‘Slow Carbs’ and the Truth About Low-Carb Diets
You‘ll be surprised to hear me say that carbohydrates are the most important thing you can eat for health and weight loss. Why? Because all plant foods are carbohydrates. These are the good, “slow” carbs you’ll find in fruits, vegetables, and even nuts and seeds.
Slow carbs don’t spike your blood sugar or insulin, like carbs from pasta, bread, potatoes or rice. Instead, they fill your body with fiber. And they contain amazing molecules called phytochemicals.
Studies show that powerful phytochemicals like glucosinolates, found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, may help reduce your risk of cancer. Most colorful plant foods are full of good, slow carbs.
Dr. Hyman I am so confused about this low carb, no carb, high carb diet all over the place. I don’t get it. What should I be eating? Are carbs bad for you? How many carbs should I be eating a day to lose weight? Are they good for you? What should I eat? These are many questions dieticians get all the time.
Well I’ve got something surprising to say to many of my listeners who’ve been following my work for a long time. Carbohydrates are the single most important thing you can eat for health and weight loss. And you’re thinking right now Dr. Hyman have you gone nuts? What are you talking about? Carbohydrates I thought you’re always talking about how bad they are and how they cause diabetes and insulin resistance and heart disease and make you fat and everything.
So why would you be telling us to eat carbs? Why? Because all plant foods are carbohydrates and when I’m talking about carbs I’m talking about the good carbs or what we call ‘slow carbs‘. These are carbs that don’t spike your blood sugar. These are fruits, vegetables and nuts. Even nuts and seeds contain carbs. These carbs are very low glycemic. they don’t spike insulin. They don’t spike blood sugar which is the key here. And the reason why they are so important is because they contain all these amazing molecules called phytochemicals.
For example broccoli you could eat like 21 cups of broccoli and good luck if you can eat it. That’s like 750 calories but the net effect on your body would be not to spike your blood sugar. It would not be to actually increase insulin but actually be to fill your body with fiber and phytochemicals.
If you have a lot of potatoes probably not a good idea especially the hybridized potatoes. But you know what the little fingerling potatoes that come from Peru? Those purple or red or little non-starchy potatoes those are actually better for you. They have more phytonutrients. They don’t spike your blood sugar as much so you actually want to eat very original foods.
Don’t eat processed foods. Think about how far it went from the farm to your fork. If it gone through a lot of steps of processing, that’s not good. But if it’s a whole, real fresh fruits or vegetables those are all slow carbs. In fact we should have 75% at least of our plate being these non starchy vegetables and some low glycemic fruit like berries that’s okay. Then the rest of it is good quality fats and good quality protein to balance out your diet.
But by volume most your diet should be carbs by calories it won’t be right because you could eat 21 cups of broccoli and that’s only 700 calories but the truth is you really get most your calories from fat and from protein and very few from carbs. That’s the key high glycemic carbs are the bad ones: pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, processed foods, a lot of grains even whole grains sometimes can cause spikes in blood sugar.
Now there’s some other really cool carbs one of them is called resistance starch. Now I’m gonna talk about this more later on in another blog but a little preview. Resistant starch is a type of starch that doesn’t spike your blood sugar that improves the insulin sensitivity and can even affect diabetes beneficially. And it also acts as a probiotic to help fertilize all the good bugs.
And that’s another reason you want a lot of slow good carbs because they provide fiber. They provide all the nutrients that help fertilize the good bugs in your gut. So remember you want to eat carbs you want to eat the right carbs you want to eat slow carbs. Slow carbs that don’t spike your blood sugar.
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