The High Carb / Low Carb Debate

I find it highly interesting that there is so much debate on the issue of high carb vs low carb diets. To look at this issue in more depth, first we have to define what the word "carb" means. As you probably already know, it is the shortened form of the word carbohydrate. A carbohydrate is:

"Any of a large class of organic compounds consisting of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, usually with twice as many hydrogen atoms as carbon or oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates are produced in green plants by photosynthesis and serve as a major energy source in animal diets. Sugars, starches, and cellulose are all carbohydrates."


Part of the anti-carb argument may well be warning against consuming lots of refined carbohydrates, including things like white bread, cakes, and highly processed foods such as candy and soda. Now, these food stuffs are high in carbohydrates but these are not the carbs that people advocating high carb diets are saying we should be eating. Indeed, it is the natural, unrefined carbs from plants, e.g. brown rice, potatoes, yams and sweet fruits which are the foods high carbers recommend. Do you seriously believe that these kinds of foods aren't good for your health? If so, what do you think is better for you?

What Should We Eat?

If the low carbers are suggesting that we should stay away from these natural, un-processed plant foods. The question the becomes, what should we eat instead? The low carber argument goes something like this: It is plant sugars that are responsible for the ill health of people in the West today. We should eat lots of meat for protein, drink milk for calcium and eat fish for omega fatty acids. By eating less foods containing high levels of carbohydrates we can avoid sugar spikes and maintain a more constant energy level throughout the day.

There is no acknowledgement the the cells of the human body run on glucose, which in itself is a sugar. And as we know, sugars are carbohydrates! The intersting thing is that a low carb diet is, by definition, a high fat and high protein diet. The idea that by eating a higher proportion of fat that we can somehow get slim is at first glance unworkable. Yet there have been a whole range of popular fad diets based around this strategy, such as the popular Atkins Diet.

On a personal level, I don't worry to much about carbs and fats, per se. Instead, I focus on eating what I consider, the right kind of foods. So breakfast is always lots of fruits, at least 1000 calories from fruit. Usually, bananas play a big part.

By eating this way, the ratio of carbs, fats and proteins takes care of itself naturally. By eating lots of plant foods, including a lot of fruits, I'm eating the right diet which is definitely one that is high in carbohydrates. By focusing on consuming plants, I guarantee that I'm only eating what can be termed as "good" carbs.

Using a juicer to make home made fruit juices lets me make fairly high calorie fruit and vegetable drinks throughout the day. This is important because even when we eat what looks like a lot of food, the actual calorie count from plant foods can be quite low. So making sure I eat and drink enough to perform at optimum levels enough is vital.