One of the least understood words in the diet dictionary is carbs. Carbohydrates. They're scapegoats for ignorance, falsely populated as a single food group that makes you fat.
Did you know that there are three types of carbohydrates? Not one carb. Not good and bad carbs. Three types. Sugars, starches and fibre.
Fibre, which we all know we need, is a type of carb. So you can't cut out carbs and eat more fibre.
Why Is Fibre Important?
Dietary fibre is vital for our digestive health. It helps with regular bowel movements and it feeds our gut bacteria, which leads to anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-obesity and blood sugar control compounds.
Fibre also helps you feel fuller which is why high fibre diets help with obesity and losing weight.
97% Of Us Don't Eat Enough Fibre
That's right. 97% of Americans aren't eating enough fibre. 97%. You don't have to be American to know you're not either. And 98% aren't getting enough potassium.
Guess what condemned 'carbs' are full of fibre, potassium and immune boosting vitamin C?
Sweet potatoes and bananas.
And guess what we're all eating too much of? Protein.
97% Of Us Eat Too Much Protein
We've been convinced by weight loss crowds that if you cut carbs and eat more protein, you'll be skinny.
And what populates this reckless theory is that, simply, it gets results. We all know someone, maybe ourselves, that did the Whole30 and cut ten pounds. Or did the Paleo Crossfit double and got in the best shape of their life.
What's misleading about these remixed Atkins diets is that they put all carbohydrates in the same boat. They completely ignore the life extending benefits of fibre, putting sweet potato in the same boat as a donut.
And if someone has success with this strategy they go on assuming that a carb is a carb.
But it isn't. Eliminating fibre from your diet is disastrous for your health. It can kill you. Seriously. Look at the positive impact fibre has on cancer in the paragraphs above. And then look where prostate and colon cancer, for men, sits on the graph below:
Dairy products, which I hope you're limiting, are shown to increase the risk of prostate cancer by 32%.
Animal protein, which is heavily encouraged by the slow carb Paleo community, increases your cancer chances. Processed meat is a group one carcinogen according to the World Health Organisation. And red meat is currently a level two carcinogen.
We can't substitute complex carbohydrates for animal protein. We just can't.
So What Carbs Should We Eat?
Well, firstly, we can't use the word carbs any more. Putting broccoli and McDonalds fries on the same team is a terrible way to group things. Let's just use the words fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds to describe the complex carbohydrates that are full of life extending micronutrients and fibre.
And let's call the other ones by what they are, like pasta is pasta and a croissant is a croissant. Or band them together as processed foods, junk foods or treat foods etc. They're man made and they don't have nutrients.
Fibre, which 97% of us don't eat enough of, is a carb. It helps you live longer, lose weight and feel fuller. It actually prevents cancer.
Let's completely remove the word carb from the social vocabulary as it groups together completely unrelated foods. If you're determined to live longer and look good naked, then eat more fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. And eat less processed foods.