain complex carbs include the following:

  • All vegetables
  • Legumes (e.g., beans, lentils, and peas)
  • Quinoa
  • Whole grain flour in breads, pasta, and couscous
  • Oats, bran, and barley
  • Brown and wild rice

Summary

In sum, it’s a myth that all carbs are unhealthy as some low carb diet plans suggest. However, it’s important to avoid simple carbs, especially those containing refined flour and sugar, and eat complex carbs and low-GI foods. People should also be wary of artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame. There aren’t many longitudinal studies conducted on aspartame, and some early evidence suggests that it may have negative health effects (12). But most importantly, people need to develop a diet around carbs that reflects their own metabolism, fitness level, and genetics to achieve their goals.

 

Joshua Turner

Kinesiologist & M.Teach

March 2017

 

References

  1. Beutler, E. (1991). Galactosemia: screening and diagnosis. Clinical biochemistry24(4), 293-300.

 

  1. Blaack, E. E, Saris, W. H. M. (1995). Health aspects of various digestible carbohydrates. Nutritional Research. 15(10): 1547–73.

 

  1. Fasano, A., & Catassi, C. (2001). Current approaches to diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease: an evolving spectrum. Gastroenterology120(3), 636-651.

 

  1. Flitsch, S. L., Ulijn, R. V. (2003). Sugars tied to the spot. Nature. 421(6920): 219–20.  doi:1038/421219aPMID 12529622.

 

  1. Heyman, M. B. (2006). Lactose intolerance in infants, children, and adolescents. Pediatrics118(3), 1279-1286.

 

  1. Jenkins, D.J., Jenkins, A.L., Wolever, T. M., Josse, R. G., Wong, G. S. (1984). “The glycaemic response to carbohydrate foods”. The Lancet. 324: 388–391. doi:1016/s0140-6736(84)90554-3

 

  1. Jenkins, D. J., Wong, J. M., Kendall, C. W., Esfahani, A., Ng, V. W., Leong, T. C., … & Singer, W. (2009). The effect of a plant-based low-carbohydrate (“Eco-Atkins”) diet on body weight and blood lipid concentrations in hyperlipidemic subjects. Archives of Internal Medicine169(11), 1046-1054.

 

  1. Liu, S., Willett, W. C., Stampfer, M. J., Hu, F. B., Franz, M., Sampson, L., … & Manson, J. E. (2000). A prospective study of dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate intake, and risk of coronary heart disease in US women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition71(6), 1455-1461.

 

  1. McNeff, C. V., Nowlan, D. T., McNeff, L. C., Yan, B., & Fedie, R. L. (2010). Continuous production of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural from simple and complex carbohydrates. Applied Catalysis A: General384(1), 65-69.

 

  1. Shai, I., Schwarzfuchs, D., Henkin, Y., Shahar, D. R., Witkow, S., Greenberg, I., … & Tangi-Rozental, O. (2008). Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. New England Journal of Medicine359(3), 229-241.

 

  1. Simonds, P. (2005). Surviving the low-carb craze: help your clients make educated decisions based on science, not science fiction. IDEA Fitness Journal2(2), 54-60.

 

  1. Swithers, S. E. (2013). Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism24(9), 431-441.

 

  1. Wolever, Thomas M. S. (2006), The glycaemic index: A physiological classification of dietary carbohydrate, CABI, pg. 65, ISBN 9781845930516.

 

 

 

low carb diet

Myth: The Low Carb Diet and Long-Term Weight Loss

Now before I get into it, carbohydrates and their role in nutrition is a heavily debated topic. There are many opposing studies, advocates, and nutrition plans. For this reason, I’m not going to argue that the low carb diet is bad for all people or that it’s the ideal diet for all people. The reach of biodiversity across genetics, fitness levels, and metabolism is vast, and there isn’t enough evidence to suggest that one sweeping dietary regime will cure all people of all ailments. Whether it’s the Atkins diet, a high natural starch diet, a “slow” carb diet, a carb loading diet, or any diet that places an emphasis on carbohydrates, there are scientific studies and individuals that support each of them (1, 5, 6, 7, 9).

