The Hidden Truth About High Carb Diets

The Hidden Truth About High Carb Diets

Have you ever wondered why some people, after going through one diet fad after another still don’t seem to lose any weight and are still obese, and even after joining gyms and tough regimens? Why are still in the ‘fat zone’?!  Well don’t wonder anymore.

The truth is, most of us have been misinformed, and maybe disinformed deliberately by certain people who have much to gain from this or who have vested interests, that is, those who call themselves dietitians (or dieticians)  as well as those in the medical community, including the ADA (American Diabetes Association). Or they have all been taken in by certain myths perpetuated by some people. Take for example the creator of the ‘Powerbar’, Brian Leigh Maxwell who was also a marathon runner. Maxwell never intended to become a marathon runner and lacked the speed necessary to be competitive at shorter distances. Despite being told as a teenager of his congenital heart condition, he persevered, and by 1977 he was ranked third among all marathoners in the world. Even though he was a model of fitness, at the age 51 he died of a heart attack!  This man who was a marathon runner, and who had a wife who was also a nutritionist, to top it all, suddenly died while he was in his 50’s. You can say his congenital heart condition may have killed him, but then again his dietary knowledge and habits may have been a contributing factor.

For over 40 years the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), has been drumming into people’s minds that if one cuts down on salt, fats and sugars, one will have a healthy life. But after 40 years, more people in the US are more obese than ever before, which is more than 60% of the US population! This, to put it mildly, is creating havoc on the US health system, which also puts a strain on the economy and not to mention high medical insurance premiums. These people have been following the advice of the so called authorities in the FDA. They have taken less fat, salt and sugar but yet they are overweight. (FYI – You need fat to burn fat. That is a bio-chemical fact). Unfortunately, not one word has been uttered about the detriments of  high carbohydrate diets by the establishment. In India, for example, the cases of diabetes and hypertension are also common amongst vegetarians? Why you may ask? They are not true vegetarians or even vegans but for want of a better word, they are ‘carbotarians’! (I think I have just coined a new word!)

The Diet Pyramid espoused by the American medical fraternity fails on every count. Firstly, the so called pyramid was designed for people who were hard working individuals, who labor dawn to dusk, mainly farmers and the like during the early part of the 20th century. Before there were cars, planes, machines and such contraptions and devices of the mid 20th century, most of our forefathers would walk miles, ride a horse and do heavy farm work and the like. But now things are different, most of us work in air-conditioned offices; travel to and from work in air-conditioned vehicles; spend hours in front of the computer and TV. That is, basically a sedentary life-style. We do not need as much carbohydrates or calories as our forefathers did. It is interesting to note that one Dr. Weston Price, a dentist, observed that primitive tribes and cultures did not have any heart disease and diabetes or even dental problems, in the 1940’s. Probably a high carbohydrate diet may be necessary for people who do heavy labor daily, but the same amount will be too much for our present generation. (Granted, athletes and sports people do need a high-carb diet). A simple ‘input -output’ analysis can reveal a lot about our diet today. We are taking in much too much carbohydrates than the body requires. The global epidemic of diabetes, hypertension, cancer and obesity is proof of that. Obesity and diabetes are increasingly being linked to heart disease. The frightening scenario is that there would be an estimated 366 million diabetic cases by 2030!

An excessive carbohydrate diet poisons the system. First of, how does the body breakdown carbs? The carbs are broken down by an enzyme called amylase,  which is found in the saliva and in the pancreatic juices as well as by the insulin secreted by the pancreas which converts the carbs into glucose for easy absorption into the body. If the carbs are not properly broken down, the undigested carbs will become toxic to the system. It creates excessive acids to be formed in the stomach which is passed on to the blood. It is a known fact that our bloods pH should be neutral or a bit alkaline, but when the body become excessively acidic, alarm bells begins to ring in the form of symptoms related to diabetes and hypertension. A person with diabetes, and for that matter, cancer, has very acidic blood. Furthermore, an overly acidic blood can lead to a low immunity to disease or immunodeficiency disorders.

A bowl of rice a  place of pasta for instance, is equivalent to 10 tablespoons of sugar. Moreover, the ‘islets of Langerhans’ in our pancreas which are responsible for the production of insulin, are being over burdened with this glut of carbohydrates in the body. The job of insulin is to help the cells in our body to use the glucose, which is the body’s main fuel. The cells cannot work properly if there is too little insulin in the system, retarding their ability to use the glucose normally. This unused glucose accumulates in the body cells, blood and tissues and then it is carried out as urine. Sugar in the urine is the main indication of diabetes. Let’s not get too deep into the bio-chemical activity of the human body. The frightening thing is that, the mortality rate of for those with diabetes is 10% annually compared to 6% for non-diabetes sufferers.

Being a financial planner cum insurance consultant, I also deal with medical insurance. The medical claims from the company I represent reveals the fact that 40% of the patients with diabetes died from diabetes related causes versus about 26% who did not have diabetes. Additionally, mortality for diabetes patients was higher in each sub-group through age 85. But then again, has anyone really seen a very obese 80 year old man?!

