Yesterday, I shared part 1 of my review on Gary Taubes’ book, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. His arguments really hit home with me, and I’m sure did with a few of you as well. So, naturally, the next step after realizing why we are getting fat is figuring out what to do about it. “Not all of us get fat when we eat carbohydrates, but for those of us who do get fat, the carbohydrates are to blame; the fewer carbohydrates we eat, the leaner we will be.” It’s frustratingly beyond our control if we are predisposed to get fat, but at least there’s a solution.
Not all carbs are the same… Leafy green veggies have lots of fiber that take a while to digest and therefore the carbs don’t cause blood sugar levels to spike. But, cheap carbs, like bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, beer, soda, and all processed foods, have highly concentrated amounts of carbohydrates and are easy to digest. That means the glucose quickly enters our bloodstream, causing blood sugar to spike and with that insulin levels to go up. Fruit, while not as carb-concentrated, is easy to digest and therefore might have a fattening effect on the most insulin resistant people. The worst effect comes from a diet filled with fructose and highly sweetened food items. Our livers are not designed to handle the sugar overload and respond by turning it directly into fat. So when fructose is consumed with glucose (all those yummy processed foods/cheap carbs), insulin levels rise and start storing all that fat away instantly. It hastens the effect of carbs. This explains why some carb-heavy cultural diets, like in Asian countries where rice is a staple, don’t have a fattening effect: because they also eat traditionally very little, if any, sugar and have otherwise healthy, lean diets of fish and veggies.
We’re addicts. The more insulin resistant we become, the more insulin that’s constantly flowing through our bloodstream, craving a quick fix of glucose for fuel; that’s why we constantly crave those carbs even when we try to eat healthy and feel truly full on meat and veggies. The solution is as radical as breaking an addiction: eliminating those cheap carbs completely to break the habit. This is why many on the paleo diet are so successful in losing weight over many vegetarians/vegans, who often supplement their plant-based diet with carbohydrates. Paleos are eating the way our ancestors did as hunter-gatherers – high protein & fat from meat and lots of wild plant foods that are low in carbs and low on the glycemic index. Ultimately, Taubes suggests consuming fewer than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day and eliminating sugar completely to correct your weight. Beyond the benefits of losing weight, you will also find that your body starts healing itself naturally (the way God designed it to), since sugar actually suppresses your immune system for hours every time you consume it. Order his book here to learn more!
If all of this text has been a little overwhelming for you visual people, here is an awesome infographic that explains most of what I’ve summarized from his book. Enjoy!
[Source: Carbs Are Killing You]
So what do you think of Taubes’ argument? Will you read his book? Will you go carb & sugar free?