At the end of the day, it’s about what works best for you and your own genetic makeup, fitness level, and metabolism. However, most low carb diets have two things in common, and these are what I’ll be focusing on.

The characteristics of a low carb diet

All low carb diets share these characteristics:

  • They all agree that refined carbohydrates, such as sugar and white breads, should be avoided as much as possible.
    • When thinking of “refined carbohydrates”, think of carbohydrates that do not grow naturally.
  • They all can be connected to misleading forms of weight-loss promotion.

Below you will find my analysis of the myth around weight loss and the low carb diet. However, if you read my post on the myth that all carbs are bad, you’ll also find information about the healthy and unhealthy types of carbs.

What we’re led to believe about low carb diets

The primary selling point of the low carb diet is that it helps people lose weight. As a result, low carb diets have demonized carbohydrates in the eyes of the public. Neither of these claims are completely true, nor are they completely false. Instead, this is a perfect example of how mainstream media take advantage of an uneducated public when it comes to nutrition and biochemistry. They incorrectly portray all carbs as bad instead of just demonizing the unhealthy types – refined carbs (3, 4, 5, 6, 9).

Food companies prefer to simplify their marketing campaigns to promote weight loss because if it sounds easy to the buyer, it should be easy to lose weight. Why complicate weight loss strategies with detailed truths of biochemistry? People don’t have time for that. Instead, why not just dumb it down enough so that campaigns provide partial truths? This way, everyone can stay ignorant about the big picture, and the weight loss population can go on providing profits to companies that promote the low carb diet.

Similar simplified weight loss marketing strategies were applied to the low fat diet campaigns in the late 1970s, and they still echo in today’s media. Bogus ads on obviously unhealthy foods still promote slogans like “low fat” and “99% fat free.” The idea that eating less fat equals being less fat is an oversimplified but effective marketing ploy. Now the same tactics of oversimplifying biochemistry to sell weight loss products are being used with carbohydrates with slogans like “low carb” and “carb free”.

For more on healthy types of fat and the low fat diet myth, read our post on the topic.

What low carb diets really do

The low carb diet is best known for producing rapid weight loss. This is the foundation of the low carb diet myth. As soon as you drop all those carbs, weight loss happens fast! And you know what? This part is true. If you cut out carbs from your diet right now, you’ll lose weight (1, 6, 9). But, and this is a BIG BUT, what’s being oversimplified is that all that initial weight loss is just water weight (1, 10, 11). That’s right, just good ol’ H2O.

Recall that the full name of carbs is carbohydrates. The “carbo” of carbohydrates represents carbon molecules whereas the “hydrates” represents the binding of water molecules. Hence, carbohydrates got their name because they bind to water (1, 10, 11). So without carbs, your body doesn’t need to hold onto as much water and, therefore, excretes it. This results in rapid weight loss!

How low carb diets limit weight loss

Regardless of the whole truth, food advertisers love to promote the idea that the low carb diet produces rapid weight loss. But this approach is not in the long-term benefit of people who want to lose weight and keep it off. Realistically, everyone is going to have a few nutritional days here and there that don’t jive with their goals. So obviously, regular exercise to burn extra calories can play a significant role in losing and maintaining weight (2, 4, 8). All health regimes for all people should always include exercise no matter how frequent or infrequent it is. After all, a healthy weight is not a quick fix; it’s a lifestyle commitment to ongoing healthy habits!

However, cutting out the wrong type of carbs may weaken your energy and, hence, weaken your ability to combine exercise with nutrition to reach your goals (2, 7, 10, 11). This is due to how your body’s energy systems function during exercise. Predominantly, your body metabolizes both fat and carbohydrates for energy. At rest, it is roughly 70% fat and 30% carbs that are being broken down. Hence, eating healthy fats and fewer carbs during times of low energy exertion has been shown to benefit weight management (7, 8, 12).

