I thought I might talk today about FOOD. We all need it. Many of us obsess about it, mostly because others tell us we should. And then there's the reality of our work days and how difficult it all seems to be.
Probably everyone knows that there are three main types of nutrients - protein, carbohydrates and fats. Probably everyone also knows that virtually no one agrees on the balance of these three, or what should make up these three, or how to consume them.... and on, and on, and on.
I'm going to ramble a bit about CARBS and let's see if maybe we can learn something.
A quick note about calories - I've said this before. Calories in, calories out... all calories are NOT the same. 13 ounces of broccoli (a full head) vs. 7 1/2 oz of Coke? Who's going to argue that they're the same thing?
OK - You want to go PALEO? (I mean like cavemen)
You are kidding yourself if you believe that's really a low carb diet. Cavemen ate what they could kill (protein and fat), or what they could gather (some protein with a fair amount of fat - mostly nuts, but mostly CARBS).
Yes - newsflash - virtually all vegetables are mostly carbohydrates. Some have good protein (beans, lentils, wild rice, steel cut oatmeal), but most of the calories come from carbs. (ASIDE - avocado is fruit) The calorie density of REAL FOOD tends to be very low. The CARBS that people are really talking about when they talk about LOW CARB diets is avoiding PROCESSED carbs - almost anything in a box. In fact, the VOLUME of food that a PALEO diet consists of is mostly CARBS.
NATURAL CARBS -
1 serving [150gm] of raw broccoli
50 calories, 10 gms carbs, 2.7 gm sugars, 4 gm protein, 3.8 gm dietary fiber.
CARBS from the BOX- (I don't have many at home)
1 small chewy granola bar
90 calories,19 gm carb, 7 sugars, 1 gm protein, 2gm fat, <1 gm fiber.
1 slice of bread
90 cal, 15 carb, 3 sugars, 4 gm protein, 1.5 g fat, 1g fiber.
1/2 cup cooked white rice
120 cal, 27 carb, 2 gm protein, 0.2g fat, 0.3 gm fiber
LOTS and LOTS of carbs, sugar and virtually no fiber. FIBER is one significant differentiator between the box and real food.
FIBER acts like a sponge in your intestine. The modern diet is depleted of fiber - primitive cultures eat around 60 gms a day, we eat around 12. Implications? Myriad.
Let's start with Butyrate. Butyrate is a metabolite of the bacteria in your gut (your microbiome - another blog) that has been shown to improve the health of your gut microbiome, which directly impacts the health of your brain!! (told you we were going to ramble) These effects range from impacting neurodegenerative conditions to effecting behavioral issues. Foods that help this? Whole grains, legumes, onions, asparagus, and surprisingly - bananas (talk about carbs!).
Butyrate is just a small part of the story. There has been substantial work done showing that increased fiber intake lowers inflammatory markers, improves gut biodiversity, aids in the detoxification of toxins and generally lowers colon cancer risk.
ALL of this stuff comes from CARBS. But not boxed - from nature. We can argue about the nutritional value of today's food supply (not very good). We can argue about GMOs and the effects they might have (that's a very long discussion with lots of complexity). What we shouldn't argue about is the value of EATING YOUR COLORS. More colors, more nutrition. The more variety, the more complete the nutritional information delivered to your body.
By combining the vitamins and minerals from your vegetables with fiber, you provide the body the opportunity to build itself up, while allowing for enhanced garbage removal. After all, have you ever redone your kitchen? Sure, it'll look great when you're done, but somebody's got to cart away all the refuse!
And really - that tire around the middle is mostly stuff that everyone wants to get carted away, but can't figure out how to get that done. FIBER is a great start, in combination with good vegetables and overall nutrition.
If you need more help with that, or any other medical / health condition, I think you'll find my process is a bit different than most. Let's talk - it might be something simple, or at least we could get you started in the right direction.
I'm always available by phone (646-801-7541), or by email.
Remember - we ALL have genius inside - we need to identify it, grow it and then share it as broadly as we can!
Bruce L. Feldman, MD
Dr Bruce is an advocate for health. You need to be your own health advocate. His blog offers his opinions and insights on numerous topics he believes might be of interest. Hope you agree!