Creative Commons License photo credit: tgraham

I’ve been talking a lot about what constitutes a healthy diet recently. Everything I have to say is the result of my own personal reading, research and experimentation. Hopefully this blog constitutes a jumping off point for your own personal program of research and experimentation. For no two of us are alike. This is as true for our insides as it is of our outsides and our personalities.

You should know that I do not have anything against carbohydrates. I find the thought rather silly really. According to metabolic typing I am a protein person. An examination of the diet of my Irish ancestors holds true to that. However, I do eat a broad mix of foods. All that I mean when I say that I’m a protein person is that I should eat a larger proportion of protein and fat then someone who is a mixed or carbohydrate type. I love carbohydrates in the form of fresh organic vegetables. I’m certainly not advocating some sort of super high protein super low carbohydrate diet. Even for most protein types such a diet is unlikely to be healthy or to be stuck with for long. Having said that there may be a small handful of people who can do well and be healthy on that type of diet. Whatever works best for us as individuals is what we should each eat.

The carbohydrates I do have a problem with are grains. To my mind this applies to those of your who are carbohydrate types as well. The fact of the matter is human physicality is not designed to function on a diet involving a large amount of grains. There is significant scientific evidence that up until as little as 10,000 years ago the human diet consisted predominately of meat. Consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds was seasonal and supplementary to the meat mainstay.

Plant eating animals act as nature’s nutrition condensers. There are more nutrients in one pound of meat then there is in several pounds of vegetables. Our ancient ancestors consumed this nutrient dense food source almost exclusively through long winters. Consider that throughout much of human history there were no food storage methods other then the freezing cold itself.

Since the advent of farming around 10,000 years ago humans have progressively consumed more and more grain. However, 10,000 years is, as I like to say, a very small drop in a very large bucket. The human digestive system, which had adapted over millions of years to a diet high in protein, has not since adapted to grain. Much less to the various forms of highly processed grain the modern world now consumes.

Interestingly if we closely examine the farming process pre-industrialization we find that grains being farmed were sheaved and stacked in fields. There they sat for up to several weeks before threshing occurred. During the period when the gain sat in the fields they were exposed to rain and dew. The grain picked up this moisture and coupled with heat from the sun germinated (sprouted).

The sprouting of grains produces vitamin C and changes the composition of grain to make it a much more beneficial food. For example, sprouting increases the content of vitamin B, B2, B5 and B6. Carotene, which is converted to vitamin A, increases as much as eight-fold. Phytic acid, a known mineral blocker, is broken down in the sprouting process. Phytic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc as well as digestive enzymes. It is easy to see how consumption of processed unsprouted grains has lead to the prolific number of digestive disorders. Sprouting also inactivates aflatoxins, which are toxins produced by fungus and are potent carcinogens found in grains.

It has been claimed by so called experts that the processing of grains, such as in the making of bread, breaks phytic acid down, and so nullifies its harmful effects. This is contradicted by a 1964 study that found boys in Iran and Egypt had severely underdeveloped testicles. Tests showed that they had extreme zinc deficiency despite the plentiful consumption of zinc in their diet. The study discovered that while the bread the boys ate contained a great deal of zinc it was bound by phytates and so useless.

If you love bread I’m not suggesting you stop eating it. What I am suggesting is that you stop eating highly processed grain products, including brown bread and pasta, and only eat grain products made from organic sprouted whole grains. In such a state grain carbohydrates represent a wholesome and healthy food source.

Now that you have a better understanding lets take a look at how you can easily lose 2lbs per month by changing just one thing. If you are like just about everyone else I bet you eat a respectable serve of starchy carbohydrates every night as part of your dinner. This includes rice, pasta, potatoes and bread. Such foods are popular because they are quick and easy to prepare and fill you up.

However if you would like to lose some weight it is time to make a change. Instead of having starchy carbohydrates with your protein and vegetables for dinner eat only protein, fat and vegetables. That’s right substitute the starchy carbohydrates you would normally eat for another serving of vegetables. Quite simply a cup of rice equates to roughly 350 calories while a cup of vegetables equals about 80 calories. That is a significant calorie deficit and making just this one simple change will see you lose around 2lbs a month. Include some regular exercise and that figure jumps up to as much as 8 to 10lbs per month.

Best of luck!

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