Low Carb Truth & Lies

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On the front lines you will find normal everyday people who read between the bullshit lines that are spewed from media and news outlets. They say low carb is good, then someone says low carb is bad and unhealthy, but to the average reader a headline is the last thing they’ll ever read. My point is that the message has already been delivered and many people are content to simply tell the next person they meet, “hey, I just heard that low carb diets are bad.”

What I’ve found is that the true explanation for what is meant is often lost in the wording and can be misleading to the average reader. Between the lines of “studies show” and “new research shows that” we find that wording, like statistical data can often change the meaning completely. Writers are genious when it comes to word play and should be placed second to none except maybe attorneys.

Let me get to the point.  Yesterday a friend sent me an article entitled, “Vital Signs – Risky Additions to Low Carb Diets” from the New York Times Health section. After a bit of a once over on this article I came to the conclusion that no one wants to give it to you raw!

Here’s the raw truth. Breads, pastas and rice are not the only carbohydrates out there. There are two types of carbohydrates. In the healthy corner we have complex carbohydrates which consist of mainly vegetables and whole grains (a term which is also misleading). In the unhealthy corner we have simple carbohydrates, which consist of refined sugars in fruit juices, sodas, desserts, candies, breads, pastas and rice.

When they say low carb, what do they mean? They mean lowering the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet, not the number of complex carbohydrates. As a matter of fact, it would be ideal to replace the simple carbs that you have cut out with more complex carbs. If you recall my previous post, “Increase Fiber for Fat Loss“, you will see that increasing complex carbohydrates will help you increase Fiber and in the longrun lead to greater fat loss.

I take offense to this excerpt within this New York Times article which leads you to believe that low carb living is a negative.

The study found that the death rate among people who adhered most closely to a low-carb regimen was 12 percent higher over about two decades than with those who consumed diets higher in carbohydrates.

But the article never explains to you what type of carbohydrates. To the average person this would lead them to believe that they have a free pass to consume more carbohydrates without clearly defining what types of carbohydrates to consume.

I say consume lots of vegetables. As a matter of fact, when you eliminate breads and rice from your diet you need to replace that void with vegetables. Not only does replacing those breads, rice and refined products with more vegetables give your body more vital nutrients, but it also provides you with more bang for your buck as the calorie count is lower for vegetables and the nutrient density is higher.

Understand your food and live a healthier, longer life.


About Rich Thurman III B.Sc, MA, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Rich has a Bachelors of Science in Physiological Science from UCLA and a Masters of Sports Management from USF. He is certified by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, (NSCA) as a Personal Trainer (CPT) and Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He is primary author of The Fitness Library and writes for various other publications, including the San Francisco Police Officer's Association. Rich is the founder of Xodus Fitness, which offers Fitness Consulting & Personal Training, Urban Body Transformation Bootcamps, Corporate Wellness. Rich also conducts Workshops and an annual lecture at the San Francisco State University Kinesiology Department. Please feel free to contact through any of the links below to inquire about professional services or opportunities.

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