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FROGMAN2013 SparkPoints: (1,747)
Fitness Minutes: (1,690)
Posts: 77
7/1/13 1:07 P

Schwaythin, I guess my point was that the thing that is healthy about fruit is NOT the sugar. There are lots of other healthy things about fruit....just that the carbs are pretty much unnecessary. The glucose is bad for your waistline and the fructose is bad for your liver. Yes, there is some evidence that fiber is good for you...specifically because it feeds healthy gut flora, but those are not the carbs we are talking about here. While I am not one of those Paleo people, I will agree that with the exception of a very short period of time in the mid-summer or early fall (depending on your area) the foods in nature available for a primitive human to eat are leafy greens (almost no sugar or starch) and animal parts. 'Natural' does not include much starch or sugar in it; added or otherwise. The fruits, beans, grains and tubers we eat are all genetically engineered over the last 12000 years to be super sources of very unnatural starch and sugar. A diet completely devoid of starch and sugar is still a healthy one. You can't say that about fats or proteins.

7/1/13 9:15 A

It is not that carbs themselves are necessary, and I am hardly saying anything extreme.

If you avoid all foods that contain carbs, you are depriving yourself of micronutrients important for the maintenance of good health. That's because pretty much every whole food that is not made out of meat contains some carbs. This is a very far cry from claiming that you'll die if you don't eat bread, or whatever.

Often, when people think "carbs," they think of starchy breads and potatoes, forgetting that the cup of steamed broccoli you ate last night gets most of its calories from carbs!

Anyway, to each his/her own. Here's a little more info on no-carb diets for anyone considering that as a reasonable long-term nutrition plan.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
7/1/13 8:20 A

SCHWAYTHIN - it is not a recommended diet, but it is true. You do not need ANY carbs to be healthy. I know other Sparkpeople who eat only red meat every single day and are at goal weight, and healthy as can be. They have eaten this way for the several years I have been here, and say that they have been doing so for longer.

We all eat carbs for variety, and we like the taste. No one is suggesting for anyone to eat like this unless they choose to do so. The statement was just made because of the previous statement saying that carbs are required to function. That is just not true. I feel full of energy at 20 grams a day, or 100 grams a day. The fat on your body is stored energy, and meant to be used to fuel your body.

Both statements are extreme, but no one ever seems to be concerned about the statement that carbs are necessary, while the statement that carbs are unnecessary draws immediate criticism. It is amusing, because some people already eat 0 carbs, and are just fine.

Most of us tend to fall in the middle, and fruit is a good source of carbs, although certain carbs spike the blood sugar a lot more. Bananas are a problem for me, but berries are just fine. I would suggest to the OP to cut the cereal, bread , noodles etc, and keep the fruit, if she can do so while still getting to a healthy weight. At least enough to get in a desired range.

CMCOLE Posts: 2,667
7/1/13 7:35 A

Definitely there are better sources of carbohydrates than others, and, as you've discovered, they are found in fruits and vegetables.

Choosing lower value ones (berries, greens, etc.) as opposed to the higher ones is one way to balance the carb content/numbers.

Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Winter Squash (not zucchini - that's a summer one, and wonderful in so many ways), and fruits with high sugar contents will definitely add up. However, you've gone a long way in reducing the processed/baked goods, so my applause to you for making good choices.

7/1/13 6:51 A

"you do not need to eat any carbs or sugar to be healthy."

I'm sorry, FrogMan2013, but I do not know of any reputable diet plan that would have you avoid ALL CARBS.

Avoid all fruits, legumes, whole grains, *and vegetables*? REALLY?!


Heck, even Phase One of Atkins recommends that you eat several cups of vegetables a day.

Edited by: SCHWAYTHIN at: 7/1/2013 (06:58)
ANARIE Posts: 13,192
6/27/13 4:30 A

Assuming that you don't have any issues with your blood sugar or major risk factors for diabetes, it's not really a question of whether you're getting too many carbs. This issue is whether you're getting so much carb that you're missing out on other things you need. Are you meeting your targets for protein and healthy fats? What about calcium and fiber? You mention eating a lot of fruit; are you getting more veggie servings per day than fruit?

It's kind of like asking, "Is $75 a month too much to spend on books if they're all informative and educational?" It depends on how much money you have all together and whether you're able to pay your rent and your light bill. The reason we have a carb limit isn't specifically because it would be unhealthy to eat more carbs; it's because we only get a certain number of calories, and if we use them all on carbs, there's not enough left in the "budget" for protein and fat.

BEARCLAW6 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15,376)
Posts: 1,939
6/26/13 2:26 P

GDBears, you have a great point and I pretty much agree with you. I will add, however, that glycemic index and glycemic load are essentially measuring the 'area under the curve' of certain foods effect on glucose levels. What that means is that something like a slice of whole wheat bread (or serving of berries) has the same glycemic index and similar glycemic load as table sugar. The difference is that that bread or fruit will hit the blood stream slower and peak lower than straight sugar. So that whole wheat bread and serving of berries is better for you even in terms of sugar than table sugar....just not much better.