At the start of exercise bouts, though, these ratios practically flip! That is, your body starts burning about 70% carbs and 30% fat as energy. This is because carbohydrates break down faster than fat, which allows you to access higher levels of energy for improved exercise performance. This means that without eating many carbohydrates before exercise, performance could be weakened and fewer overall calories may be burnt because there isn’t enough fuel to sustain the energy needed (7, 8, 12). Additionally, it is wise to eat some carbohydrates after exercise and to replenish the stock that has been burnt. If people do not eat some carbs day to day while regularly exercising, they are more susceptible to fatigue and overeating as compensation (2, 7).

Key Points

In sum, how the body metabolizes carbohydrates is a complicated process, and I don’t mean to make it sound too simple. But here are the key ideas:

  • The initial weight loss experienced from the low carb diet is predominately water weight (1, 10, 11)
  • Eating too few carbs while following an exercise program will hurt your ability to keep weight off in the long run (7, 8, 12)

 

References

  1. Astrup, A., Larsen, T. M., & Harper, A. (2004). Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss?. The Lancet364(9437), 897-899.

 

  1. Chambers, E. S., Bridge, M. W., & Jones, D. A. (2009). Carbohydrate sensing in the human mouth: effects on exercise performance and brain activity. The Journal of physiology587(8), 1779-1794.

 

  1. Howard BV, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Beresford SA, Frank G, Jones B, Rodabough RJ, Snetselaar L, Thomson C, Tinker L, Vitolins M, Prentice R. Low-fat dietary pattern and weight change over 7 years: The Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. 2006;295(1):39-49. doi:10.1001/jama.295.1.39

 

  1. Howard BV, Van Horn L, Hsia J, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Kuller LH, LaCroix AZ, Langer RD, Lasser NL, Lewis CE, Limacher MC, Margolis KL, Mysiw WJ, Ockene JK, Parker LM, Perri MG, Phillips L, Prentice RL, Robbins J, Rossouw JE, Sarto GE, Schatz IJ, Snetselaar LG, Stevens VJ, Tinker LF, Trevisan M, Vitolins MZ, Anderson GL, Assaf AR, Bassford T, Beresford SAA, Black HR, Brunner RL, Brzyski RG, Caan B, Chlebowski RT, Gass M, Granek I, Greenland P, Hays J, Heber D, Heiss G, Hendrix SL, Hubbell FA, Johnson KC, Kotchen JM. Low-fat dietary pattern and risk of cardiovascular disease. The Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial. 2006;295(6):655-666.

 

  1. Jenkins, D. J., Wolever, T. M., Kalmusky, J., Guidici, S., Giordano, C., Patten, R., … & Buckley, G. (1987). Low-glycemic index diet in hyperlipidemia: use of traditional starchy foods. The American journal of clinical nutrition46(1), 66-71.

 

  1. Jenkins, D. J., Wong, J. M., Kendall, C. W., Esfahani, A., Ng, V. W., Leong, T. C., … & Singer, W. (2009). The effect of a plant-based low-carbohydrate (“Eco-Atkins”) diet on body weight and blood lipid concentrations in hyperlipidemic subjects. Archives of internal medicine169(11), 1046-1054.

 

  1. Jeukendrup, A. E. (2010). Carbohydrate and exercise performance: the role of multiple transportable carbohydrates. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care13(4), 452-457.

 

  1. Melzer, K. (2011). Carbohydrate and fat utilisation during rest and physical activity. European E-Journal Of Clinical Nutritional And Metabolism, 6(2), e45-e52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclnm.2011.01.005

 

  1. Shai, I., Schwarzfuchs, D., Henkin, Y., Shahar, D. R., Witkow, S., Greenberg, I., … & Tangi-Rozental, O. (2008). Weight loss with a low-carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or low-fat diet. New England Journal of Medicine359(3), 229-241.

 

  1. Simonds, P. (2005). Surviving the low-carb craze: help your clients make educated decisions based on science, not science fiction. IDEA Fitness Journal2(2), 54-60.

 

  1. Sondike, S. B., Copperman, N., & Jacobson, M. S. (2003). Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor in overweight adolescents. The Journal of pediatrics142(3), 253-258.

