Carbs and Sugar vs Fat and Protein - What do you think?
I just been browsing youtube and the web, and I was just thinking that there are so many food theories out there, and so many are opposing to one another. One example, is some people staunchly support consuming high amounts of sugar and carbs, with no or very low fat content. So that’s eating sweets, meringue, desserts, jelly, sugary biscuits, fruit, veg, fizzy drinks, bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereals etc. these are all broken down by the body into sugar.
There’s another school of thought that supports eating high amounts of protein and fat, with virtually no sugar or carbs, because sugar is seen as the enemy. So that’s eat as much bacon, sausages, meat, oil, cheese, cream, mayonnaise, butter, eggs etc as you wish, and you will lose weight.
Now, this low carb dieting (for example the Atkins diet), where you cut out all carbohydrates and starch, and can eat as much fat and protein as you desire, without any regard for calories, basically says that carbs and only carbs is what increases body weight; whether the source is bread, veg, fruit, sugar. This is because they are all converted to blood glucose, kick-starting your pancreas to produce insulin to eliminate the excess glucose. This insulin is responsible for the storage of the fat in your body. This is because converted into glycogen which, after storing a finite amount of glycogen in your liver and muscles, the excess glucose gets sorted as body fat, meaning we put on weight.
When this whole process is over, in around 2 hours, there is still high insulin levels in our bodies, which stores any excess glucose as fat. Now, when the amount of glucose in our bodies falls, and becomes below normal, we will feel hungry again, tempted to snack on yet more carbs, initiating the whole process again. Thus allowing our brains to think we are hungry when we do not actually need food. If we have continually high levels of insulin in our blood, this becomes a cycle of eating and eating, gaining weight and just feeling hungry all over again.
Therefore, the belief is that eating fats or protein does not raise blood glucose nor insulin in your body, allowing you to feel fuller for longer.
Many people believe that this eating pattern works and is healthy for you, others are of the opinion that it does not work and is dangerous for your health. We are unaware of the long term health impact of a high fat and high protein diet on the human body. But one thing is for sure, protein makes you feel full, controlling appetite and therefore you eat less than you would normally.
In my personal experience, my husband was told by an NHS nurse to cut down on the amount of melon he was eating as “this is full of sugar and is therefore fattening”. What's your opinion on that?
I personally totally avoid bread, pasta, rice, couscous etc, but I do stack up on fruit and vegetables. This is because I know the high levels of vitamins, minerals and healthy metals they contain which we need for normal bodily function.
Now, the other pool of thought is to load up on carbs. This is because it is believed that fat blocks up the arteries and raises cholesterol, but sugar is supposed to help increase brain function as glucose acts as brain fuel. People from this school of thought say you can reverse type 2 diatetes and can help control heart disease, control your own blood sugar by stop eating meat and fats, and by eating plant-based products only. This apparently helps cleanse your body and lose weight. This is because the body cannot digest animal products as well as plant and fruit based products, so avoiding all animal prodcuts incl dairy products is better for the body. On this sort of diet, blood sugar levels drop and stabilise better, even reversing type 2 diabetes, and helping us to lose weight.
I would love to hear what people think about this - please, please comment below and let me know where you stand and why.
Of course the other pool of thought would be that both are right – you just need to either reduce one or the other, but don’t eat both in equal amounts.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.