The Good vs. The Bad
Let’s be honest, we’ve pretty much gone off the deep end when it comes to carbohydrates: going high fat, high protein on the Atkins diet, denying ourselves fruit containing disease-fighting phytonutrients on the South Beach diet! What are we thinking?! Carbohydrates are necessary to live and our internal organs rely on the combination of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to survive and fight off disease!
Finding a way to eat healthy carbs we need while keeping our J Brand Jean size in check is essential. “Good carbohydrates” are natural and unprocessed, provide fiber and give us energy. Good, sometimes called slow or complex carbohydrates, are found in fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, as well as whole gains such as wheat, rice and corn. “Bad carbs” (the ones that make you fat), also called fast or simple carbohydrates, act as poison to the body, spiking blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling lethargic and craving more to eat. These weight-gain causing carbs are found in processed foods (anything in cellophane or out of a vending machine), baked goods and bleached pasta and rice.
If our goal is to stay lean while not compromising our health then it’s time to take another look at carbs and combine them with good lean protein and healthy fats for a balanced diet – and most importantly a balanced life.
Putting Research into Practice
Research suggest that going carb-free two days a week warrants more weight loss than dieting seven days a week. Findings were presented at San Antonio’s Breast Cancer Symposium as a way to fight breast cancer by reducing insulin levels and obesity, two leading causes of the disease.
Over four months, three groups of women were tracked. The first group ate a Mediterranean-style diet of 1500 calories a day. The second group restricted all carbs like rice, pasta, bread and sugar for two days a week but with no calorie restrictions and ate their usual diet the other five days. The third group restricted carbs and only ate 650 calories two days a week and ate their usual diet the other five days.
The groups that went carb-free two days a week lost an average of 9 lbs in 4 months while the constant dieters lost 5 lbs in 4 months. Both carb-free groups saw more improvements in insulin resistance, compared with the Mediterranean-style diet group.
“Weight loss and reduced insulin levels are required for breast-cancer prevention, but [these levels] are difficult to achieve and maintain with conventional dietary approaches,” lead author Michelle Harvie, a research dietitian at the Genesis Prevention Center at the University Hospital in South Manchester, England, said in a statement.
Combine a couple days of low carbs with a few days of HSM for your fittest, healthiest self!