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Posts tagged ‘Carbs’

Why people eat sugary crap for breakfast

Breakfast – the most important meal of the day – has become a sugar-fest, and it’s contributing to childhood obesity.

I find my inbox is constantly awash with article that are sugar-bashing, as the world slowly starts to shift from ‘fat is the bad boy’ to realising that sugar is the real problem.

It was good to see Dr Rangan Chatterjee on the BBC One Breakfast Show recently, trying to point out how much sugar is in the typical breakfast options of cereal and toast. Our government seem, to my eyes, to be faced with overwhelming evidence that we need to change dietary advice. We have an out-of-control childhood obesity problem, predicted to add to our already rampant adult obesity problem, yet the government refuse to change dietary advice.

The same day that TV interview was recorded, I saw a blog about a radio interview with Ireland’s top dietitian, slamming low-carb eating (less sugar!) as nonsense! While it’s ultimately true that ‘eating too many calories leads to weight gain’ and no one can deny it, saying that is the whole story misses all the many factors why people eat too many calories!

There are, of course, many factors behind our obesity problems. Personally, I think breakfast is a huge problem, and the UK breakfast table is sadly dominated by cereals and toast. If you follow Mother Nature’s Diet, this obviously isn’t an issue for you anymore, as Core Principle 1 removes that starchy white mass of carbohydrates from your diet. But in reality it’s a stumbling block for a lot of people. I deliver live seminars and people come up to me all the time, or email me in the days after, saying “But what can I do for breakfast? Without cereals and toast, what is there? What can I feed my kids?”

I answer that question a lot!

And the answer is – real food! Plants and animals. You can cook some eggs, that’s the quickest and easiest healthy option for most people. I eat the same food for breakfast that I eat for my other meals – fish, meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits. It’s just a case of putting a new habit in place. I’m rather fond of the ‘I don’t eat crap for breakfast’ habit, it works well for me personally.

You see, the truth is that breakfast cereals and toast have made people lazy. They are both quick, easy options. Really quick. Open the packet, dump some cereal in the bowl, pour on milk. Boom, breakfast in 60 seconds. Hands up. I confess, I can’t beat that, 60 seconds is too quick. I have only one healthy option that is that quick – fresh fruit. I can pick up 2 bananas and an apple and take them with me to my desk or my car and eat them ‘on the go’ – but that’s the only healthy breakfast option I have that is ready in 60 seconds or less.

Today, for my breakfast, I put a knob of butter in a frying pan, sliced and diced about a quarter of a whole red cabbage (it turns my eggs blue!) and threw that in to start simmering, then sliced and diced some savoy cabbage and threw that in too. Stirred that around for a couple of minutes, then cracked in 4 eggs. Making my breakfast took 6 or 7 minutes, maybe 8. My bad.

But I made a choice. A choice that I would prefer to get my butt out of bed 8 minutes earlier, so that I had time to take in some actual nutrition for my breakfast, rather than leaving my alarm to the last possible second and then using the ‘no time’ excuse as my reason for eating crap. And yes, it is crap.

Breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar. If they didn’t fortify the flour for making bread, and the breakfast cereals, with synthetic vitamins and minerals, it would be illegal to sell these products to you because they would make you sick – and eventually kill you. Take the time to read the link and understand why all cereals and breads have to be fortified – breakfast cereals are ‘nutritional cardboard’ and they taste like it, hence the need to add all that sugar.

I appreciate that you’ll face a challenge trying to get your kids to eat red cabbage for breakfast (though it is delicious fried in butter!) but there are plenty of options available. Scrambled eggs, fresh fruit salad, add a dollop of Greek yoghurt if it helps, fresh fruit and a few nuts, maybe make a smoothie and then you can even sneak in some veg like spinach without them noticing.

Do yourself a favour going forward and start every day the best way you can, with some quality nutrition and a few servings of fresh vegetables before you leave for work in the morning – rather than your entire day’s sugar allowance in one meal.

