OMG! Can we talk about carbs? I’m so tired of hearing about Low Carb diet versus High Carb diet. I wish the medical or food community would come up with another name for either Good Carbs or Bad Carbs, so we can get past the confusion.
First, let’s begin by talking about what a carbohydrate is.
Carbohydrate: any of various neutral compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (as sugars, starches, and celluloses) most of which are formed by green plants and which constitute a major class of animal foods
Good carbs are typically classified as complex carbs and include fruits and vegetables (and whole grains.) They have a lot of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fiber. Bad carbs are typically classified as simple carbs and include such things as cookies, cakes, pies, soda, white bread, candy, etc. These have little nutritional value and can cause blood sugar spikes, inflammation, acidity, overgrowth of bad gut bacteria, and can lead to a number of health issues.
A study in 1996 found that 42% of Americans ate cakes, cookies, pastries, or pies daily, while only 10% ate any dark green leafy vegetables. Of the vegetables eaten, half of those were potatoes (as French fries and chips!), head lettuce (one of the least nutrient-dense foods), and canned tomatoes.
Dr. Thomas Campbell, MD, who did the incredible China Study is one of the doctors who promotes a High-Carb diet. Yet, he also says, “you could eat a low-fat, high-carb diet by exclusively eating pasta made from refined flour, baked potato chips, soda, sugary cereals, and low-fat candy bars. Eating this way is a bad idea. You will not derive the health benefits of a plant-based diet eating these foods.” His definition of carbs seems to refer to vegetables.
You have probably heard of the Atkins Diet which promotes a High-Protein, Low-Carb diet. When Atkins speaks of Carbs, he is referring to sugar. Most people promoting a Low-Carb diet are talking about reducing sugar, bread, pasta, etc. from your diet.
So, when you hear a doctor talking about the benefits of a High Carb diet, he is referring to eating a lot of fruits and vegetables (complex carbs). When you hear another doctor talking about the benefits of a Low Carb diet, he is referring to NOT eating cake, pie, cookies, bread, etc. (simple carbs).
So…THEY ARE BOTH CORRECT! Stop arguing about it. You’re talking about two different carbs. This is why we need to separate the term Carbs and create a new word. Good Carbs, on the healthy end of the spectrum, we’ll call Garbos. Bad carbs, on the unhealthy end of the spectrum, we’ll call Barbies. Now that we have that settled…
It is healthy to eat a Low Barbie diet, rich in protein, fat, and Garbos.
It is also healthy to eat a High Garbo diet, combined with a good helping of protein and fat.
Are we all clear?
But what about Good Fat versus Bad Fat…?! (OMG! Next time…)