White potatoes are a food that seems to get picked on a lot in many health circles. Some will say they simply lack the color and phytonutrients of other starchy vegetables, while others insist they are nothing but a giant wad of starch who’s sole purpose is to make you fat and sick.
Of course, there are parts of the world like the mountains of Peru and parts of Europe where people eat a diet based on potatoes and other starchy vegetables, and have done so in good health for hundreds of years.
Some people have taken this idea to the extreme and adopted potato-only diets for extended periods of time. Check out this short presentation from Dr. John McDougall and you’ll discover:
• Why some people can actually lose weight and get healthier doing a “crazy” potato-only diet
• How the absence of unhealthy foods is the critical component behind getting healthier on these mono diets
• Understand why many plant foods are nutritionally complete by themselves
• Why all large populations of healthy people on the planet get most of their calories from plants and starch
Now I don’t recommend you go out and adopt an all-potato diet. You might do fine for a while, but to be truly healthy we need to eat a variety of plant foods.
And as long as you’re not frying or drowning your potatoes in butter and cheese it is perfectly fine to include potatoes in your diet, be it white, red, yellow, purple, or sweet. Also read my article on this topic.
The Recipe eBook special is back!
You can get my six best recipe books along with my complete DVD series at the ridiculous price of $29.95 for everything.
Buying everything separately will cost you over $200. So this is a real deal.
This special ends by today.
Caloric density is something that I’ve discussed before, and one of the best tools you can use to either gain or lose weight at will.
One of my favorite examples is to show the caloric density of certain gourmet raw food items and the caloric density of the foods they are trying to imitate. In most cases, the raw food has over twice the amount of calories and several times the amount of fat.
Of course there are other things to consider besides just fat and calories when it comes to food, but this does point out the significance of calorie density when it comes to our health and waistlines.
Check out this great clip of Jeff Novick explaining all about calorie density and you’ll learn:
• The difference between caloric density and caloric volume, and how this affects your health
• Why some foods are so easy to overeat on
• How the volume and total weight of the food you eat plays a role in feeling satisfied
• What causes a food to be more or less calorie dense
• How you can eat more and weight less
Learning about calorie density is an eye-opener for many people, especially when they understand why two plates of foods can look the same in volume but be dramatically different nutritionally.
That doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid calorie-dense foods. Nuts, seeds, avocados, and coconuts are all very concentrated foods, but they can still be included in smaller amounts in a healthy diet.
If you wish to lose weight:
Eat ONLY caloric dense foods.
Caloric Density Per Pound
|Fresh raw or cooked veggies||100|
|Fresh raw fruit||250-300|
|Cooked Starchy Vegetables, Intact Whole Grains||450-500|
|Legumes and Beans||550-600|
|Processed grains and Flours (even if made from whole grains)||1200-1500|
|Nuts and Seeds||2800|
Keep in mind that this is an average across a category. For example, we know that bananas contain more calories per weight than apples, but overall fruits have a similar caloric density.
Looking at this table, you’d be tempted to only eat vegetables, as they contain only 100 calories per pound. It’s important to note that nobody can live on just vegetables, and that you’d get so hungry on a diet of just vegetables that you’d eventually break down and eat something else! However, you want your diet to contain plenty of raw vegetables by weight.
The concept of caloric density is to look at the overall caloric density of your meals.
If the caloric density of your food is below 400 calories per pound, you will lose weight no matter what you do!
If you wish to gain weight: increase the caloric density of your food by eating fewer water-rich foods and more concentrated, caloric-dense foods.
THIS WEEKS SPECIAL:
You may have heard of the French Paradox.
This is mysterious statistical fact that although French people eat a diet rich in saturated fat, they have relatively low levels of cardiovascular disease, compared to Americans.
Is it the wine that’s protecting them?
Are fatty foods actually bad for us?
Before I get into that, I must first say that I’m not French, even though it is my first language. I’m French Canadian. Big difference in culture and food. However, I have been half a dozen times to France and have spent enough time there, along with French expats in Montreal, to have a good idea.
