Low-Carb, LCHF, Atkins, Keto, Paleo, Zero, Mediterranean; our beloved child has many names. When it comes to low-carb diet, there’s a lot of misunderstandings and even risks. I’ve been there struggling myself. When I was first introduced to a low-carb diet, I somehow found all the delicious cheese, bacon, beef, nuts and dairy rich items in the recipe book and it was easy to bypass the vegetables with a thought of an avoidance of carbohydrates in general. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with foodstuff like almonds, but when you look at the amount of protein intake while eating like I did, it’s major!
POOR CARBS COME DOWN TO THE BUGS AND SOILS
I’m not really comfortable with the idea that our food travels on average a week of time and 1500 miles=2400 km by planes, trains, trucks, and ships until it takes place on my plate. What nutrients there are left at that point hence the “fresh” whole food is told to be the richest in nutrition? I’ve learned that even vegetarians can’t always get enough essential nutrients from their food due to the lack of nutrition in the plants. I’m definitely supporting the close-produced organic products, but I had to find out more about a number of vitamins and minerals as well as the quality of fruits and vegetables cultured extensively today? Read more about how the story begins from the soils…
“In order to receive the same amount of iron you used to get from one apple in 1950, by 1998 you had to eat 26 apples”. -Dr. August Dunning, chief science officer and co-owner of Eco Organics
POOR CARBS RISE INSULIN
Of the three macronutrients — carbs, protein and fat — carbs raise blood sugar and insulin levels the most. Glucose (or other molecules that can turn into glucose while eaten) is actually found in all carbohydrate foods, whether grains, vegetables, nuts or seeds, but especially in starchy vegetables such as potatoes, rice and yams, fruits and sweeteners of all kind, have a fairly high glycemic index that rises up the insulin. In other words, they are just the hidden sugar made of glucose. I’m not even talking about the refined carbohydrates here. I’m just talking about the “real food” choices.
RICH CARBS DON’T HAVE LABEL STICKER
If there’s a label on the side of a food product, it’s processed food. Meaning the nutrients might be lacking or added synthetically and chemicals have been used in processing. Whole food, rather organic, are rich plant based carbohydrates. They are a great source of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which are only found in plants.
Key nutrients in Fruits and vegetables:
- Calcium (99% of the body calcium is stored in bones and teeth, the rest is playing an important role in the chemical reactions in the body such as nerves system, muscle function, steady heart rhythm, blood clotting and example for sleep quality. Calcium cannot be routed and utilized to its utmost without sufficient magnesium.)
- Fibre (Important part in digestion, blood sugar control, weight management, heart and skin health.)
- Folate (Converts carbohydrates into glucose and energy, also help the body use fats and protein, needed for a healthy liver, and healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Together with other B vitamins help the nervous system function properly.)
- Iron (The main function is haemoglobin formation, also vital for muscle health, brain function, energy, immune system, oxygen carrier and the lack of iron might cause fatigue, insomnia or restless leg syndrome.)
- Magnesium (Helps build bones, enables nerves to function and steady heartbeat. Essential to the production of energy from food and regulates blood sugar. Can help headaches, chronic pain, asthma, and sleep disorders.)
- potassium ( Needed for heart, kidneys, brain and muscular tissues. sodium-potassium pump support cellular function and body hydration. Excess use of salt (sodium) may increase the need for potassium. Lack of potassium might cause fatigue, irritability or muscle cramps.)
- sodium (Extremely important electrolyte and essential ion present in the extracellular fluid = water balance. Plays an important role in enzyme operations, brain function, muscle contraction and regulates glucose absorption from food.)
- vitamin A (Provides immune support, cell growth, fights inflammation as an antioxidant. Important for heart, lungs, kidneys and necessary for healthy skin and vision.)
- vitamin C (Numerous functions in the human body! Important role in production of collagen , carnitine (which helps your body turn fat into energy), and catecholamines (hormones made by your adrenal glands). Also in wound healing, repairing and bones and teeth health. Plays a role in helping your body absorb iron. Important antioxidant.)
Where to find these nutrients in fruits and vegetables
High in calcium: Dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and kale
High in fibre: Psyllium seed husk, flax, and chia seeds, Root vegetables and tubers, including onions
and sweet potatoes, beans, peas, berries, almonds, cauliflower, Vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts.
High in folate: folate especially found in dark green leafy vegetables,
High in iron: lentil, spinach, white beans, winged beans
High in magnesium: brazil nuts, almonds, pinto beans, spinach
High in potassium: sweet potato, tomato, avocado, banana, strawberry, spinach, coconut water, white beans, mushrooms.
Quality sodium sources: artichoke, bell pepper, broccoli, carrot, celery, radish, sweet potato
High in vitamin A: apricots (fresh and dried), cabbage, cantaloupe, carrot, chilli pepper (hot), collard greens, grapefruit, lettuce (Leaf and Romaine), mango, pepper, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, watermelon
High in vitamin C: apricots, beans, bell pepper, blackberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cantaloupe, carambola, cauliflower, collard greens, chili pepper (hot), gooseberries, grapefruit, guavas, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, melon (honeydew), okra, onion, orange, papaya, pepper, pineapple, potato, prickly pears, pummelo, radishes, raspberries, rutabagas, spinach, squash (summer), strawberries, sweet potato, tangerines, tomato, watermelon
Find a great database of Fruit & Vegetable nutrition here.
LOW-CARB DIET GETTING CREDIT FROM THE SCIENCE
The Western diet contains a massive amount of refined carbohydrates (empty calories). In the past years, an increasing number of studies have been shown the low-carb diet is much more effective than the low-fat diet which is still being recommended all over the world. Many health professionals now believe that a low-carb diet (higher in fat and protein) is a much better option to maintain a stable blood sugar level and treat obesity (20,21,22,23,24) and other chronic diseases.
Read more about how toxins in the soils affect our food.