Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: refined carbs | processed carbohydrates | food pyramid | USDA | obesity | insulin resistance | diabetes

Skip the Refined Carbs

Monday, 16 July 2012 08:58 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Question: Why do some experts now recommend against eating refined carbohydrates? I thought carbs were an important part of our diet.

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

For more than 30 years, every child in America was taught about the “food pyramid,” which was established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to educate people about how to eat healthy foods. The USDA was promoting the food pyramid as a way to combat the growing obesity problem.

You’ll recall that the largest part of the food pyramid, the base, consisted of refined carbohydrates such as bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Did we follow the USDA’s advice? Yes, we did. We ate more bread, pasta, and cereal — and limited our intake of fats and oils.

And what consequences followed from the USDA’s recommendations? As a country, we became fatter and developed higher rates of diabetes, insulin resistance (a condition in which insulin becomes less effective at lowering blood sugar), and other chronic illnesses.

Refined carbohydrates are flours that have been processed to remove nutrients. Breads, pastas, and cold cereals, as well as crackers, cookies, and cakes are all made with these devitalized carbohydrates. And ingestion of devitalized substances leads to a devitalized body. One of the worst dietary choices you can make is to eat a breakfast consisting primarily of refined carbohydrates and similarly processed salts and oils.

Refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. This means that after ingestion, these carbohydrates turn into sugar quickly, which causes a spike in blood glucose.

When this happens, the pancreas responds by releasing large amounts of insulin to lower the glucose levels. This rapid, exaggerated rise and fall of glucose is stressful to the body.

In addition, the body’s response to this stress is to convert the excess glucose into fat. The end result is weight gain in the belly, hips, buttocks, and thighs as well as insulin resistance and diabetes. The first thing I tell people who want to lose weight is to avoid all refined carbohydrates and grains.

Eating a balanced diet that contains adequate amounts of protein and fat is essential to supply the body with the correct nutrients it needs to maintain a healthy metabolic rate.

More information on a how to follow a healthy diet can be found in my book, The Guide to Healthy Eating.

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Eating refined carbohydrates such as processed cereals, rice, and breads can lead to excess weight gain, insulin resistance, and even diabetes.
refined carbs,processed carbohydrates,food pyramid,USDA,obesity,insulin resistance,diabetes,Dr. David Brownstein
Monday, 16 July 2012 08:58 AM
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