Weight Reduction Following a Carb-Rich Diet
Many experts have told us through the years that weight reduction cannot happen if you are following a low-carbohydrate diet, but this article is going to explain why a Carb-Rich diet works.
Some scientist have stated we are hardwired to crave carbohydrates. However, this type of diet is becoming more popular as people are beginning to understand the difference between the types of starches we eat. I have recently read The Carb Lovers Diet by Ellen Kune and Francis Largeman-Roth, which provides a wealth of information on the carb diet along with several excellent recipes.
On the other hand, there is the Keto diet and the Paleo diet, which are low carbs and high protein. I have had some family members use the Keto diet for successful weight loss, but it is important to have your cholesterol checked, as it can reach a dangerous high for some people.
Weight Loss Comparison
A group of Australian researchers in 2009, published results of a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, which followed 106 dieters for one year. One half of the dieters ate a carb–rich diet, and the others ate a low–carb diet.
Here is the breakdown of the two diets:
- Low-fat diet: carbohydrate calories 46%, protein calories 24% and calories from fat was 30% with less than 8% from saturated fat.
- Low–carb diet: carbohydrate calories 4%, protein calories 35% and calories from fat 61%.
Both groups were allowed to have the same amount of calories and they met regularly with a dietitian. They completed mood surveys several times during the year-long study.
The carb–eaters felt happier, calmer and more focused than the carb–deprived group who reported feeling stressed out. The weight loss was the same, about 30 pounds, but the mood changes were distinctly different. Researchers expected both groups to have an up bounce in their moods due to the weight loss, however, the mood faded for the low-carb group.
Carbohydrates boost mood–regulating, stress–reducing chemicals in the brain, and high-protein plus fatty foods may deprive them, according to Grant Brinkworth, PhD, the lead researcher of the study.
In another study at the University of Toronto had dieters who restricted carbohydrates for just three days reporting feeling more depressed than before the restriction.
Moroccan Chicken Pita
Moroccan Chicken Pita
- 4 tablespoons plain low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup (3 ounces) grilled or baked chicken, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons chopped dates
- 1 whole grain pita, halved
- 1/2 cup spinach
- Combine first five ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
- Combine chicken, cared, and dates in a bowl. Add dressing; toss gently to coat.
- Fill pita halves with chicken mixture and spinach.
Serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves (1 half 420 calories)
Choosing the Right Carbohydrates
Stress produces high levels of hormones, such as cortisol, which will boost your appetite and can even lead to binging. In yet a third study in 2009, in Israel, researchers studied 322 dieters finding only 78% of those on low-carbohydrate plans sticking with their diets for the long-term, (which was up to two years).
Nearly 90% of those who ate a more balanced carbohydrate diet were still going strong after the two years.
When you look at these studies and others you conclude that it's very hard to consistently follow a diet that is either very low in carbohydrates or very high in carbohydrates, as neither one is healthy.
Another problem with a low carbohydrate diet is constipation, which causes your belly to bloat according to the National Institute of Digestive Diseases. Carbohydrate deprivation can lead directly to carbohydrate binging because eventually you will start craving carbohydrates, and this is not in your imagination.
Digestion of Starches and Resistant Starches
Choosing the right type of carbohydrates and eating in moderation will help you to lose weight. Most fibers and starches are digested and absorbed into your body through the small intestine.
Resistant starches go all the way through the small intestine without being digested at all. For instance, the starch in potatoes, cereals, and baked goods digests very rapidly and are richer in calories.
Starchy foods such as beans, barley or long grain brown rice are digested more slowly and cause a much slower and lower blood sugar rise.
Starches that are difficult for the digestive process often have a fibrous shell, such as grains and legumes. Then, there are some foods, such as unripe bananas, raw potatoes, and plantains that are resistant starches. Small amounts of resistant starch, about 5% of the total, are produced with some starchy cooked foods, such as potatoes and rice when they are allowed to cool before eating. Most starchy foods contain some resistant starch.
Resistant starches are used for fuel by the bacteria in your colon, and this process is called fermentation, which produces a certain type of fat called short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). These fatty acids produce most of the calories from resistant starch and many of the benefits. As researchers study these resistant starches they are finding many more benefits.
It is especially associated with one type of SCFA, called butyrate, which is protective of cells and causes less genetic damage, which helps prevent cancer. SCFA also assists with mineral absorption, particularly calcium and magnesium.
In addition to weight control, resistant starch is thought to provide other health benefits, including:
- improved diabetes management
- improved bowel health
- reduced blood cholesterol levels
- reduced blood triglyceride levels
- increased satiety (fullness) from food
They also suppress bad bacteria and their toxic products and promote good bacteria. When resistant starches are eaten in a meal there is less fat storage after that meal.
Delicious Resistant Starch Dish
The best source of resistant starch is beans. Other good sources are whole grains (oats, rye, wheat, barley, semolina, corn, linseed, and sesame), pearl barley, bulgar wheat and long grain brown rice. One of the best sources of resistant starch is called Hi-Maize, which comes from a special breed of corn. It is used as a food additive in breads, pasta and cereals and it does not alter color, taste, or texture of the food. You can also purchase this at health food stores and use it to replace flour.
Other sources include seeds and nuts, beans such as lentils and baked beans are a great source of resistant starch and unripe fruit, particularly bananas. Also cooking and cooling carbohydrate foods can increase their resistance starch content, such as: rice was sushi, called pasta salad and potato salad.
The Carb-lover's Diet
The low-fat and higher carb diet sounds to me like an excellent way to lose weight. The main thing to keep in mind is choosing the right types of carbohydrates to eat with emphasis on resistant starch foods.
Not only is this diet healthy; it is filling and it should make it a little bit easier to stay away from junk food. I certainly think it's a better choice than high-protein diets, which can put your body into ketosis.
Although you will lose weight on a high-protein diet the possible side effects may not be worth the risk, and I don't like the idea of the mood change.
I hope this hub has been helpful for those of you who are considering trying a new type of diet.
The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.