The Food Group You DON’T Have to Eat
If you have read even a small bit on the subject of nutrition, you can likely recite the 3 major food groups: proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Below is the United States Dietary Association (USDA) recommendation for just how much of each of these food groups that we should consume on a daily basis in order to be healthy…or so they believe.
Even the American Diabetes Association’s recommendations of approximately four grain- and potato-based carbohydrates servings/day are, in my opinion, excessive. No wonder why so many people with diabetes, who follow these guidelines, struggle to keep their blood sugar levels regulated.
Yet here’s what not too many health professionals are telling you—only proteins and fats are essential to your diet; meaning that our bodies CANNOT manufacture these elements on their own. We must ingest them to live. On the contrary, carbohydrates, which breakdown into glucose (sugar) molecules, can be manufactured in our bodies from proteins and fats. It’s a process called glyconeogenesis.
The other interesting fact is that blood sugar levels are rarely destabilized to a troubling degree by the consumption of proteins or fats. It’s the carbohydrates we eat—even the good-for-you, whole grain ones—which can dangerously spike our blood sugar and lead to insulin resistance and eventually to pre-diabetes or Type -2 diabetes.
If you have had an A1C Test or a Fasting Glucose Test reveal that you are having trouble metabolizing (storing) the sugar circulating in your blood stream, then I want to suggest something somewhat radical. Significantly lower the volume (%) of grain-and potato-based carbohydrates you consume, yes, even the “good ones”, far below the suggested levels.
My recommendation is that you keep grain- and potato-based carbs to a minimum. Use them sparingly, rather than an “appearing at every meal” food source. (I.e. Limit whole grain bread/pasta or brown rice to two servings a day—not the 6 servings that are recommended—and potatoes to once a week).
So what are you going to eat if you cut way down on carbohydrates (bread, rice, pasta and potatoes)? Why more lean protein (chicken, fish, legumes), healthy fats (nuts and nut-butters, avocados, olive oil), fiber-filled fruit, and low sugar vegetables*, that’s what! Protein and fats satisfy hunger, taste delicious, and digest slowly in the stomach, thereby protecting you against unwanted, unhealthy sugar spikes.
*Keep carrots, corn, peas and beets to a minimum.