Complex Carbs, Simple Carbs, What’s a person to do?


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We hear these kinds of things all the time, eat more complex carbs, eliminate carbs, don’t eat simple carbs you’ll have blood sugar problems.  How do we know what to do?

For me the answer is physiology.

What is physiology?  Physiology is the science of the function of living systems.  To me this means, how does our body process the food we eat?  Is it easy for the body to process our food or does the food harm our body in any way?

So, carbohydrates, are they easy for the body to process or do they harm us in any way?

First, let’s start with naming the three categories of carbs.

  1. Complex carbohydrates
  2. Refined simple carbohydrates
  3. Whole food simple carbohydrates

Complex carbs are in rice, corn, wheat, rye barley, oats, spelt, farina, amaranth, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and wild rice and other grains.  They are also in potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, beans, peas, and lentils.   Did you know that grains are LOW in vitamin A, B, C and E, as well as sodium, calcium, sulfur and potassium?  From Dr. Doug Graham’s book, The 80/10/10 Diet phytic acid in grains is an antinutrient that drastically reduces zinc absorption.  Legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are LOW in Vitamin A and C.  Grains and legumes are not good sources of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Most of the above foods cannot be eaten unprocessed – except corn, peas, and some of the root vegetables.  This should be our first clue that we should not be eating them.  These foods are difficult for our bodies to digest whether  they are cooked, soaked, processed or eaten raw.  We do not have the digestive enzymes needed to breakdown these ‘foods’ for our bodies to utilize them.  If we cannot digest these foods then we should not be eating them.

Refined simple carbohydrates are also known as junk food.

We are all familiar with this group of carbs and we all know that we should avoid them.  Refined simple sugars are empty calories.  Calories without their full complement of original nutrients intact.  There is no nutritional value to eating junk food.  Dr. Graham says that the empty calories in refined simple carbohydrates are so devoid of food value as to bankrupt you nutritionally while they also function as stimulants.  Both the stimulation and the nutritional deficit accelerate aging.  Accelerate aging…no thanks…something to think about the next time you want that donut or candy bar.

Whole food simple carbohydrates are fresh fruit.

Yes, fruit is a simple carbohydrate, some believe it is a complex carbohydrate because some of their fiber is made up of complex carbohydrates from the peels.  Fruit is highly nutritious and matches our nutritional needs better than any other food.  High blood sugar is never an issue because the soft, water-soluble fiber in whole fruits allows their sugars to absorb slowly and gradually as long as your diet is low in fat.  A diet high in fat will slow the fruit sugars from moving out of the blood stream and this can cause problems.  The fat is the problem, not the fruit.

The sugars in fruit are the perfect fuel for our bodies.  Fruit is considered by everyone in the health profession to be a health food.  We hear it all the time for major health organizations and government agencies that we need to eat more fruit.  If you haven’t heard this, pay attention….I hear it more and more every day.

Fruit is the ultimate fast food.

Easy to prepare, easy to eat and easy for our bodies to digest.  Fruits contain almost all of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, macronutrients, and micronutrients our bodies need to be healthy.  There is nothing better than a piece or two or three of fruit.

Start to consider making meals of fruit.  This is a radical idea the first time you hear it.  We have been taught that we have to eat a variety of foods all the time to get adequate nutrition.  This rule does not apply to fruit because it is adequate nutrition in a single package.

There are no known health risks to eating fruit nor are they  harmful to the body in any way. Fruit will meet all of your carbohydrate needs.  Why would you want to eat anything else?

Raw Food Rocks!

 

 

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