Couldn't sleep thinking about the art...
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|Thu, 09-02-1999 - 4:21am|
Couldn't sleep thinking about the article I just read in Newsweek.....
It's in the September 6, 1999, issue, page 60.
So I just e-mailed a letter to the editor, as follows:
I’ll agree that low carbohydrate dieting has a little unnecessary hype. But it works for many who have tried and failed on the more popular low-fat, food pyramid plan currently touted.
I realize that I am merely anecdotal evidence that low carbohydrate eating can lead to hunger-free weight control, along with vast improvements in blood work results. I spent over ten years trying low-fat diets, calorie counting and portion control, as well as psychological incentives to weight loss, all without results, except that I continued to pack on the avoir du pois. By low carb eating, I took off and have kept off about fifty pounds. Just water? I don’t think so!
The basis for low carbohydrate eating is bio-chemical. Here’s the cycle:
Step One: Eat foods that are primarily carbohydrates, especially products that have little fiber or fat to slow down their absorption by the body. (They often have very few nutrients other than those that have been artificially added back in.)
Step Two: Because they are quickly metabolized, blood sugar (glucose) rises quickly.
Step Three: In response, insulin release is triggered in order to transfer glucose into the cells for energy, and to store the rest for future use, say in half an hour, next week, or for ten years down the road – in other words, the excess glucose is stored as fat.
Step Four: Blood sugar in many individuals (including me) is reduced too far too fast, which creates an intense craving for more carbohydrates.
Step Five: To satisfy the craving, return to Step One.
If the cycle continues, the result is obesity. Most weight loss plans try to break the cycle between Steps Four and Five, by using will power, appetite suppressants, or peer pressure. Some try to reduce the intensity of the cycle between Steps One and Two by allowing only partial satisfaction of the craving – such as low calorie eating, or a strict pattern of frequent small meals.
Many people depend on medical science to try to fix the problems after the excess glucose has become fat: blood pressure and cholesterol lowering medication, blood thinners, bypass surgery, and pain medication for overstressed joints. Low carbohydrate proponents eliminate the entire cycle by not indulging in the offending foods in the first place, or at least not very much very often.
A century or more ago, refined flours and sugars simply weren’t available inexpensively or in large supply, as they are today, so it was difficult to overindulge. But today, we indulge our appetites several times a day, and then expect medical technology to rescue us from the consequences. This pattern is not limited to our eating habits. We indulge our desire to be entertained by the excitement of gambling, or of vicarious violence, rudeness, and sex in television shows, movies, video games, and best-selling novels. Then we try to avoid the consequences by passing more gun laws, hiring more cops, and building more prisons. We allow ourselves to indulge our sexual desires, then rely on birth control, abortion, and pharmaceuticals to protect us from unwanted pregnancies and STDs.
By the way, I still eat pasta and bread – but whole grain, not stripped of its fiber and nutrients. And I eat potatoes and bananas and other produce, in limited amounts, preferably fresh, not processed or sweetened. But after a couple years of low carb eating, the cupcake makes me feel sick just to look at it, far from "cookie withdrawal."