 

  1. Suga, K., Kawasaki, T., Blank, M.L. and Snyder, F. (1991). An arachidonoyl (polyenoic) specific phosphollpase A2 activity regulates the synthesis of plateletactivating factor in granulocytic HL-60 cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 265: 12363-12367.
bad food tastes good

The Real Reasons Why Bad Food Tastes Good

We all know the feeling. You look at some unhealthy food knowing it tastes good, amazing even. You start to feel guilty for craving it. Maybe you give in and have just a little. Or maybe you completely let go and devour it all. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe later you feel proud for saying “no,” so that you can feel good about the goals you’ve made. Regardless of the outcome, we all know that feeling of guilt. Guilty pleasures. We all feel it. Then why is it that bad food tastes good?! It’s not fair, right?

Well, it also isn’t your fault. The reason why bad food tastes good is because there’s a mismatch between human biological evolution and the industrial revolution of our society.

Biological Evolution

The History of Our Biology

Slow biological evolution is part of the reason why bad food tastes good. When it comes to nutrition, our biology and how we process food has not changed greatly over the past 10,000 years (4, 5, 8). Our bodies are still a lot like the bodies of hunter-gatherers, which is a stark contrast to the time scale of the Industrial Revolution. In just a few hundred years, the way we grew, preserved, and accessed food changed entirely while our biology remained the same. This is important for understanding why bad foods tastes good.

Thousands of years ago, we ran around hunting and gathering food. At times, food was hard to come by and our bodies evolved methods for survival because of it. A simple example of this is that we store fat from all meals and from times of abundance so that we have energy to burn later on (8). When winters are harsh or food supplies run low, this gives us a better chance of survival (5, 8).

Taste as a Survival Mechanism

However, one simple evolutionary trait for survival that we often forget about is taste! When we taste something that is high in calories, it tastes good because evolutionary biology designed us this way (4, 8). It’s like our body’s way to say, “Hey, eat as much of this as you can because we don’t know when our next meal will be!” We love high-calorie foods not just because they taste good but because we need to store and use all the energy in them to survive. This is the real reason why bad food tastes good!

Unfortunately, the food industry and their marketers know this. Therefore, processed food companies pack food with extra calories in the form of fat and sugar to improve the taste of what would normally be tasteless food (6). They’ve been able to capitalize on the fact that because of our biology, bad food tastes good to us.

 For more on the healthy types of fat and how we metabolize them, click here!

Industrial Revolution

When it comes to understanding why bad food tastes good, the Industrial Revolution is another key piece of the puzzle. The Industrial Revolution began in 1760 and changed not only the way we live but also the way we eat (1). Invented in 1810, canned food allowed foods to last longer and be shipped further. More importantly, however, it allowed farmers to harvest and store large quantities of food without having to worry about it going to waste. This improved the quality of human health (1, 2, 3). Additionally, in the early 1900s, the invention of refrigeration was another milestone in food preservation at home and during transport (1, 2).

However, the impact of these changes has not been entirely positive because we are now seeing even more ways of preserving foods using chemistry. It is now common for foods to be preserved using chemicals, such as benzoates, nitrates, and sulphites, which have all been linked to unhealthy diets (7).  These chemicals have extended the shelf life of food and made it easier to access.

Understanding the history of our food industry is vital to understanding why bad food tastes good. Before 1760, there were only very basic ways to preserve food, such as by adding salt and other spices to it (3). For this reason, a lot of food would go to waste and low crop yields and long winters could lead to starvation. Clearly, the Industrial Revolution led to the invention of useful technologies that improved human health. But, it is important to understand that our biological evolution has not developed as rapidly (4, 5, 8).

The Key to Why Bad Food Tastes Good

This mismatch between our biology and changes in the food industry is the key to understanding why bad food tastes good. The Industrial Revolution has exponentially improved the growth, preservation, and access to food. In contrast, our biological instincts still lead us to crave foods high in calories, whether they’re carbohydrates, fats, or proteins, so we can store energy and survive when access to food is limited. Hence, our biology has not radically changed like our food industry has and still functions as if we don’t know when our next meal will be. Therefore, bad food tastes good because you’re biologically designed to love it. You know, just in case the next “hunt” to your fridge isn’t for a long time.

