Thursday, July 5, 2012

Diet comparison

Recently, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on a comparison of three types of diets: low fat, low carbohydrate and low glycemic.  Here is a link to a article on the experiment.  The upshot is that the low glycemic seemed to have the greatest promise for helping keep weight that has been lost from returning, which is a big problem for those trying to lose weight and keep it off.

Low fat means just that.  Low carbohydrate is similar to the Adkins diet, high protein but very low carbs.  Low glycemic means eating foods that are slow to digest.  The rapidly digested foods, such as pasta, white bread and beer, create the greatest sudden and strong demand on the system, requiring lots of insulin all at once.  Of the well-known diets I have heard about, the South Beach diet is one that emphasizes the value of low glycemic foods that are slow to digest.  You guessed it.  Again with the fruits and vegetables.  

You can just see our wiring at work.  We are still wired to avoid famine and starvation.  So, as I walk toward the buffet line, the meat and potatoes immediately stand out among all those colorful but not as hypnotic foods with the power to slowly nourish me.  If I concentrate on color, I can go to vegetables and fruit.  If I concentrate on fiber, I can go to vegetables and fruit.  If I avoid processed foods, carefully constructed to taste wonderful and immediately create an urge for more of the same, for another hit of that taste and that sensation, I can go to the vegetables and fruit.

It makes sense.  I have read that the digestive system of the hunters, wolves and cats, are short, nothing like the 26 ft of small intestine I carry.  My long tube is built to digest vegetable foods slowly and completely.  I am not really constructed to be a full time carnivore.  My digestion system needs what is called fiber and roughage.  Here is a copy from a Mayo clinic page of the high fiber foods, not meat or cheese or milk.  Not sugar or processed foods.  I am working on re-training my urges and my eyes.

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