Hello, everyone!! It’s Friday and I’m getting closer to the date I’ll be leaving to Korea.
Today’s is somewhat related to my longer posts about my path to veganism. If you haven’t checked them out yet, please click on the “Veganism” page and see what it’s all about (How I transitioned from a carb-fearing paleo to starch loving vegan today)
So starch, what is it?
Starch is a polysaccharide, a type of carbohydrates in which large number of glucose molecules joined together. Starch is produced by plants as a source of energy and typically stored in their roots, or often other parts of their body. Tubers such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, arrowroot, and grains such as rice, millet, corn, wheat, and barley are all examples of starch. As mentioned in my post “Anti-Grain Crazeness, I don’t buy it,” these grains were the engine of the world’s greatest civilization. What about tubers? Potatoes for instance, have been the determining factor whether a culture could survive or not. Funny enough, while people demonize potatoes so much, people like the Peruvians and Irish (and also many parts of Asia) have thrived on potatoes for thousands of years.
Let’s see what Dr. McDougall has to say about this:
Today, we tend to bash starches (potatoes and esepecially grains) that they will turn into simple sugars in MAKE YOU FAT. But is this true? If you don’t eat your carbohydrates, where are you planning to get your energy? Fats? Protein?
Fats and Protein must first be converted into glucose molecules, which means it is much less efficient for our body. There is A REASON why people crave sweet, starchy foods – because that’s what we’re designed to eat and thrive.
Start eating these for energy:
Rather than depending on this: (while damaging your health at the same time)
So are the ancient Irish people or the Peruvians fat? Peruvians traditionally ate up to 90% of their calories from potatoes. So they must be fat, right? Well, all these people look like they’re in pretty good shape to me.
I’m not going to go any further into the details of weight regarding starch, because this video pretty much sums it up:
I just can’t believe people still buy into this thought that “carbs make you fat.”
Then what about diabetes? Shouldn’t diabetic people limit their carbohydrates? This is an excerpt from Dr. McDougall (author of the Starch Solution)’s newsletter.
The Effects of Dietary Sugars on Blood Sugar
The changes in blood sugar that occur after eating can be measured and are reported as a glycemic index (GI). The GI compares the rise in blood sugar over the two to three hours following a carbohydrate-containing food to a standard reference (such as 50 grams of white table sugar). The final result, the GI, is expressed as a percentage. Because very large rises in blood sugar are characteristic of the disease diabetes, both lay people and professionals commonly believe that foods with a high GI are harmful. This is incorrect. Worldwide, populations of hundreds of millions of people who eat large quantities of high-GI potatoes (Peruvians) and rice (Asians) are trim, active, and young-looking, and are essentially free of diabetes.7,8 Contrast that observation with populations of obese, sickly people living in the US, Australia, and Western Europe who feast daily on low GI simple sugars, fats, meats, and cheeses.
The rise in blood sugar that follows eating is normal, expected, and desirable. We eat for energy. The GI is a measurement of the effectiveness of a food in providing us with life-sustaining fuel. GI of a food does not predict excess calorie consumption or weight gain for the consumer. In fact, high-GI starches prevent weight gain in those people with a tendency for obesity.9,10 The elevation of the blood sugar that follows eating is one of the key mechanisms in satisfying the appetite and reducing food intake.11 Potatoes with a high GI are found to be twice as satisfying as meat or cheese.6
Used in isolation, the GI can lead to some erroneous conclusions. According to a popular practice of judging foods based solely on GI you would be making healthier choices by eating chocolate cake instead of carrots and cheese-topped pizza rather than potatoes.
Sugar Does Not Cause Obesity nor Diabetes
Studies comparing sugar intake with risk of developing type-2 diabetes show that people on high-sugar diets are less likely to get diabetes.17 There is, however, a strong relationship between red meat consumption and diabetes.18 The lowest rates of diabetes in the world are found among populations who consume the most carbohydrate; for this reason type-2 diabetes is almost unknown in rural Asia, Africa, Mexico, and Peru.19,20 However, when these people change to a diet rich in fats and low in carbohydrates, they commonly become diabetic. Some of the highest rates of this disease (and associated obesity) are found in Hispanics, Native Americans, Polynesians, and Blacks who have adopted the American diet.21
Contrary to popular belief, refined sugars actually make the body’s insulin work more efficiently.22 When the refined sugar content of an experimental diet of people with mild diabetes was doubled from 45 percent sugar to 85 percent sugar every measurement of their diabetic condition, including fasting blood sugar, fasting insulin levels, and the oral glucose tolerance, showed that their diabetes improved.23 The researchers concluded, “These data suggest that the high-carbohydrate diet increased the sensitivity of peripheral tissues to insulin.” The increase in insulin’s sensitivity (efficiency) counteracted any blood sugar-raising effects from consuming more carbohydrates and calories.22 Since sugar does not cause type-2 diabetes, the American Diabetic Association has recommend “55 to 65 percent of a diabetic’s diet come from carbohydrate,” and sugary foods are allowed.24 High-carbohydrate diets have been shown to help diabetics stop medications and improve their overall health.25-27
To me, it seems that the cause of diabetes is the meat and other animal products. When you look into the Korean History, many kings and queens have died of heart attack or diabetes. The truth is, these were the only people in Korea who were consuming the richest, aka. most amount of animal foods – diet. It certainly is very obvious even today, that the people with highest consumption of meat, dairy (cause of Type 1 diabetes), and other animal products.
Please watch this video by Dr. Neal Barnard, author of “Reversing Diabetes.”
Hope you understood the real cause now! (and if you get a chance, please watch the full movie of Forks over knives)
And lastly, to sum up this topic, here’s an over-one-hour presentation by Dr. McDougall about this whole issue, including the study that HIGH-FAT DIETS CAUSE DIABETES.
Last but not least, I want to touch upon the subject of us humans being “hunter gatherers.” Yes, we humans hunted and ate lots of fat and protein from the animals. However, if we were so adapted, and skilled to hunting, why was it the STARCHES that helped us become who we are today? How come meat never allowed us to construct the Pyramid, create Religion, or develop writing? How is it that the people who ate mostly starches, like the Gladiators, were the strongest, and like the Ethiopians, were the fastest? Something tells me that we humans are much more adapted to starch.
Ahh the post is getting long. I really hope you check out the videos and links I posted. These were very life changing for me.
I really hope you’ve got the message that CARBS or Starches DO NOT make you fat and DO NOT cause diabetes. They are our dear friends and we should eat them in abundance. It is the Fat, Excess Protein, and PROCESSED foods (such as refined flour, sugar etc) that causes it.
Enjoy your whole grains and baked potatoes (without the butter) and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.
Until next post, bye!