Joshua Turner

Kinesiologist & M.Teach

January 2017

 

References

  1. Ashton, T. S. (1997). The industrial revolution 1760-1830. OUP Catalogue.
  1. Crafts, N. F. (1985). British economic growth during the industrial revolution (p. 131). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  1. Freudenberger, H., & Cummins, G. (1976). Health, work, and leisure before the industrial revolution. Explorations in Economic History13(1), 1-12.
  1. Garcia-Bailo, B., Toguri, C., Eny, K. M., & El-Sohemy, A. (2009). Genetic variation in taste and its influence on food selection. OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology13(1), 69-80.
  1. Milton, K. (2017). Hunter-gatherer diets—a different perspectivenutrition.org. Retrieved 20 January 2017, from http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/3/665.full%3E
  1. Nestle, M. (2013). Food politics: How the food industry influences nutrition and health(Vol. 3). Univ of California Press.
  1. Soubra, L., Sarkis, D., Hilan, C., & Verger, P. (2007). Dietary exposure of children and teenagers to benzoates, sulphites, butylhydroxyanisol (BHA) and butylhydroxytoluen (BHT) in Beirut (Lebanon). Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology47(1), 68-77.
  1. Wells, J. C. (2010). The evolutionary biology of human body fatness: thrift and control(Vol. 58). Cambridge University Press.
dr oz recommends turmeric curcumin

Why Dr. Oz Recommends Turmeric Curcumin For Brain Health

The internet is exploding with information on how to boost your physical health. But what can you do to protect your brain? According to Dr. Oz, the answer lies in a spice: turmeric. Read why Dr Oz recommends turmeric curcumin, a key compound in turmeric, for boosting brain health:

Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a life-changing form of dementia with no known cure. But research reported by Dr. Oz suggests that turmeric curcumin can stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks. Science shows that turmeric curcumin might prevent plaque buildup in the brain, which is believed to cause Alzheimer’s. Who knew a spice could protect your memory?

Prevents Parkinson’s disease

Imagine having a disease that slowly attacked the cells in your brain so that it became hard to walk, talk, and breathe. That’s Parkinson’s disease, and it affects more than a million Americans. Parkinson’s destroys cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that helps your muscles move. According to data presented by Dr. Oz, turmeric curcumin protects dopamine-producing brain cells against the Parkinson’s protein.

Protects against neurotoxicity

It’s no secret that the food we eat – even the stuff that looks healthy – isn’t always good for us. In fact, many common foods and medications contain preservatives that are toxic for the brain. So what can you do to preserve your learning and memory function? Dr. Oz recommends turmeric curcumin because it can protect the brain against toxins.

Dr Oz recommends turmeric curcumin, but what kind do you need?

To get the best bang for your buck, take turmeric curcumin that’s enriched with black pepper extract (bioperine). On its own, turmuric curcumin is hard for your body to absorb. But when it’s paired with black pepper extract, your body can unlock its unbeatable health benefits.

Boost your brain health today with turmeric curcumin. Buy the supplement on our website.

low fat diet

Fat: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Fat Stereotype – “The Low Fat Diet”

Historically fat has gotten a bad rep because of the low fat diet. In 1977, the low fat diet was promoted by a large number of nutritional bodies, even including several government networks in various countries (7, 15). Food companies in countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, and the UK poured large sums of money into marketing the benefits of a low fat diet in order to captivate the population that this was a solution to help lose weight. And how could you blame them? How could you blame an uneducated population with the science behind nutrition still barely in its infancy? Eating less fat equals being less fat. Simple. Obvious. Too easy.

Ironically, this is almost when the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics began to take form (15). Some studies suggest that since individuals were seeking low-fat foods, the alternative products consumed were high in simple carbohydrates such as sugar. Today we know sugars to be the leading cause of unhealthy weight and numerous other health problems stemming from poor nutrition (5, 6).