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 574
6/26/13 1:18 P

The fruit from sugar is great as a source of quick energy and certainly the others nutrients in fruit, such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, flavonoids and sterols can be very beneficial.

The glycemic index is misleading as it based on ingesting 50g of carbs from a source food, which can mean eating a lot more than a single serving - it is better to use glycemic load to judge whether or not a particular food is appropriate for your diet.

Any chocolate that's over 70% cocoa is beneficial - obviously 80% is better but it is also more bitter.

Edited by: GDBEAR65 at: 6/26/2013 (13:19)
GIPPER1961 Posts: 766
6/26/13 12:58 P

fiber somewhat mitigates the sins of the sugar in fruit. Somewhat being the operative word here. Some fruits have more fiber than others and overdoing even a good thing is never good. I would look at the glycemic index to make choices about fruit and all carbs for that matter

FROGMAN2013 SparkPoints: (1,747)
Fitness Minutes: (1,690)
Posts: 77
6/26/13 9:23 A

First, you do not need to eat any carbs or sugar to be healthy. If you skip the carbs, your body will make them for you in levels that are perfect for you (unless you are a certain kind of diabetic that experiences hypoglycemia too easily). Some people have problems when consuming too many carbs and so each of us much find out what works for us.

Second, fruit sugars are sugar.....just like the sugar you get in a candy bar. That said, you cannot just interchange the sugar in a candy bar and the sugar in a bunch of berries. This is because the berries have way more other good and healthy nutrients that the candy bar simply does not have. So, if you insist on eating sugar, getting them from fruit is an excellent choice.

Third, there are plenty of yummy low-sugar chocolates out there. They typically list themselves as being 80% or higher cacao. Find one that you like. Dark chocolate is starting to look like a healthy food thanks to some of the other nutrients it has and can probably be a good part of a healthy lifestyle (unless you are really sensitive to sugar, which would really suck).

Edited by: FROGMAN2013 at: 6/26/2013 (09:25)
6/26/13 7:52 A

Your body needs carbs to function so I would stop fretting about it so much. Are you within the range set by spark? Any time you are replacing a processed food for something natural, you win. I usually have a banana, an apple, and some other type of fruit every day.

I second the last poster's comments about chocolate. If you get the pure, dark chocolate, and have 1/2 serving (which is still A LOT) it is a nice treat after dinner. OR some hot cocoa is good plus if you use milk then you are upping your protein for the day emoticon

MLAN613 Posts: 18,835
6/26/13 7:52 A

deleted. dup post

Edited by: MLAN613 at: 6/26/2013 (07:52)
MLAN613 Posts: 18,835
6/26/13 7:50 A

A healthy lifestyle gets 40-60% of its calories from carbs. I would personally put fruit into the good carbs category and many are portable like bananas and apples, making them easy to bring while you're on the go. However, they are higher in naturally occurring sugars, thus making them a little higher in calorie than vegetables. Maybe you can add in some whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa and vegetable to get variety.

6/26/13 7:49 A

I think this is one that really depends on your own body and metabolism. I eat huge amounts of fruit as part of my weight loss and have in the times that I was successful with weight loss in the past.

Some people are more sensitive to the sugar in fruit than others, so my advice would be to continue as you are doing and see what kind of progress you make in the scale and with your clothes feeling looser, and also in terms of how your energy levels and general feelings of wellness are. If your weight loss seems really slow or nonexistent, then perhaps it might make sense to experiment with eating just 1 or 2 servings a day of fruit for a week and see what happens then.

Keep in mind that a diet on which most calories come from healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, raw nuts and legumes will always be a high-carb diet, but as you say, these are good carbs that give your body the energy it needs, and that come in the form of *whole* and nourishing foods.

Edited by: SCHWAYTHIN at: 6/26/2013 (07:51)
6/26/13 7:47 A

I think it's great you are reducing your intake of breads and cereals! Fruit is so much better for you in the long term. As you make the switch I think it's okay to consume as much fruit as you need to as long as you're not diabetic or have a problem with yeast overgrowth. How much carbs/sugar are you getting from fruit?

Also not all chocolate is bad! I love my Cocoa Camino Panama Extra Dark Chocolate - 80% cocoa
There are only 20g of sugar in the entire 100g bar. 24 squares in the bar means less than 1g of sugar per square and when you let the square slowly melt on your tongue it tastes heavenly and satisfying. I have never been able to eat more than 6 squares at a time, usually I eat 2-3 squares for my dessert after lunch and dinner.

Compare that to 14g of sugar in a medium gala apple and one might argue that the chocolate which is loaded with healthy fat, magnesium and iron might be the better choice.

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 6/26/2013 (07:48)
HMILLY2020 Posts: 587
6/26/13 7:23 A

Over the least year, I have made strives for better eating habits and controlling my sweet tooth. In place of chocolate, I've been reaching for apples, raspberries, bananas, etc.

Because I'm eating so much fruit, my intake of carbs have really gone up (still trying to reduce my white flours - breads, cereals, etc). Anyhow, I know there are "good carbs" and "bad carbs". Should I worry about all the carbs I am taking in because of the fruits and berries?

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