Daily Archives: October 21, 2016

THE LATEST NEW CRAZE: NET CARBS. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

First, the definition of net carbs is to only count cabs that affect blood sugar. To figure net carbs, start with total carbs and subtract dietary fiber, alcohols, hydrogenated starch, hydrolyzed glycerne. The number that results from the subtractions is total net carbs. But there is a danger that has been recently brought to light. Some low-carb sweets rely on sugar alcohols, which are slowly digested carbs that have no impact on insulin levels but can, in excess, wreak havoc on the digestive tract.
Now, food manufactures are substituting sugar with sugar alcohol maltitol and claim it’s not a carbohydrate because it doesn’t increase blood sugar rapidly. But it is a carb and does contribute to your total energy intake.
Good carbs such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans are rich in fiber and can lower cholesterol. According to Dr. David Katz of the Yale school of Public health, “Diets rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, found in fruit, vegetables, beans and whole grains, have been shown to be associated with longevity, lasting weight control, reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal disease.” In other words, he goes on, “Steeply cutting carbs is a step in the opposite direction from healthy eating.
Serotonin is brain chemical linked to mood and appetite control. The brain needs carbohydrates to make serotonin. People on very low carbs diets do not produce enough serotonin to maintain a healthy mood. The primary source of fuel for the brain is glucose (blood sugar), but it can also run on ketones – produced from the incomplete breakdown of fats. However high ketone levels in the brain suppress serotonin levels, which can cause mood swings and hunger. Women are particularly prone to depression from a high protein diet because they naturally produce less serotonin than men.
Complex carbs are high in water and fiber and low in calories. They take up a lot of room in the gut so you don’t get hungry as fast.
The problem arises when individuals substitute simple carbs for complex carbs – when cakes, baked goods, and simple carbs equate with whole grains, vegetables, and fruit. We take a middle ground stance here – with 40% of calories coming from whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
Here’s an example of how bad a product can be when it tries to take advantage of the net-carb craze. Regular potato chips are bad enough when they contain the following: Potatoes, vegetable oil and canola, corn, or cottonseed oil and salt. Now here is a list of ingredients on a package of potato chips with low net carbs: Soy protein blend (soy protein isolates and concentrates), corn, vegetable oil, soybean or sunflower oil, oat fiber, salt, whey, maltodextrin, buttermilk solids, monosodiumgultamate, whey protein concentrate, onion powder, tomato powder, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oil, corn starch, lactose, disodium phosphate, natural and artificial flavors, garlic powder, dextrose, spices, lactic acid, sodium caseinate, red and green bell pepper powder, sugar, citric acid, artificial color including yellow 6, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and nonfat milk solids. Need we say more?

FISH: SHOULD IT BE A PART OF YOUR DIET?

As fish became more popular, much of it is now raised in fish farms. Now comes the largest study yet. The results are that farmed fish often have dangerous levels of poisons like PCBs and dioxin (the same chemical that poisoned the Ukrainian opposition leader: Yurichenko. It disfigured his face badly). Scientists examined 700 farmed and wild fish from North America, South America, and Europe looking for 14 organchlorines thought to cause cancer and birth defects. All fourteen were present in North American, European, and South American farmed fish, and in higher amounts than in wild fish.
The source of the toxins appears to be the fish food. Organchlorines are fat soluble, so trivial amounts of toxins in small plant-nibbling fish become concentrated in the fatty tissue of larger fish. Comparing the safety of wild fish to farmed fish, the EPA suggests that it is safe to eat wild fish eight times a month, but farmed fish only once or twice a month. And fish from farms in Scotland and Northern Ireland (among others) are so contaminated that they should not be eaten more than three times a year.
Fish is an essential part of our diet, just as it was for our ancestors. Be proactive in seeking out the healthiest types. Some stores now sell fish raised organically in fish farms. When in doubt, ask you local meat and fish counters to get those brands; many store co-operate. More than one-third of U.S. lakes and nearly one-quarter of its rivers are under advisories for mercury, dioxins, PCBs, and other pollutants. The EPA advises people to not eat fish taken from these sources.