The history of our mainstream media echoes in today’s marketing. An overly simplistic view of following a low fat diet and weight loss is easier to promote to the uneducated public. This is why we still see bogus ads such as “Low Fat” and “99% Fat Free” for processed foods that are high in sugars and preservatives. This view into the past allows us to understand where the negative stereotype of fat originates from. Eating less fat equals being less fat. False.   

The Good

Disclaimer: A cornerstone to good nutrition is obviously eating healthy foods, but in moderation. It will always ring true that your calorie input verses your calorie output will determine if you lose, gain, or keep weight consistent, no matter where those calories come from. That’s just physics. Please don’t think that by eating more fat you will lose weight. But, some calories are easier to burn off than others and that’s where healthy fats come in.

Simply put, the healthiest fats are unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat (look for them on labels). These types of fats are the easiest for your body to breakdown and turn into energy (4). At rest, your body creates about 70% of its energy by breaking down fat (11, 17). The majority of this fat is supplied to your brain, which is made up of about 60% fat (2). Your brain needs a lot of energy to run and regulate things such as processing fat through your stomach and liver to help create more energy. You can start to see a cycle, I’m sure. Thus, given that unsaturated fats can be broken down into energy faster, you burn fat more efficiently – it’s easier to burn off.

However, it should also be noted that saturated fats fall into a grey area as many studies are still conflicting. Some recent studies show that saturated fats can be healthy when coming from minimally processed sources, such as coconut oil. However, saturated fat from foods that are more processed such as cheese and other forms of dairy should be consumed with more moderation (9, 14).

Metabolizing fat is a complicated process and I don’t mean to make it sound too simple. But, if you can increase your consumption of foods that contain unsaturated fats, you will feel fuller, have more energy, improve your mental health, and provide yourself with the potential to reach the wellness you desire (1, 3, 4, 10, 16).

Foods to look for:  

  • Unsalted Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Peanut Butter (100% peanuts)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Olive Oil (avoid deep frying)
  • Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa)
  • Coconut Oil

And if you’re looking for other examples of foods and recipes to improve your wellness, check out the Slow Carb Diet and Glycemic Index article.

The Bad

As previously noted, saturated fats fall into a grey area. This is especially true in how saturated fats effect low density lipids (bad cholesterol) (14). Saturated fats do take longer for your body to metabolize (4), and therefore, unsaturated fats are still the better option. To empower your choice of foods, read nutrition labels to help compare the types of fats that are present in your products.

With that in mind, it is probably best to remember that the most important aspect of nutrition is to select foods that are minimally processed. Foods that don’t require nutrition labels, foods that have a short ingredient list (or at least have names you understand), and foods with not-too-distant expiration dates are the foods you should build your diet around. So for things that are high in saturated fat, such as dairy products and red meat, consume these sparingly.

The Ugly

Trans fats are by far the worst type of fat for your health. Not only does it take longer to break down and dispose of trans fats as energy, but they release less net energy because your body requires more time to metabolize these fats (4). Hence, you feel more tired, have less energy, and you want to eat more to make up for that energy – this could create a nasty snowball effect. Again, I apologize for simplifying how fats are metabolized (I know it’s a complicated biochemical process). However, minimizing your consumption of trans fat has widely been supported to improve health (4, 12, 13).    

Moreover, large amounts of trans fat are responsible for significant increased risks of cardiovascular disease, bad cholesterol levels, and even depression amongst many others (16). Now, it’s obvious to think that eating poorly would lead to adverse physical consequences, but how could mental health issues such as depression be associated with nutrition? Research is young, but more and more studies are finding links between microbes (bacteria) found in an individual’s gut and their mental and physical health (3, 10).

Foods to Avoid

  • Look out for foods that have long ingredient lists and never seem to go rotten
  • Any food deep fried or battered
  • Hydrogenated oils (look at the ingredient list)
  • Cakes, pies, cookies, doughnuts, and frosting
  • Chips
  • Frozen pizzas
  • Ice cream
  • Margarine
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Microwave dinners
  • Shortening
  • Creamers

It can be worrying to think that probably 70%-80% of the food found in grocery stores shouldn’t be considered very healthy (a figure you can come to by comparing how many processed verses unprocessed foods there are). And don’t get down on yourself if you have some ice cream or a cookie or whatever else sometime – I do! But, do so rarely and in mind of your goals and how you feel.