There’s a story once told by the renowned motivation guru, Tony Robbins, in his book ‘Unlimited Power’. He was referring to a book by Alexander Schauss, ‘Diet, Crime and Delinquency’ in which a boy, a chronic juvenile delinquent, was discovered to be thoroughly addicted to sugar and carbohydrates (cakes, sweets, milkshakes, cokes, chocolates, doughnuts etc.), and he had to have his sugar fix every day! The amount of sugar he consumed was mind boggling. There is an obvious correlation between behavior and diet. An excessive carbohydrate and sugar diet can lead to aggressive and erratic behavior such as mood swings, uncontrolled anger and depression. And what do our modern doctors do? Prescribe more anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac! The major reason for his abnormal behavior is because of an imbalance in the bio-chemical activity in his body and all these problems can be rectified by a mere change in his diet. The majority of the poor and disenfranchised is the Black population in the US . They spend  most of their income on food, or buy food with food-stamps. Obviously they have a high-carbo diet, simply because they cannot afford meats and vegetables. Moreover, Blacks are genetically predisposed to the tropical climate, so once they are exposed to a colder clime, they put on weight. And because of their high-carbo diets, the poor have behavioral problems, who usually end up doing crime and ending up in jail. It is a fact that most jails in the US have a high proportion of Blacks, unfortunately. To avoid the detrimental effects of excessive carbohydrate diet, one just needs to follow the ‘30% rule.’ That is, reducing your carbohydrate-sugar intake by 30% and all will be well. As the old adage goes, ‘You are what you eat’!

For a better understanding of what really happens when the body is flooded with carbohydrates and sugars, it happens like this: When the pancreas has been conditioned to release insulin because of high sugar levels in the  body, the sudden rise and fall of insulin levels creates havoc in the system. One can go from hyperglycemic to hypoglycemic within a matter of minutes! Hypoglycemia is a condition of low blood sugars. Ironically, it is aggravated by consuming an excessive amount of refined carbohydrates and sugars. These substances cause the pancreas, the adrenal gland and the liver to lose their ability to handle the sugar properly. Other causes of low blood sugar are disturbed functioning of the liver, pituitary gland or adrenal glands. Stress intensifies this condition as it weakens the adrenal glands and starts a faulty pattern of glucose intolerance. Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar can make one tired, tense, irritable, moody and prone to anger. Until one gets a sugar fix. The brain too needs glucose to function well, when there is a drop in the glucose level in the brain, there would be behavioral changes. No wonder, parents nowadays with young children, are having a tough time keeping them under control. These kids are either having ADD, hyperactive, obese or delinquent. The number of obese children is on the rise in urban areas, but less so in rural areas, especially in developing countries. Go blame it on our fast food companies, the media/advertising deluge on young impressionable minds and the instant gratification mentality of the ‘baby boomer’ generation, their kids and now their grand-kids. In America, because of all the bad publicity against fast food, companies like McDonald’s are having low-carb menus now, forget the fact that a large Coke contains about 11 teaspoons of sugar and it does wonders for your teeth!

Going back in time, that is eons ago, Man was a hunter-gatherer. That is the man hunts and the woman gathers. His diet consists of animal meat, a variety of wild grains, legumes, tubers, vegetables and fruits. His diet was low in carbohydrates. At that time, Man is yet to cultivate the land and plant grains for food. The Inuit in Alaska and Siberia for example, have a very low carbohydrate but high protein diet, and there were no incidences of diabetes and the like, that was until the white man appeared and introduced bread and beer! There is also evidence that when the remains of an ancient hunter who was frozen in a glacier in Europe was discovered some time back, scientists found that most of his teeth was intact and his bones were much denser than the bones of the Egyptian mummies. The simple reason is because of a low-carb, high protein diet. It is a known fact that the Egyptians had a low protein, high-carb diet. In fact they were credited for the creation of beer, from their bountiful barley harvests from the Nile delta.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating a high protein diet like the Atkins’ diet. Though the late Dr. Atkins’ diet had its merits, I would not recommend it to anyone, unless you have an active lifestyle. But if you seriously want to lose weight, it may work for you. Dr. Atkins, a cardiologist by training, had taken a lot of flak from the media, the medical establishment and ‘carbo-food’ manufacturers unfairly. His diet works because it fixes the bodies inability to metabolize carbohydrates properly. Unless you lead a very active lifestyle, like an athlete or a sportsman, or seriously want to be diabetes free, the diet may be helpful. But always remember to do the proper research and get a second opinion for the right people such as a doctor specialized in nutrition, endocrinology, obesity or diabetes.

One wonders why all this disinformation and misinformation has been going around for so long? This is because, of some people in the good old US of A, like people in the FDA, the politicians; the wheat, rice and sugar growers, will be losing a lot if the whole country if not the world cuts back on its carbohydrate intake. Wheat, rice, corn and sugar manufacturers have a lot  at stake and they are heavily subsidies by the US Govt. They are also very well organized and funded by strong politicking and lobbying. Imagine what would happen to the bread manufacturers, the cereal manufacturers, the pasta/spaghetti manufacturers, the sugar/chocolate/candy manufacturers, if they have a massive drop in sales. And they are all backed by strong unions. The FDA too has vested interests, because some of the directors were once CEOs of these very companies. Thankfully things are changing in the States, where there has been a noticeable drop in bread sales. Finally, some people have come to their senses

PS. Link to more devious works of the FDA!


(My next article would be about the reason why you can fall sick because of poor oral hygiene, the toothpaste conspiracy and the deadly chemicals in the everyday toothpaste!)

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Please note that I am NOT a doctor or a dietician. My interests in health, diets and preventive medicine and the research I have been doing for the past 30 years on these subjects made me realise that a lot of misinformation and disinformation about diet and health abounds everywhere. I am just doing this out of goodwill and pro bono. This information can be gathered from the internet and other publications if you bother to look. Again, always get a second opinion from a trained and qualified professional for any weight loss regimes or dietary plans. This article is for information purpose only!


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