I think we all know, deep down inside, that processed carbs are the enemy. But why? And how? This podcast from The Doctor’s Farmacy drhyman.com illustrates the function (or dysfunction) of carbs in the body while giving some behind the scenes information into the role our government plays in supporting junk food.
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Only about 12% of Americans are considered “metabolically healthy.” That means the other 88% of us aren’t meeting basic medical guidelines for things like blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, and other markers of metabolic health. Which percentage do you fall into?
When it comes to answering that question, one common factor is how many fast carbs you’re consuming. These are the carbohydrates that have been processed—yes, that includes sugar—but it also means starches like refined flours and other processed grains. Whole wheat bread is indeed a fast carb.
This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy I sat down with Dr. David Kessler to break down the differences between fast and slow carbs, how they affect our health, how our diet became so inundated with fast carbs and what we can do to regain metabolic strength.
To put it simply, we’re in metabolic chaos. People didn’t use to be so overweight—just watch some old footage of Woodstock or other large past events and see how many obese people you can pick out. That’s because the food industry and our government policies have altered the composition of our diets in favor of highly processed sugar and starch. It’s a recipe for weight gain and all the consequences that come with it, like type 2 diabetes.
In our conversation, Dr. Kessler shares his inside experience working for the FDA, revealing the impact of Big Food on food labeling and public health. We’re currently only given total carbohydrates on a nutrition label. We talk about why this is such an outdated approach to sharing nutritional information with consumers and how to make better choices.
The best choice for good health, and the simplest, probably won’t surprise you: eating real food in its natural form. Carbohydrates from things like vegetables, legumes, and whole grains that are actually intact (think quinoa, not quinoa flour) are more slowly absorbed and they don’t spike blood sugar and insulin the way fast carbs do. These slow carbs are the ones that can consciously be included in our diets.
Food should be palatable, it should taste good. But various combinations of sugar, fat, starch, and salt have been created by food scientists to hijack our brain and metabolic circuits through hyper-palatability. Our bodies have an extremely hard time putting down a cookie that’s been engineered to be addictive. Dr. Kessler and I talk about this and so much more on this week’s episode.
I hope you’ll tune in to gain a better understanding of how to healthfully include carbs in your diet and what to avoid for dramatic improvements.
Dr. David Kessler’s new book is, Fast Carbs, Slow Carbs: The Simple Truth About Food, Weight, and Disease.