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Thursday, July 31, 2008

No-Carb or Low-Carb is the question?!

I'm all for low-carbing (I stay under 100 grams a day and when I'm more seriously low-carbing, I stay under 50 grams a day), as it just seems a healthier way for me to live my life and to keep my weight in check. However, a few people tend to sometimes take things to extremes, in my opinion. NO Carbs! I'm open-minded, so I'm thinking that perhaps that would be okay a couple of days a week, however, some people might do this for weeks or months on end. I happen to think - and this is totally my opinion - that the body needs the nutrients from at the very least vegetables, if not fruits as well. These nutrients help the body to function optimally (fiber, antioxidants, etc.) and to fight diseases such as cancer and to lower blood pressure to prevent heart disease and stroke. Fruits and vegetables also lower risk of eye and digestive problems. Fruits and vegetables keep our bodies in a more alkaline state. If one were to eat only meat, I would imagine an acidic state could possibly develop in the body and that is not a good situation. Obviously, meat and water fasts are a short term thing if anything and one needs to take supplements.

Personally, I could not stomach only meat for even two days in a row. That's me though. I also cannot see how one can sustain such an austere diet for any length of time, so perhaps I'm worrying about people for nothing.

I know the Eskimos lived on mostly meat and blubber, but wonder if sometimes they got scurvy from lack of vitamin C. I'm rambling... a quick googling on the subject told me that the Eskimos did not get scurvy and that apparently they got vitamin C from the skins of Beluga whales... Anyway, it is a moot point now as they eat a lot of what Western people eat (junk food!) and as a result suffer from similar ailments of too much weight, and especially diabetes.

Happy low-carbing - not no-carbing, hopefully! Each to their own though...I still think moderation in everything is a good mantra to live by.


sylvia said...

Hi Jennifer!

It's me again... :-p
I absolutely agree with you. I think one needs vegetables and fruit as well.
Some time ago someone wrote on a dutch Atkins board that in time, after the diet, one can tolerate more carbs again due to the production of enzymes in the body....I didn't really get it. Not that one can tolerate as much carbs as they ate before, however, a slight increase was possible.
I'm very interested in your opinion on the matter. I'm just starting, so I don't have that experience :-)

Thank you,


PS. Looking forward to your bake-mix, not that I have a gluten-intolerance, however, I just love your bake-mixes!

Jennifer said...

Hi Sylvia,

Good to hear from you!

I think if one has to lower carbs drastically in order to lose weight, because of carb intolerance such as insulin resistance - and one does it for a long time - insulin output will be naturally controlled through diet. It is possible that the body will become less insulin resistant over time, but I'm not sure. I think it is just as possible to go back to old habits and gain the weight back again and yet some as with all diets.

I'm not sure about the enzyme that allows one to eat more carbs. I've never heard of that one, but there is an enzyme in the body that needs insulin in order to store fat. This enzyme becomes hyperactive after dieting and that is why people will gain weight helter skelter again afterwards, if they suddenly increase their insulin output significantly again. It is the body's very efficient survival mechanism that kicks in.

That said, however, maintenance level of carbs is significantly higher for many people than when trying to lose weight. It is best to gradually increase carbs as Dr. Atkins suggested until weight loss stops.

Thanks, I'm excited about my new bake mix as well. I made the chocolate cream cheese muffins from my first diabetic cookbook. They were wonderful. The consistency was cake-like, similar to using white flour in the recipe, and the batter held together perfectly and rose beautifully! The cookies were not bad either.