Thinking of going low-carb, or cutting out carbs altogether? Maybe it’s time to try slow-carb instead…
You’ve probably heard about popular low-carb diets like the Keto diet. Maybe you’ve even thought of cutting out carbs yourself. After all, carbs have been blamed lately for everything from weight gain to inflammation, to high blood pressure and more.
But before you throw the carbs out with the bathwater, so to speak, you may want to consider another approach. In fact, it’s not necessarily the carbohydrates themselves that are the problem. Instead, just like with fats, it’s the type of carbs you’re eating.
This just makes sense. After all, if you truly gave up ALL carbs, you’d be cutting out virtually all fruits and vegetables, which we all know are some of the healthiest foods you can eat!
Instead of giving up carbs, let’s take a more sensible approach and switch our focus from low-carb to “slow-carb” – as discussed in this article:
When you eat a whole-kernel, minimally processed grain … they take a while to digest. Blood sugar rises relatively more gently. You produce less insulin calorie for calorie… Think of whole grains as slow carbs because of this slow digestion. (Other slow carbs include fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains.)
Whole grains — which include everything from whole wheat to brown rice to steel-cut oats and farro — are also rich in fiber. A new study published in The Lancet finds that people who eat a diet rich in fiber and whole grains have a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, coronary heart disease, and colorectal cancer.
Here’s what to visualize: When you eat whole grain wheat bread, you’re getting everything that comes in the wheat kernel. This includes the fiber-rich bran. It also includes the germ, which is the embryo of the seed, so it contains everything that’s needed to nurture new life. Think of wheat germ as a little packet of nutrients, including zinc, magnesium, and Vitamin E.
But with white bread, all this good stuff has been stripped out during processing. All that’s left is starch, which is one step away from turning to sugar in your body. “Refined starch is the hidden sugar,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the nutrition school at Tufts University.
Dr. David Ludwig (of the Harvard School of Public Health) says it’s time we “just get off the roller-coaster” — the cycle of spiking blood sugar and hunger that refined carbs can cause. He says aim to replace refined carbs with whole fruits (the fiber in them slows digestion), beans, nuts, a variety of healthy fats, and plenty of protein.