Why French People Stay Thin
It is true, French people are much slimmer than Americans overall, even in 2014.
And yes, they eat some of the most decadent, fatty foods known to mankind, and they do that on a regular basis.
I’m talking about butter in everything: sauces, croissants, meat… everything contains a ridiculous amount of fat, that would make any nutritionist cringe.
They have hundreds of types of cheese, and they love to talk about them too.
Wine is popular, although much less so, in recent years.
80% of French people eat baguette with every meal.
With all that fattening food, you’d expect the French to be at least fatter than Americans, but the contrary is quite true. Obesity rates are at around 10% here, compared to 33% in the US.
France is the 128th fattest country in the world.
And also rates of heart rate disease (by number of deaths every year) is almost a third of what it is in the US.
Cancer rates are also a little lower, but not dramatically so.
So…. qu’est-ce qu’il se passe!? (What is going on!?)
Some have said that the reason French people stay relatively healthier is that they drink so much wine, and wine somehow protects them and “cleans their arteries”.
However, further research disproved this theory.
What is clear now is that French people stay slimmer and have less heart disease because they eat less in general, and they care more about what they eat.
One of the main factors is QUANTITY.
In French, the word for lunch literally means “breakfast” because it was the first meal of the day.
However, when people started eating a little something in the morning, they called that meal “little breakfast” (petit déjeuner).
The average breakfast in France is still pretty light. Maybe a croissant with some coffee, but many people skip it entirely.
Lunch is a big thing. They take their lunches seriously, often taking 2 hours or more to eat and chat.
Dinner is traditionally simple, and many smart French people eat almost nothing for dinner — maybe some fruit and yogurt. However, it’s becoming popular to have bigger dinners nowadays.
Another important fact: French people rarely eat in between meals. You will rarely see people snacking on the bus, train or metro.
My other theory on the French Paradox is the love of food that people have here.
People still like to shop like in the old days, buying their bread at the boulangerie (baker), their produce at the fruit shop or the market, their meat at the butcher, and so on.
Food is a big topic of conversation, and don’t be surprised if you get caught in a conversation with a French person where they’ll literally spend half an hour to describe their particular method for picking the best wild mushrooms, or making a particular recipe.
Because of this obsession for food, they also tend to care a lot more about food quality, by buying local products they can trust, and even harvesting and growing produce themselves as much as possible.
Also, the SOCIAL aspect of life is extremely important.
People tend to spend more time together. When they eat, it’s not the same rushed experience you would get at a fast-food restaurant.
Taking two hours to enjoy your lunch with your friends will certainly enhance your digestion, as opposed to angrily and quickly eating a burger alone.
In the end, it’s nothing magical that makes French people slimmer and a bit healthier, in spite of all that fattening food. It’s a combination of:
- Reasonable portions
- Food quality
- Social context
Are French People Truly Healthy?
In spite of everything I have said, we should not conclude that French people have found the secret to good life and good health by eating this way.
Cancer rates are still very high — almost as high as they are in North America.
And of course, French traditions are changing, as they are everywhere else.
Here are some final points of advice, translating everything to the raw food world:
* Spend more time to enjoy your meals in good company.
* Don’t eat between meals. (On a raw food diet, that may be a bit difficult to follow).
* Make your meals look beautiful, in order to enhance the appreciation of the whole experience, and even improve digestion.
* Care about what you eat. Discover new foods.
* Grow your own food if you can, or buy from local farmers that you know personally.
Dr. Alan Goldhamer and Dr. John McDougall are two doctors and experts in plant-based nutrition that I have a lot of respect for. They’ve both been teaching the virtues of plant-based eating for optimal health and healing since the 70’s and 80’s.
Over the years, thousands of people have dramatically changed their health for the better under the simple principles these two doctors espouse.
Today, the discussion is on water-only fasting and how it affects your health.