Should we all be cutting back on starchy carbohydrates?

I have seen a lot in the press recently about type-3 diabetes, the proposed alternative name for Alzheimer’s disease.

This is not particularly new, Type-3 diabetes has been offered as a name for Alzheimer’s for over a decade now, but it does increasingly seem to be coming to the fore and reaching mainstream discussion more recently.

It makes me wonder how many more people are starting to see that high refined carbohydrate consumption is not our long-term historical norm. Now, I didn’t just write “humans are not supposed to eat carbs.” No, that’s not what I said. Humans have always eaten carbohydrates, just not is such great quantities, and not refined and processed, the way breakfast cereals, sliced bread, quick-cook pasta and baked goods are today. These refined carbs (sugars!) and all highly processed grain products (bread, pasta, cereals) are a relatively new addition to our diet, and in such bulk, they seem to be causing some serious problems.

And with all the increase in grain consumption, we are seeing an increasing rise in the human consumption of glyphosate, the highly controversial herbicide from Monsanto. This is of great concern to many – the numbers reported in that link are certainly ringing alarm bells.

It seems there are plenty of good reasons to look at consuming fewer foods made from processed grains, and fewer refined carbohydrates in general.

Low-carb diets have become amazingly popular in recent years, first it was The Atkins Diet, and more recently the Paleo movement.

And there are increasingly many reports of low-carb diets helping people, with challenging health problems such as type-2 diabetes and advanced renal failure. Indeed, I have had plenty of people email me over the last five years to tell me that they follow the MND lifestyle and they have controlled their type-2 diabetes or even reversed it and come off their medications. I have had some emails from people exclaiming “you’ve cured me!”

I do not actively promote Mother Nature’s Diet as a low-carb diet. MND as a way of living includes eating plenty of carbs every day, we just like to eat the most nutritious carbs we can, such as sweet potatoes and squash, rather than bread, pasta and cereals. These vegetables tend to be lower in calories and higher in fibre – in my opinion, much better choices. I promote MND as a healthy-carb diet, rather than a low-carb diet.

The 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet do steer you away from high carbohydrate consumption.

Core Principle 1 states “Eliminate processed grains and starches from your diet”

What’s the point here?

In very broad general terms, there are five key reasons why we avoid eating grains and processed starchy carbs when living the Mother Nature’s Diet way.

1: For the vast majority of people, unless you are an athlete, then you just don’t need lots of bulky starchy carbs in your diet. The truth for most people is that eating lots of these starches provides a lot of calories they don’t need, and that can lead to a gain in excess body fat.

2: Grains cannot be digested unless they are processed or fermented, and in the natural order of things, way back in evolution, these foods would not have formed a major component of our diet.

3: Most of these foods (grains) naturally contain compounds that are not good for a lot of people. These foods contain gluten, phytates and other chemical substances that can cause digestive problems for a lot of people.

4: Grains and starchy carbs – the way they are consumed in the typical Western diet – tend to supply lots of bulk and lots of calories, without supplying much in the way of micro-nutrients – vitamins and minerals. In terms of eating foods that fill your plate, there are much better choices.

5: Modern large-scale industrialised agriculture, particularly grain (wheat and barley, also maize, rice and soya) agriculture, is a major source of topsoil erosion and greenhouse gas emissions.

If you would like to read a little more detail, just click here.

We are not excluding an entire food group “from all people, in its entirety, at all times” just because “grains are bad for you” as there is much more to it than that. The reality is that for many people, the popular foods made using grains and other starches, sold en masse in our supermarkets, which form a bulk part of the typical modern Western diet, are feeding people large amounts of easily-digestible calories, eaten rapidly in large quantities, eaten too quickly, too easily, too eagerly, too often, and these foods tend to be of a fairly low overall nutrient density.

