Refined carbohydrates are to blame for skyrocketing chronic disease, not just obesity

Refined carbohydrates are to blame for skyrocketing chronic disease, not just obesity

A new study says Americans are getting fatter thanks to an increase in their consumption of carbohydrates. Women, the study reveals, are consuming 335 more calories per day than they did in 1971, and men are consuming 168 more. That may not seem like much, but it sure adds up quickly. An extra 335 calories a day packs on an extra pound of body fat every ten days.

The study says most of the increase in calories is from carbohydrates, but it leaves out perhaps the most crucial point of all: these are refined, processed carbohydrates -- the very worst kind. From a nutritional standpoint, you can''t paint all carbohydrates with the same brush. Whole grains and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index are, of course, far better for you than refined carbohydrates like white flour and refined white sugar. I''ve seen far too many studies lump all carbohydrates into the same category without regard for where they stand on the nutritional scale.

You see the same thing in the Food Guide Pyramid, which puts grains, breads and other carbohydrates as the "eat most" category of foods. That leads most people to falsely believe that eating a dozen doughnuts is keeping them in full compliance with the food guide pyramid, since doughnuts are, technically, breads and grains.

What researchers need to do is start differentiating between "good" and "bad" carbs. Some researchers are already doing that, but many still fail to consider the difference. Good carbs provide sustained energy and can definitely be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Good carbs would include fresh fruits (not processed fruits, not fruit drinks, and not canned fruits), fresh vegetables, boiled pearled barley, whole grain oats, brown rice, and so on. Even then, a person has to carefully limit their consumption of these carbohydrates if they want to avoid all the health problems associated with carbohydrate consumption (obesity, depression, hypoglycemia, heart disease, and so on).

Bad carbs, on the other hand, include all refined carbohydrates -- basically, anything that''s been milled and stripped of its original, natural elements such as fiber, healthy oils, vitamins and minerals. All white flour is nutritionally deadly. Really. White flour kills you. If you tried to live off of white flour for 60 days, you would literally die. That''s because white flour lacks all of the healthy elements found in the whole grain of the wheat berry. Whole wheat grains contain important minerals like magnesium, healthy oils like vitamin E, health-enhancing insoluble fiber, and a long list of important vitamins. Virtually all of these are stripped out during processing, leading to a product so nutritionally depleted that millers are required by federal law to add certain vitamins back in! That''s the source of so-called "enriched white flour," which is actually, "enriched just enough to make sure it doesn''t kill you too quickly with obvious nutritional deficiencies."

In other words, they take out 100 vitamins and minerals, then add three or four back in. That way, most people don''t notice the white flour is actually killing them by promoting chronic disease and illness. That''s why white flour earns one of the top positions on my list of metabolic disruptors -- food ingredients known to interfere with the normal healthy physiology of the human body.

Back to the study, however, it''s no surprise that people are eating more calories and suffering the consequences: just look at the aggressive marketing of soft drink companies and food manufacturers! If these people would just switch to the Atkins diet or any low-carb diet, they''d be able to eat more calories and burn them off through exothermic metabolic processes (higher metabolism and higher internal heat, basically). Refined carbohydrates are, truly, to be blamed for much of the chronic disease and illness now ravaging our nation. Shhhh! Don''t tell Big Sugar. The sugar industry still claims sugar is wholesome! If you enjoy this article, you may also be interested in an article entitled ''New research shows cancer caused by carbohydrates, sugars, white flour, and corn syrup.''

- Staff writers

News summary:
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/02/06/Consumers/carbs040206

  • ATLANTA - Americans are getting fatter because they''re eating more than they were 30 years ago, according to a new study.
  • Men ate 168 more calories each day, according to the study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
  • The lead researcher, Jacqueline Wright, says it''s mostly due to an increase in carbohydrate intake - cookies, bagels, chips, pasta and soft drinks.
  • Among them is the Atkins diet, which is followed by millions of people.
  • The agency remains concerned that people continue to eat too much saturated fat, which they cite as a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
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