Did you ever
wonder when our health began to decline? It didn't just start with the
onset of chemical farming, pollution, and genetically engineered foods. It
began thousands of years ago. For 2 million years humans ate a diet
consisting mainly of meat, fat, nuts and berries. It is only in the last 8,000 years that we have learned to farm.
It is well
documented that with the consumption of grains our health declined. When
anthropologists examined the bones of our ancestors they could tell the
difference between the hunter-gatherers (protein eaters) and the farmers
(mainly carbohydrate eaters). The hunter-gatherers had strong bones and
teeth and were relatively tall, whereas the farmers had signs of inhibited
growth and tooth decay.
ancient Egyptians ate a low fat diet consisting of large amounts of whole
grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as some fish and fowl. When
the remains of Egyptian mummies were examined, paleopathologists found
arteries choked with cholesterol that were often calcified, exhibiting an
advanced stage of atherosclerosis. Many subjects had arteries that were
scarred and thickened, indicating the presence of high blood pressure.
Why Carbohydrates Can
Cause Health Problems
So why did this
happen? Since humans were hunter-gatherers for such a long period, our
metabolisms were designed to cope with food supplies that were
unpredictable. Insulin enabled us to store calories for the lean times. Unfortunately, a diet heavy in carbohydrates sends
our insulin levels soaring, and our body interprets this as a need to
store calories, to make cholesterol and to conserve water which was very
important to our survival back then.
If it were not for
insulin, we would
constantly have to be hooked up to our energy source (food) in order to
merely function. Insulin stores fat in our
bodies, and this fat acts like a built-in battery, which gets re-charged
when we eat, and used for energy when we don't. So, diet is the best way
to control insulin; in fact it is the only way.
large quantities of carbohydrate produce large quantities of insulin. This
is because carbohydrates are composed of various sugar molecules, or
glucose, bonded chemically. Once you have eaten a carbohydrate, even a
complex carbohydrate, your body has digestive enzymes that break
these chemical bonds and release the sugar molecules into the blood.
Insulin springs into action when the blood sugar starts to climb too high,
as it does after a carbohydrate meal.
blood sugar triggers the pancreas to synthesize and release insulin into
the bloodstream. This insulin first makes a pass through the liver, where
it shuts down any sugar production that may still be going on, then
travels on to the rest of the body, where it acts on sensors or receptors
scattered across the surfaces of muscle and fat cells. These receptors,
when activated by insulin, initiate a series of reactions that pump sugar
(along with protein and fat) from the blood into the interior of the cells
for use now or storage for later. Insulin stimulates the fat cells to take
up fat and sugar from the blood and store it away as body fat, especially
in the middle of the body, within the abdomen and around the vital organs.
this is the story of what high-glycemic carbohydrate consumption has done
to our health in the past and what it is doing to us today. So why do so
many of us all over the world still eat this way?
Big Business Makes
Money from Carbohydrates
If you think
about it, big corporations and government dictate to a large extent the quality
of our health. Due to tremendous pressure from big business, our
governments promote genetic engineering of foods, chemical farming and all
sorts of things that do not contribute to the health of the people...but day by day strip it away.
Why do you
think this is? Could it possibly be money? As you read on, note the
comment by the puffed wheat company president. In the picture below, you
can see that the government and AMA (American Medical Association) promote
a food pyramid that slates carbohydrates (high-glycemic) as the most
important area of our diet. Therefore, companies producing these types of
foods have plenty of support.
carbohydrates are generally cheaper to buy than proteins, fresh fruits and
vegetables. There is a tendency for people to fill up on the cheap breads
and pastas to save money on their food budget. This is understandable if
you have a family to feed on a limited income. However, if a child was fed
a diet with protein, veggies, fresh fruits (not too much juice or pop),
nuts and only very limited refined sugars and carbohydrates they would
likely need less quantity as their food would sustain them longer. Not to
mention, there would be less spent on medical bills and drugs.
Different Food Pyramid
We feel, as
many health care practitioners do, that high-glycemic carbohydrates should
be relegated to the upper portion of the food pyramid. Does the AMA and the
government promote high-glycemic carbohydrates because they don't know any better
or is it because they have pressure from lobby groups and huge food
conglomerates? We may never know for sure, but it is up to us as
individuals and concerned citizens to speak up for what we want.