In all, this ‘consumption pattern’ seems to be a major contributing factor to growing obesity levels, it seems to be a major contributory factor to the rising type-2 diabetes problem, and it seems to be a major contributory factor to the sub-standard level of micro-nutrients in the modern Western diet.

Additionally, people tend to eat these grains and starchy carbs as ‘the bulk’ element of a meal (think cereals and toast for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, pasta, rice and spaghetti for dinner) and this can often lead to over-eating large quantities of these foods. Because of this issue of quantity, these grains and starchy carbs tend to contribute a substantial proportion of the calories in a person’s diet, but comparatively little micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). This can contribute to weight gain.

Eating the MND way, we swap out those processed starchy foods for better options, namely fresh vegetables. The vegetable still offer some carbohydrate, but they are also offer more fibre, more micronutrients, less starch and fewer calories. For most people, this helps with weight loss and a healthier, more nutritious diet.

Eating the Mother Nature’s Diet way, in Core Principle 2 we also “Eliminate refined sugar, and limit natural sugars” and this further reduces the heavy carbohydrate load in the typical Western Diet.

So MND is not a low-carb diet per se, but it’s a healthy carb diet. It balances good choices of carbs, with good fats, varied proteins and plenty of micronutrients.

Try implementing the MND way into your life, just try it for 90 days, and see if it works for you.

Mother Nature’s Diet FAQs – Why avoid grains and starchy carbs?

Why do we avoid grains and processed starchy carbs?

This, Core Principle 1, is mostly explained in detail here in the 12 Core Principles.

For further reading, you might like to check this post: Back off those carbs!

Now you will understand that:

1: We have not evolved to eat grains, we cannot digest these plants, that is why they have to be processed before we can consume them.

2: You understand there are compounds in grains – gluten, lectins, phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors – that are largely undesirable and have negative side-effects for many people.

3: For most people, the 99% of the population who are not elite athletes, eating a lot of grains and processed starchy carbs is probably contributing to undesirable weight gain.

4: Bulky meals of starchy carbs can cause your pancreas to work too hard and can trigger blood sugar highs and lows. In time, this can Read more

Anti-aging benefits of less sugar and more vegetables

My friend shared this interesting article with me:

http://www.drperlmutter.com/low-glycemic-diet-slows-progression-age-related-macular-degeneration/

The article explains how our eyes work and what macular degeneration is, and then goes on to the findings of a new study.
Here, quoted, I picked out what I believe to be the most relevant and interesting part:

Quote < < “Each participant’s diet was assessed in terms of a scale called dietary glycaemic index. The food choices with a high glycaemic index are those which raise blood sugar significantly and for a longer period of time. As you would expect, these are food choices that are higher in sugar and carbohydrate.

What the researchers found was quite compelling. Those individuals whose diets had higher levels of high glycaemic index foods had a dramatic increase risk for progression or worsening of macular degeneration. Read more

No, you don’t have a “sweet tooth”!!!

The second episode of MND TV is ready for you to watch now.

MND TV Episode 2 – how to control those carb cravings. You really don’t have a ‘sweet tooth’!!

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/01/mnd-tv-episode-2/

Warning – this is a bit of a rant, so if you are easily offended…tough shit! Suck it up and get over it!

 

Back off those carbs!

One of the things I am most often asked about eating the MND way is why I suggest not eating starchy carbohydrates, particularly grains. I just want to cover that briefly today.

Summary:

  • Why we should avoid eating grains, processed carbs and starchy carbs in general
  • New research indicates that maintaining a fairly high-protein diet reduces signs of frailty in old age
  • Basically, those eating a diet higher in protein, maintained ‘strength’ longer, and those eating a diet lower in protein, reported more signs of frailty in older age
  • It doesn’t seem to matter if that protein comes from veggies or meat or fish, just so long as you are eating one or all of those things
  • Eat the MND way for a nutrient-packed diet with no need for nutrient-poor starchy carbs
  • Just eat plants and animals

MotherNaturesDiet (MND) is a fairly-low-carb diet. MND includes masses of vegetables, many of which provide carbs, so I do not promote MND as “low-carb” strictly, more I promote MND as “no-processed-carbs”. See MND Core Principle 1 – no processed grains, and MND Core Principle 2 – no refined sugar.