By becoming more educated on the fats in your food and busting myths on the “low fat diet”, you’ll help empower yourself to make healthier choices. You’ve already made a big step by making it to the end of this article.

References

  1. Arnos, P., Sowash, J. & Andres, F. (1997). Fat oxidation at varied work intensities using different exercise modes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 29 (5), S199.
  2. Chang, C., Ke, D., & Chen, J. (2009). Essential fatty acids and human brain. Acta Neuroi, 18(4), 231-241. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20329590
  3. Claesson, Marcus J., et al. “Gut microbiota composition correlates with diet and health in the elderly.” Nature 488.7410 (2012): 178-184.
  4. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. (1994). Fats and oils in human nutrition. Rome: FAO. Retrieved from: http://www.fao.org/docrep/v4700E/V4700E00.htm#Contents
  5. Howard BV, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Beresford SA, Frank G, Jones B, Rodabough RJ, Snetselaar L, Thomson C, Tinker L, Vitolins M, Prentice R. Low Fat Dietary Pattern and Weight Change Over 7 Years: The Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification Trial. JAMA. 2006;295(1):39-49. doi:10.1001/jama.295.1.39 (low fat diet)
  6. Howard BV, Van Horn L, Hsia J, Manson JE, Stefanick ML, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Kuller LH, LaCroix AZ, Langer RD, Lasser NL, Lewis CE, Limacher MC, Margolis KL, Mysiw WJ, Ockene JK, Parker LM, Perri MG, Phillips L, Prentice RL, Robbins J, Rossouw JE, Sarto GE, Schatz IJ, Snetselaar LG, Stevens VJ, Tinker LF, Trevisan M, Vitolins MZ, Anderson GL, Assaf AR, Bassford T, Beresford SAA, Black HR, Brunner RL, Brzyski RG, Caan B, Chlebowski RT, Gass M, Granek I, Greenland P, Hays J, Heber D, Heiss G, Hendrix SL, Hubbell FA, Johnson KC, Kotchen JM. Low-Fat Dietary Pattern and Risk of Cardiovascular DiseaseThe Women’s Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Dietary Modification Trial. JAMA. 2006;295(6):655-666. (low fat diet)
  7. Kearns CE, Schmidt LA, Glantz SA. Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(11):1680-1685. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5394
  8. Kinsella, J.E. 1990. Possible mechanisms underlying the effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega-3 News, V, 1-5.
  9. Malhotra, A. (2013). Saturated fat is not the major issue. The BMJ. Retrieved 7 December 2016, from http://www.bmj.com/content/347/bmj.f6340
  10. Mayer, Emeran A., et al. “Gut microbes and the brain: paradigm shift in neuroscience.” The Journal of Neuroscience 34.46 (2014): 15490-15496.
  11. Melzer, K. (2011). Carbohydrate and fat utilisation during rest and physical activity. European E-Journal Of Clinical Nutritional And Metabolism, 6(2), e45-e52. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eclnm.2011.01.005
  12. Mensink, R.P. and Zock, P.L. Lipoprotein metabolism and trans fatty acids. In: Trans Fatty Acids in Human Nutrition, pp. 217-234 (J.L. Sébédio and W.W. Christie (eds.), Oily Press, Dundee, Scotland) (1998).
  13. Micha, R. and Mozaffarian, D. Trans fatty acids: Effects on cardiometabolic health and implications for policy. Prostaglandins Leucotrienes Essent. Fatty Acids, 79, 147-152 (2008).
  14. Mora, S., Szklo, M., Otvos, J., Greenland, P., Psaty, B., & Goff, D. et al. (2007). LDL particle subclasses, LDL particle size, and carotid atherosclerosis in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Retrieved 7 December 2016, from http://www.atherosclerosis-journal.com/article/S0021-9150(06)00259-0/abstract
  15. National Center for Health Statistics (US). Health, United States, 2008: With Special Feature on the Health of Young Adults. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2009 Mar. Chartbook. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19623
  16. Sanchez-Villegas et al. (2011). Dietary Fat Intake and the Risk of Depression: The SUN Project. PLOS One, 6(1)e16268
  17. Suga, K., Kawasaki, T., Blank, M.L. and Snyder, F. 1991. An arachidonoyl (polyenoic) specific phosphollpase A2 activity regulates the synthesis of plateletactivating factor in granulocytic HL-60 cells. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 265: 12363-12367.
slow carb diet

