Depending on where you get your information, you may read that carbohydrate or carbs (as I call them) are an essential part of a healthy diet. I'm here to tell you that your body can make all of the carbs/glucose it needs for good health and there are some, probably MANY of the population that will have their health compromised if they continue to eat a moderate, to high carb diet. Even if those carbs are in the form of vegetables and whole grains!
You may have also read that our body prefers to use glucose -carbohydrates as the primary source of fuel for all of our daily activity. Muscles need glucose to move, and organs need glucose to function. Interestingly, our bodies can make glucose from any extra dietary protein by a process called gluconeogenesis, (done through the liver.) When babies are born, they are born in a ketogenic state and that is when rapid brain development occurs. Unfortunately, unless they are breast fed, babies immediately become 'sugar' or carbohydrate burners rather than burning ketones when fed anything other than mother's milk. From this, I believe it is reasonable to conclude that ketones are a superior human fuel - especially for the new born, developing brain,
As a side note, you may find it interesting to study the topic of epileptics and seizures, again more about carbohydrates and the brain. it is quite fascinating to learn how people, children and adults - who have severe epileptic seizures - are able to live seizure free without medication, as long as they stay away from carbs/sugar in their diet. The Charlie Foundation website is a great resource to learn more should you be interested.
As I mentioned above, there is a LARGE segment of the population who really need to minimize carbs in their diet IF they are going to live a long and healthy life. It is estimated that more than half the population, are pre-diabetic, have metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance or, are full blown type II Diabetics. For these people, of which I am one, carbs are the enemy. Personally, my goal is always to stay below 20 grams of carbs per day. There are no carbs in beef, which is the main thing I eat. I also eat eggs which have trace amounts of carbs. I include electrolytes in my diet and that gives me a few carbs but I'm still coming in between 15-20 grams of carbs per day. If I could take it to zero I would.
I have dealt with weight issues all of my life and I have tried pretty much every diet known to man - from one extreme to the other. I been a vegan and I've been a carnivore. As one who deals with insulin resistance, I know which is best for me. Life is about trial and error, you have to keep seeking to find what works for you. If you have insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, Type II diabetes or are pre-diabetic, you would be wise to learn about how to live with minimal carbs in your diet. Outside of going to a doctor and being diagnosed, the way you would know if you have any of those issues would be to know the symptoms. Here are the biggies.
You carry your excess weight around the middle.
Your blood pressure is high.
You crave unhealthy foods.
If you are male, you suffer with erectile dysfunction.
You are excessively thirsty.
There are more symptoms but these are the main ones. See your doctor. If you are diagnosed with any of the above mentioned issues, the good news is that, if you will modify your diet, get rid of the carbs; you should not need medications for the rest of your life Good news, right? We will continue this in the next post!