Why should we avoid carbs? Why no grains?

Living the MND way involves avoiding all those starchy carbs that other people eat – bread, cereals, pasta, white potatoes, rice, spaghetti, pastries, cakes and so on.

There are many reasons for this.

All grains are members of the ‘cereal crops’ family of plants. These are all a type of grass. Grasses are cellulose plants that humans cannot eat, and these foods are not digestible without processing.

I think Mother Nature designed animals to eat the grasses, then we eat the animals.

Ruminants (cows, sheep, goats, etc.) have a stomach (the rumen, hence their genus name) designed to act as a fermentation tank. Once fermented, they can then extract nutrients from these foods. Humans do not have a rumen and cannot digest grains, hence grains have to be processed in order for us to digest them.

Personally, I think it’s healthier and more natural to let the cow do the fermenting, and then I eat the cow.

The food chain

In Mother Nature’s grand design, it’s a form of ‘upregulation of energy’ – the sun falls on the huge flat surface of the earth, helping the grasses to grow, they absorb the suns vital energy. Cows eat the grass and upregulate the output of the sun’s energy into muscle, or beef, as we like to call it. We eat the cow. We die and our blood and bones and flesh put carbon, phosphorous, potassium, nitrogen and many other minerals back into the soil, to help feed the insects and bugs and help grow more plants, and so the whole cycle repeats.  Read more

London Marathon 2014 – post-race report

Yesterday, I ran the London Marathon 2014.

If you have been following this blog and following my training, you will know that this was a test for me, using a low-volume training program.

This was my 14th marathon [or longer] and it was my first competitive marathon for 2.5 years, as I took a year off running and had knee surgery back in 2012.

Firstly, a very quick ‘race report’

I was awake at 4:30 in the morning, excited, and I couldn’t get back to sleep! A couple more hours sleep would have been nice, but it was OK on the day! We had glorious sunshine in London, wonderful blue skies, which really makes a difference. I know a lot of runners prefer it cool, but personally, I love being out running in the warm sunshine. I ran the marathon for an official time of 3:51:47, which was just 6 or 7 minutes off my target time, as I had hoped for circa 3:45, but that’s not much, so I’m pretty happy with that! And I got a nice medal too! Read more

2013 Popular Posts #7: Sugar and the Insulin Response

2013 Popular Posts #7: Sugar and the Insulin Response – in plain, simple English

This was the 7th most popular piece I wrote in 2013, and with good reason. I only wrote this at the start of November, so in just 8 weeks it’s been viewed a lot of times.

Understanding the way your body responds to eating sugar, and starchy carbohydrates, is fundamentally important. MND Core Principle NUMBER ONE is “Eliminate grain and starchy carbs from your diet” and MND Core Principle NUMBER TWO is “Eliminate refined white sugar from your diet” – these are the single most important thing you can do to improve your health long term.

Read this post and understand the basic science – in the simplest plain English I could manage – behind these valuable rules for healthy living.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/11/03/sugar-and-the-insulin-response-in-plain-simple-english/

Eating MND in the carb-centric world

Eating by the low-carb MotherNaturesDiet (MND) 12 Core Principles is hard enough living in England...it's way harder here in India.

Back home in the UK, the typical supermarket is a carb-jungle. Cereals, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes are everywhere, and all those so-called food items in tins, packages, bags, boxes and shrink-wrapping, are loaded with refined sugar and processed syrups, the worst crap carbs of all. However, in the UK we do have options, and there are plenty of choices for buying meat, fish, fresh organic vegetables and fruits, and other foods that fit to the MND plan.

Here in India, eating revolves around carbs.

Read more