To Carb Or Not To Carb, That Is The Question
Dietary sugars, starches, and grains are all converted to glucose in the body.
The body can make glucose from the glycerol that you get from fat (triglycerides), a few amino acids that are recycled from daily bodily functions and movement, from lactate that is made by skeletal muscle when you are active or do exercises, from ketones when we oxidize fatty acids, from pyruvate, and probably more.
So, why would you choose to eat more carbs or sugars than the body will innately make when it is left to do so naturally? It doesn’t make sense and I wouldn’t.
80 grams of sugar/carbs is equal to:
- 2 cans of soda or
- Slightly more than 3 boxes of juice or
- Slightly more than one and a half bagels or
- 3 cups of oatmeal or
- Less than 2 cups of spaghetti or
- 5 slices of white bread or
- 6.5 slices of whole wheat bread or
- 6.5 cups of 1% milk or
- 3 cups of kids cereal, or less depending on the brand or
- 3 bars of chocolate (1.6 ounces each) or
- 4 regular sized cookies
As you can see, most people use more than 80 grams of carbs in breakfast alone:
- Bagel and orange juice (74 grams)
- 1.5 cups of cereal milk and glass of orange juice (81 grams)
As most kids need 25 to 40% less per day, they are well over their needs before they even head off to school in the morning.
Then comes their mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner, and evening snack.
There are many reports that natural carbs have lots of benefits. These include cruciferous veggies such as Brussel’s sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli, green leafy veggies, as well as colorful veggies such as peppers, tomatoes, squash, and asparagus.
If you mix in some low sugar fruit such as berries, oranges, and apples, and some seeds, nuts, and mushrooms, and you can eat a WHOLE lot of food that will last you all day, and you will still be under your 80 grams per day.
To get 79 grams of carbs from natural foods, you will be able to eat:
- 3 cups of broccoli (18 g)
- 3 cups of mushrooms (11 g)
- 12 cups of spinach (13 g)
- 1 pepper (8 g)
- 1 zucchini (6)
- 2 tomatoes (10)
- 3 cloves of garlic (3 g)
- 2 carrots (10 g)
If you rather prefer more fruit, you can easily swap out a cup of strawberries for the tomatoes, and half an apple for a carrot and a cup of broccoli, and you will still be at 80 grams.
If you were to go totally overboard on the natural food carbs you would therefore be hard-pressed to gain weight, even if you doubled or even tripled the number of natural carbs, taking your overall calories for the day to 1,000 to 1,500 MORE than your “needs.”
The rest of your meal should be made up of proteins (preferably the fattier cuts) such as fish, chicken, steak, pork, and shellfish, and healthy fats like butter, avocado, olive oil, olives, coconut oil, low carb nuts, and heavy creams.
Eat well, fast well, move well, sleep well, think well and live well my friends!
We can do better!