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Carbs are not Essential! PDF Print E-mail

 

Carbohydrates include all refined and processed foods including:

  1. Anything made with flour (any cereal-based flour)
  2. Rice 
  3. Commercially Manufactured Cereals 
  4. Most Snack Foods 
  5. All sugar foods including sweets, cakes and soft drinks 
  6. Fruit juices 
  7. High fruit consumption 
  8. Potatoes and corn (mielies)
  9.  Any product containing High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

 

In fact soft drinks are probably the worst beverage ever invented. Most of these drinks contain at least 1 teaspoon of sugar per 85ml of soft drink. That equates to about 5 teaspoons of sugar per small can of coke or 12 teaspoons per litre. This is not limited to fizzy drinks but also to flavoured water with Vitamin Water being the worst culprit at 4 teaspoons per bottle (FYI, Vitamin Water is made by the Coca-Cola company) as well as Slushes, cordials and energy drinks. To add insult to injury the phosphoric acid found in fizzy drinks leaches the calcium out of your bones and those wonderful fizzy bubbles are created using carbon dioxide – the exact waste product that the body is constantly trying to eliminate.

And if you think that the ‘diet/ sugar-free’ versions are any better, think again. Many contain a sweetener called Aspartame which was once considered by the military for possible use as a battlefield neurotoxin and has been implicated in Multiple Sclerosis and brain degenertaion as it ‘eats’ holes in the myelin sheath, the protective layer covering all your nerves!

A very concerning finding in Food consumption changes in South Africa since 1994 published in December 2013 found that the biggest consumption overall was amongst the soft drink category which increased from 55 L. capita/year in 1999 to 92.9 L.capita/year in 2012, a whopping 68.9% increase! Considering that the worldwide average is 22.3 L.capita/year it means we are drinking FOUR TIMES as many soft drinks as the worldwide average. No wonder that we are the third fattest nation on earth and why diabetes has overtaken cardiovascular disease as the national health enemy number one.

Herewith the direct extraction from the article: “Consistent with the results of other studies, South Africans are increasing their consumption of soft drinks, especially in urban areas. Soft drinks were second to fruit, the most commonly purchased street food item. The high prevalence of soft drink consumption is concerning in terms of its association with obesity and non-communicable diseases. A recent study conducted in the USA concluded that added sugar intake from sugar-sweetened soft drinks is associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease mortality and recommended that calorie intake from added sugar be limited. ‘Total soft drink’ consumption increased by a dramatic 68.9% from 55 L. capita/year in 1999 to 92.9 L.capita/year in 2012, with all categories experiencing significant growth. South Africa’s annual per capita consumption of Coca-Cola products (including regular, low-calorie and no-calorie, sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink (RTD) juices and juice drinks, RTD coffees and teas, sports drinks, energy drinks, dairy, waters and enhanced waters) is 260 8-ounce servings (equivalent to a 237-mL serving), which is significantly higher than the worldwide average of 22.3 L.capita/year. This equates to 61.6 L.capita/year in 2012 for Coca-Cola products in South Africa and is a significant increase of 80% from 144 8-ounce servings or 34 L.capita /year in 1992.

The largest category of soft drinks is ‘carbonates’, which contributes a significant 67.5 L.capita/year. Consumption across all ‘carbonates’ increased (from 41.2% to 100%) between 1999 and 2012. ‘Low calorie/kilojoule cola carbonates’ consumption increased by 45%, but unfortunately remains a small contributor to the overall ‘carbonates’ consumption at <4.3% of total carbonates in 1999 and 2012.                             The second largest category, contributing 9.2 L.capita/year to ‘total soft drinks’ consumption in 2012, is ‘fruit/vegetable juice’, which grew by 44% between 1999 and 2012. The largest growth in consumption was observed in ‘100% juice’ offerings, which remained the most popular juice type, followed by nectars and fruit drinks.”

All refined carbs and sugar are acid forming in the body and they are all converted to triglycerides and are stored as fat. In fact fructose (the sugar naturally found in fruit) goes straight to the liver to be converted to fat. That is why the consumption of fruit should be monitored especially if you are already overweight or are insulin resistant.

Low GL Diet

Keeping blood sugar stable is at the heart of the Low (GL) diet. Keeping blood sugar stable depends not only on what you eat but also on when and how you eat. Just in case you thought this is a spelling error I am referring to the Low GL (Glycaemic Load) and not the Low GI (Glycaemic Index) diet which was popular for many years. The GI is a scale of measurement that tells you how fast the sugar content of a food is released into your bloodstream. When a GI diet is followed, a chart that scores food from 1-100 is used. A high GI score indicates foods to avoid and conversely a low GI score are the ones to eat. However the GI scores although useful only ever painted half the picture. The problem is that the glycaemic index doesn’t tell you the quantity of carbohydrate in the food, and so a GI score on its own is not complete. It’s not just how fast the carbohydrate gets absorbed into your bloodstream but how much of that food is comprised of carbohydrates.

For example a watermelon has a high GI score of 72 which means that it contains fast-releasing carbohydrates. However only 6g per 100g of that fruit is carbohydrate, the rest is mainly made up of water. So the impact of the fast releasing sugar is very low.

An important aspect to remember when eating any carb-containing food is chewing. Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth by the enzyme amylase. If you do not chew your carbs well (until they turn to liquid in your mouth) you will not digest them properly. This is because the saliva will be unable to neutralise the glycaemic response.

Are carbs really necessary?

Contrary to what some ‘professionals’ will tell you, YOU DO NOT need carbohydrates in your diet. This is because your body is way more intelligent then you give it credit for. The non-negotiables in any diet are good fats and protein. The buiding blocks of protein are amino acids and a portion of these are naturally converted to glucose in order to furnish any glucose-dependant processes that the body may have during its daily physiological functioning. The only caveat to this are certain diseases where fat cannot be metabolized (but these are rare) and the other caveat is endurance athletes as they need glucose to fuel their muscles after 3-4 hours of intense exercise. That means that you really don’t need powerade whilst you perambulate on the indoor treadmill!