Are carbs evil?

Funny thing...

My Mom loved to spend time in the kitchen when she was raising us.  She did her own version of what I'm attempting to do with my family.  Altering recipes to make them healthier for my brothers and I to eat.  She noticed that when she was in great shape, around the time I was born, and eating healthy - she could pretty much eat as much bread as she wanted and it didn't affect her weight at all.  The bread she was eating was home made, and free of all the preservatives and ingredients like l-cystein (it's nasty, don't say I didn't warn you before you google it and gross yourself out). I never knew what to make of this claim, considering I was raised in a generation where carbs are evil and the source of all your weight problems.  I never decided to go without carbs, the diets and reviews didn't make sense to me. (Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. - Buddha) Many years later, I read the book With the Grain by Ellen Hodgson Brown and read some interesting things... Including the very first thing she writes, which so hits so close to home. 

"I didn't intend to write a diet book when I started researching. I was just concerned about what to feed my children. I had replaced animal foods with plant foods as an experiment in my own diet -- and lost weight, and had more energy. It's one thing to experiment with my health, quite another to experiment with that of the children.  What would my mother say when their legs started to bow and pernicious anemia set in? Is a vegetarian diet safe for children? Would they fare better in the long run with or without meat? What about milk and eggs? Those concerns were what first took me to bookshelves."

These words could have freely came from my own thoughts.  This is the same path I ventured, that led me to reading books like hers. 

The second chapter in the book made me drop the book and text my Mom.  I found an answer to why she could eat bread like crazy, and not gain weight.

Why is fat more fattening than carbohydrate?

Certain physiological mechanisms step in to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrate, burning it up as fast as it comes in; but no such mechanism regulates the metabolism of fat -- or of excess protein, which our bodies convert to fat.

Studies show that high-bulk, high-fiber carbohydrate foods (like bread) trigger your appetite-control mechanisms. Low-fiber, concentrated energy foods (like meat, cheese, and ice cream) do not have this affect.

Carbohydrates also stimulate insulin, while fat doesn't. Insulin seems to serve as the body's signal that it's been fed. In addition, carbohydrates trigger the release of serotonin, a nerve transmitter that tells the brain when the body is full.  This signal lessens the urge to binge.  Serotonin decreases pain sensitivity, elevates overall mood, and increases drowsiness.  Which may explain why dieters who avoid carbs often have trouble falling asleep.

Studies suggest that if you deprive yourself of carbohydrates today, you will crave them tomorrow.  Fat deprivation will not have this effect.  The reason is probably that the body's carbohydrate stores are limited, while fat is overstocked. You could go for 100 days before you'd use up the fat your body stores, but you could only go for one day before using all stored carbohydrates.

It also led back to the subject of a vegan diet.  Including the issue of dairy.  Highlighting that while it does prove to be a good source of calcium, it provides calcium along with certain undesirable substances not found in plant sources. Saturated fat, cholesterol, lactose, etc. It also mentions the ominous body of evidence linking a diet of animal products to the twentieth-century epidemic of chronic diseases -- heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity -- and noting their peculiar absence in populations whose diets centered around grains instead of meat. Other data attested that the world food crisis could be alleviated by using land to feed people rather than livestock. Which also ties back into the bigger picture, regarding the planet.  Once again, I will get into that soon... but not just yet.  That's another topic entirely.  An important one...

While meat is a good source of many nutrients, it provides them along with certain toxic waste products that clogs up the system and contribute to its ultimate breakdown. Meat's high nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus content are implicated in bone disease, and in kidney and liver failure. Its nitrogen content is linked to kidney stones and gout, and its high phosphorus content to the pathological calcification of normally-soft tissues and organs. Its high content of the higher-chain fatty acids is linked to cancer. Its saturated fat and cholesterol are linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity; even its protein may be linked to elevated blood cholesterol levels, independently of its fat content.


  1. I run a lot so I need carbs. When the Atkins diet was popular I couldn't understand how people could just eat red meat, but avoid carbs like the plague. So basically Atkins is the polar opposite of Vegan. If I followed an Atkins diet I'd pass out from exerting any physical energy. I guess that's why Atkins followers don't news to work out, they can't.

  2. lol True. So useless to look fabulous but not have the energy to do anything.