I believe the disconnect between health and diet has come out of the lack of education and mindfulness around food and its direct effect on our health. Fast food is formulated to become addictive. It’s salty, fatty and sweet and destroys our ability to taste the subtle flavours of natural unprocessed foods. If eaten often enough it causes our body to go into withdrawal when we stop consuming it. This vicious cycle keeps our mind busy and distracted from the real purpose of eating – to fuel our body and mind.
The food we eat contains 4 major players: Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate, and Water. Unfortunately, my personal favourite, the Carb has gotten a lot of bad publicity in recent years. The popularity of high-protein, low-carbohydrate weight loss diets scared a lot away from this clean burning fuel.
Carbohydrate is our body’s most efficient source of energy. It’s produced by plants in the process of photosynthesis. It is an essential macronutrient that provides fuel for the brain and muscles and contains the fiber needed for proper digestive function. Once consumed its digested and broken down from complex chains into simple sugars which can pass easily through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream. From the blood stream they are used in our tissues and as a source of energy. Carbohydrate takes the least amount of the bodies energy to digest and use efficiently.
When insufficient carbohydrate is available from food the body uses the glycogen stored in fatty tissue. If there still isn’t enough energy it goes after the protein tissue in muscles. This can cause the body to break down when we don’t supply enough clean burning fuel.
NOT ALL CARBS ARE CREATED EQUAL!
Processed and refined sugars and flours can cause great harm to the body by at the very least spiking blood sugar levels and causing dips in energy. When choosing your carb make sure you include a variety of whole foods and colours and that you keep it as close to the way nature produced it. I like to make sure that 75% of my dinner plate is filled with colourful veggies, 20% is grains and legumes and the remaining 5% is fatty foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, and olives.
A diet high in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber has been strongly associated with a lower risk for certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes, among other medical conditions – foods that contain larger amounts of carbohydrates tend to have the highest in these.
Need help choosing the most nutrient dense carbohydrate check out the ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index) scale: http://www.eatrightamerica.com/andi-superfoods
Or choose the best carbohydrates for slow and steady energy read Dr.Weils answer to the carbohydrate question:http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA367357/The-Glycemic-Index-Dr-Weil.html