Personally, we are very thankful for the people who have continued to
research and stand up for a view contrary to what big business and
Where does vegetarianism fit into this picture?
See our related newsletter article called Vegetarianism.
PYRAMID (U.S. GOVERNMENT STANDARD)
THE FOOD PYRAMID - BASED ON THE LOW-GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES INDEX
Starting at the base of the
pyramid and moving up:
vegetables - Lettuce, all greens, broccoli, cauliflower, summer squash,
tomatoes, cucumber, celery, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, onions.
seafood, cheese - All meats, all seafood, all cheeses, eggs. This is the
The higher glycemic fruits are mangoes and bananas. Fruits have a higher
glycemic index than vegetables because of their sugar content.
and starchy vegetables - All grains, anything made from grain (breads,
crackers, cereals, etc.), winter squash, carrots, parsnips, potatoes
(potatoes are higher in their glycemic index when baked as opposed to
other cooking methods), legumes.
yogurt, cottage cheese and other dairy products - Yogurt has beneficial
acidophilus, but buy it plain and add your own fruit for a reasonable snack
and oils - Vegetable oils (try to use cold pressed and not canola
oil), butter (not margarine), nuts and seeds. A small amount of animal fat is okay.
Nasty Story of Puffed Wheat
a true story about
puffed wheat from Sally Fallon's book Nourishing
Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition
and the Diet Dictocrats.
Four sets of
rats were given special diets.
- Group 1)
plain whole wheat, water, vitamins and minerals
- Group 2)
puffed wheat, water and same chemical nutrients
- Group 3)
water, white sugar
- Group 4)
water and the same chemical nutrients
lives were shortest?
- Group 2, the
puffed wheat group, only lived 2 weeks.
- Group 1
lived for over a year.
- Group 3
lived for one month.
- Group 4
lived for eight weeks.
showed that it wasn't a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition; results
like these suggested that there was actually something toxic about the
puffed wheat itself. Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in
molecular structure, and the puffing process of putting the grain under
1500 pounds per square inch of pressure and then releasing it may produce
chemical changes which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance.
Sally goes on
to say that Paul Stitt, author of
Fighting the Food Giants, states
that Dr. Clark who shared his concern, took this report to the company who
produced the puffed wheat. The president of the company said, "I know
people should throw it on brides and grooms at weddings, but if they
insist on sticking it in their mouths, can I help it? Besides, we made 9
million dollars on the stuff last year."
Services feels that the puffing process is dangerous. Also, if you let
a child snack on puffed rice cakes, you should know that each one contains 14
grams of high-glycemic carbohydrates. That can add up in a day. Add a couple of
glasses of juice and you might as well have given the child 2 or 3 candy
bars. Yes, there are more nutrients in the juice than in candy bars but
the body will produce the same insulin reaction in both cases.
What do you
give them for snacks? What about celery sticks with almond butter, or an
apple with some cheese. Much healthier and much more sustaining!
Here is a great
recipe to help with potato cravings. Enjoy!
- 2 servings
- 2 large
- 1 tbsp
- 2 tbsp sour
green onions, optional
- bacon bits,
Preheat oven to
400 F. Wash potatoes and prick with a fork to avoid explosions! Put on
rack in oven for around 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly and cut in
quarters lengthwise. Scoop out most of the flesh. Put the skins on a
baking sheet. Drizzle the shells with melted butter, season with salt and
pepper. Add cheese if desired and place back in oven for 5 to 10 minutes
or until melted. Upon removal from oven add any of the other suggestions
above or your own favourite toppings.
10gm per serving.
Read about a
grain you may not be familiar with...Quinoa...higher protein...lower carbohydrates.
Top of Page
Top of Page
Mary Frost, M.A.,
Going Back to the Basics of Human Health
Corinne T. Netzer,
The Complete Book of Food Counts
Sally Fallon, Nourishing
Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition
and the Diet Dictocrats
McCullough, Living Low-Carb: The Complete Guide to Long Term Low-Carb Dieting
McCullough,The Low-Carb Cookbook: The Complete Guide to the Healthy Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle with over 250 Delicious Recipes