I realize it’s not a one size fits all response here, but I would appreciate any kind of common sense information you could give. Thanks! F.
As a diabetic I read a lot of nutrition articles every day. And from what I’ve read, I’d say that definitely the low sugar diet plan is the winner. If you eat the Standard American Diet (SAD), it probably won’t kill you if you do not overly indulge in bread and potatoes and rice and pasta, but just bear in mind that all that starch simply turns into sugars once it makes it into your gut. Even if you consume less processed product like whole wheat, or whole cereals, these just takes longer to absorb, but what you end up with as the end product is exactly the same - it’s sugar.
Sugar is very palatable and your taste buds really get to appreciate it. And the thing is that sugar is in so many things on the market. As a diabetic I was informed even to avoid fruit, because although it has fiber and vitamins together with fructose (sugar), it still raises your blood glucose. Sugar makes your blood so thick that moves through your veins like syrup (slight exaggeration). That’s why diabetics lose their eyesight, many have bad circulation; it’s all due to the thick type of blood which can’t reach the periphery of our blood vassels.
Sugar is nothing but bad news for your health. However, fat isn’t amazing either! Your liver can transform simple carbohydrates into fats. Excess sugars in the blood need to be stored in the liver and the liver transforms them into fat. This is how you get a fatty liver. The advice that was usually given to patients with fatty liver was to give up alcohol. Alcohol is essentially a sugar, a carb. It is so quickly digested that it has instant results for the brain and nerve system; the excess then goes to the liver and is transformed into fat. One other thing is that the liver responds to alcohol like it would a toxic substance. When this happens, the liver transforms the toxin into something that it can manage, and that is fat.
Overall, I’d say avoid as much as you can simple carbs and sugars. Have your muffin if you need it, but in time maybe have half of it. Save the rest for tomorrow. Keep the cakes and ice-creams as a special celebration treat, like it was when you were a kid, and like you would advise your own kids to eat.
You’re right, there’s no one size fits all, it certainly depends on your lifestyle, your activity levels, your health concerns. Your body requires carbohydrates (fruit and vegetables) for energy if you’re using a lot of energy throughout the day otherwise you’re going to feel lethargic and fatigued. The body uses glucose as energy but it can also use fat for energy too however it’s not as effective if you’re working hard all the time and need sustained energy levels.
Personally, I’m not a Keto or Paleo fan however I understand this is an great way to lose weight and feel “your best” as the majority of people on these diets will attest. The majority of the time this is due to really eliminating all the crap they were consuming, so they go from having bread, muffins, chocolate, pasta, velvety sweet sauces, fried foods to either the ketogenic diet or to Paleo which basically is greens, no processed foods at all other than possibly some dairy items and meat and some vegetables, so it’s easy to see how you’re going to lose weight due to the fact that you’ve “cleaned” up your way of eating.
So if Keto or Paleo (low carb, no junk, moderate protein, moderate/high fat) works for you then go ahead and follow this type of diet, but it’s not a long term option. More studies are now starting to come out (not just animal trials) revealing the long term effects of this method of eating. What happens is you miss out on the antioxidants and the nutrients that are only found in your high carbohydrate vegetables and fruits and this can begin to make you ill. Both Paleo and Keto are terrific ways to lose body fat, but once you’ve lost the weight you’ll have to go back and reintroduce all those fruits and vegetables that are essential for your body to thrive on the long run.
The low-fat diet was a trend started quite a long time ago, and studies have shown time and again that it really isn’t good advice to follow. Try not to buy low fat products, they are simply no good for you. Instead choose your excellent fats that come from whole foods like avocados, seeds, nuts, fish and so on. These foods are healthy for you however in moderation, half an avocado a day, some coconut oil for cooking and chia seed pudding for breakfast would be a great amount to include in your day. Keto for example asks that you up your fat intake however it’s simply not needed in such big quantities.
To put it simply. I would cut out processed sugar foods and low fat items and have vegetables and fruits, some grains like oats and quinoa, wild rice, good quality meat if you can afford it. This is a common sense kind of diet, and in my personal opinion it’s the healthiest way to eat. If you manage to stay away from convenience and packaged foods, you’ll see a difference in your health and weight and overall state of wellbeing.