Weight Loss Hacks: Master The Slow Carb Diet and Glycemic Index

The Slow Carb Diet and Glycemic Index

As a chef I hear much about food trends and diet fads, I keep a skeptical eye out for the information that seems relevant. Once every 10 years or so strides are made in human health science that topple food fads.

The current evolution of this phenomenon is the refined understanding of glycemic index and how it’s particular effect on the body can be deployed to make shocking changes in personal health and well-being. The phenomenon is know as the Slow Carb Diet and has been made wildly popular by the self help guru Tim Ferris in his book The 4 hour body

Most carbohydrates we eat come in the form of refined sugars, breads, cereals, white rice, muffins, cakes and pastries. All of these products share a common theme, they are refined. The process to make flour, extract sugars and hull rice are all extreme forms of refinement that allow the baser elements of these foods (sugars) to get streamlined through our digestion and injected straight into our blood. This is called a “blood sugar spike” and just about everyone has experienced the effects.

What you maybe don’t know is that this blood sugar spike will damage the body over time even if you do not have diabetes. After Years of studying diabetes we have an astounding knowledge of the effects of insulin on the body and this is where the rubber meets the road.

glycemic index

 

The Rollercoaster

You have a busy day, on your way to work, like always, you get a double-double coffee and a bagel with cream cheese from your favorite Canadian fast service cafe. Sugar spike, you feel incredible, your brain and muscles run on glucose and you have just hit the motherload! Your belly full and day underway you tackle challenges one after another, and silently your body is working against you.

Your Blood sugar spike sent a message to your pancreas to release insulin a hormone that tells the body to consume the readily available sugar and store the rest in the muscles for later use. Just as fast as that energy is delivered, your body takes it away, and now you are low, in some cases lower than before you had breakfast, then hunger sets in. This is not regular hunger either, this is low blood sugar hunger, body shaking, soul sucking hunger as though you have never had food before in your life. You lose focus, irritable and without thought you hit the nearest food retailer for a sandwich made with refined white bread.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

If you’re burning only glucose, on an endless cycle of sugar, guess what you’re not burning; fat, a problem that only compounds over time. Obesity, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and any number of highly unpleasant forms of gastrointestinal malfunction follow this cycle.

The Fix

You can still eat carbs, the key is knowing the glycemic load. The glycemic index refers to the amount of glucose in the blood at any given time and the glycemic load is the amount of glucose that a given food will deploy into the bloodstream and how quickly. A Low glycemic load has a slow release that is easily assimilated and evenly distributed over time, a high glycemic load is a catalyst for “blood sugar spike”.

Low GL foods

Sweet potato
Whole wheat pasta
Raisin Bran or whole bran cereal
Cous Cous
Quinoa
Oatmeal
Chickpeas
Black beans

High GL Foods

White Bread
Muffins
Pastries
Soda
Energy Drinks
White Rice

For a full list of comparable foods check here 

Here is a recipe I use for an on the go meal I can eat warm or cold to help me keep my day level and avoid the roller-coaster. With both the slow carb diet and glycemic index, you just have to be aware of what goes on your plate.

Chickpea Penne Pasta

2/3 cup chick peas drained & rinsed
1 cup cooked whole wheat penne pasta
1/4 red onion minced
1 large tomato diced
2 cups baby spinach
1 tbsp capers
1/2 tsp crushed chili peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

Combine these ingredients into a medium sized plastic travel container, it can be shaken up and eaten cold for a filling slow carb diet meal, or microwaved for 2 minutes to wilt the spinach and soften the tomato for a hearty warming meal on the go.