This edition will focus on Carbohydrates and why they are good for you and not the evil disease inducing, fat-creating macronutrient you have been led to believe. I want to preface this edition by stating that many people, including well-meaning health care professionals, simply parrot what they have heard, or read, or seen on the internet. This would be ok if they were parroting accurate information; but more often than not it is misleading and keeps people from making good choices when it comes to their health. You have probably become dizzy with all the conflicting information out there! Carbs are bad! You need carbs for energy! White potatoes and carrots are bad carbs!
Let’s take a look at the actual evidence and see who is making sense and who is confused.
Truth #1: Your body uses carbs for energy. Truth #2: Your brain needs carbs to function. Truth #3: Your body does not turn carbs into fat.
#1: Carbs are the perfect source of energy for your body. Carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are the building blocks of carbohydrates. There is no nitrogen (like proteins) so there is no toxic byproduct from over-ingesting carbs. Excess is stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Your body does not like to use proteins or fats for energy as it is very inefficient to do so. You need about 70% or more of your daily calories to come from complex carbohydrates (vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits). Some cells in your body ONLY burn carbs: red blood cells and kidney cells. When you don’t eat enough carbs for good health and overeat proteins or fats your body will perform something called gluconeogenesis which is a metabolic pathway used to survive. This is NOT a state of good health.
#2: Your brain needs ~140 grams of carbs a day to function efficiently. When forced to burn ketones (from metabolizing protein or fat for energy) brain function becomes impaired. Ever notice “brain fog” in the early morning? This is because you have fasted since supper the day before and your brain needs carbs, or worse yet, you are on a high protein, low carb diet!
#3: De novo lipogenesis is the process of turning carbs into fat. Pigs and cows are really good at this. Grains/grasses help to create fat in their muscle meat. We do not oink or moo! We do not turn carbs into fat! We are humans and this is very inefficient so we don’t do it. There are so many studies that prove this it would take me dozens of pages to show them all to you. Suffice it to say that carbs are used as energy and any excess carbohydrate calories are burned off as body heat, eliminated through the lungs and skin. Only by consuming VERY LARGE amounts of refined flours and simple sugars will the body resort to converting carbs into fat (de novo lipogenesis). High fructose corn syrup found in sodas and candies, is an exception in that this one form of simple carbohydrate is easily converted into body fat.
Otherwise, think: “Carbohydrates found in rice, potatoes, broccoli and bananas will keep me thin and healthy—just like they do for people living in Asia and Peru.” Those countries with starch based diets are the most trim and fit. No one told them that carbs are fattening! Fat is stored as fat. Its molecular structure is unaltered as it is stored. The fat you eat is the fat you wear, plain and simple. Starches are only ~1 calorie per gram. Proteins are 4 cal/gm and oils are 9 cal/gm. You are only satisfied with starches and carbs; not with proteins and fats.
That is why potatoes are considered a comfort food!
Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.
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HLW Recipe of the Month: Lentil Chili
This chili is the bomb! Every bite makes you look forward to the next bite! It’s great as is or to put on veggie hot dogs for an amazing chili dog! You could also pour this over baked potatoes. Yummy!
Prep Time: 10-15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
2 cups red lentils 2 quarts vegetable broth 2 cups diced onion 1 16 ounce can chopped tomatoes ¼ cup tomato paste 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon thyme freshly ground black pepper to taste pinch of crushed red pepper dash of cayenne pepper ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or sliced green onions (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients, except the cilantro or green onions, in a large soup pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, adding more water or broth if needed for proper chili consistency. Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro (optional) or top with green onions.
Tips: this recipe makes a good amount of chili. Only make half a recipe or make it for dinner one night and use the leftovers to make the chili dogs another night. This is also delicious over baked potatoes or brown rice, or used as a sloppy joe filling!
HLW Tip of the Month: Eat Breakfast Every Morning!
This Baked Banana Oatmeal is just one way to nourish your body and start your day right! For those of you licking your lips over this picture I plan to host another breakfast event and will serve this with recipe provided. Let me know if you are interested.
Why do you need breakfast?
Breakfast helps you keep your appetite control hormone, called Leptin, in good supply. Starvation will stop your body from making this hormone because it thinks you are at risk of dying when no food is coming in. When you no longer make this hormone you will have less control over your appetite. Leptin is discussed in more detail in the Weight Specifics class.
Your brain needs carbs to function (topic of this newsletter) and you have not eaten since the day before! Give your brain a good start to your day and eat a high fiber, high carb breakfast.
You will eat less all day long! Studies show an average of 75% less calories consumed all day when starting the day with fiber rich foods like bran cereal with banana and toast versus bacon and eggs.
You will enhance your body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Starving yourself will set you up for failure when it comes to weight loss.
A high fiber breakfast will help you break craving cycles.
Healthy proteins will help you block serotonin and sluggishness: breakfast burritos, scrambled tofu. Even a large bowl of oatmeal has 8 grams of protein!
If you have not made breakfast a habit because you are not hungry in the morning, I urge you to consider eating breakfast and before you know it you will actually feel hungry when you get up! You will break that unhealthy cycle and start your day with success for good health and lifelong wellbeing!
Eat breakfast to Have LifeLong WellBeing!