Check out the video and you’ll learn:
- How fasting, or complete and total rest and relaxation, can completely transform a person’s health
- What care has to be taken when going into a fast
- How learning to eat immediately after and following the fast is at least as important as the fast itself
- The reason why some foods act just like drugs in some people
- Why the key to good health isn’t anything revolutionary or even all that new
Fasting isn’t something that I would recommend to absolutely everyone. The proper considerations, monitoring, and professional aid all need to be in place. But the one thing more powerful than a fast is eating a good diet so you don’t have to fast in the first place!
NOTE: My new book Raw Freedom is STILL on sale this weekend only at 50% off.
Use coupon code: JULYFREEDOM
Note: This book is NOT for everybody. It’s only for people who want to find a healthy balanced between raw and cooked foods. It’s not about a 100% raw diet.
That’s why the sub-title is:
Combining the Best of Raw With Healthy Cooked Foods for the Ultimate Diet
Get it at:
Use coupon code: JULYFREEDOM to get 50% off.
Filed under Raw Food & Health by Frederic Patenaude
Over the years, I’ve evolved from a very idealistic, somewhat naive view of raw food nutrition, based on the radical energy of my early twenties, to a more mature and complete understanding of the whole picture today.
The problem is that most people starting out on the raw food diet are still hanging on to misinformation, and receive bad advice from raw food authors that is not based in science, but rather in what I call “raw food lore.”
In the end, the raw food diet may very well provide great benefits, but not for the reasons raw foodists claim. Let’s review the most glaring pieces of misinformation that are common in raw food circles and that make this diet the laughingstock of the scientific community.
Remember, the fact that all these “facts” are completely false does not undermine the actual benefits of the diet. Rather, it can mislead raw foodists into making choices that are less than excellent. It also undermines the credibility of the movement, which is often seen as more of a circus of clowns than a true health movement.
#1: “Cooking destroys digestive enzymes.”
By far the biggest raw food myth is that of digestive enzymes. I remember when I first got into raw foods, I was told that cooking anything above 115 degrees Fahrenheit destroyed those living enzymes, and that’s why we get sick. I believed it, even though there wasn’t a shred of true science behind it.
The reality is that although plant enzymes exist, they are made for the survival of the plant itself. For example, enzymes in bananas transform the starch in a green banana into sugar as it ripens. Those enzymes are not necessary for humans, as we produce our own enzymes to digest food.
Even if you could somehow prove that food enzymes are beneficial when isolated, those same enzymes in foods are denatured and deactivated as soon as they reach our stomach. They can’t resist the high acidity of the human stomach.
It’s also false to believe that the human body has a limited supply of enzymes that “runs out” as it gets older. This ludicrous idea was propagated by the mysterious “doctor” Howell, who wrote a famous book on enzymes, which, by the way, has no real scientific references to support any of its claims.
Enzymes are also not alive. They are just proteins that catalyze chemical reactions which could not take place without their presence. Enzymes can only work under very specific conditions, such as the right temperature, pH, and the presence of other co-enzymes. Plant enzymes themselves will only work under a different set of parameters than our own digestive enzymes, which ultimately renders them useless after we eat them.
#2: “Fruits and vegetables are the human-specific diet”
The raw food diet is often promoted based on the idea that humans once lived on a pure raw food diet in perfect health, and as they discovered cooking, and eventually agriculture, their health began to deteriorate, culminating in the current state of bad health people experience today.
Every single discovery in the study of human evolution disproves this fantasy.
First of all, there is credible evidence that humans have been cooking for a very long time. A recent discovery2 showed that the extinct early hominid species homo erectus was cooking food, which would place cooking as beginning over 1.9 million years ago.
It’s true that homo erectus did not evolve into homo sapiens, but is an extinct cousin family. However, the research shows that cooking is much more ancient than we originally believed.
Researcher Professor Richard Wrangham argues in his book Catching Fire that cooking food enabled humans to evolve. Why?
Because it enabled us to get more calories and not spend 60-75% of our time looking for food and chewing it, like other apes.
Our digestive system even adapted to this change by becoming shorter, allowing for much quicker digestion than in other apes and removing the ability to extract much nutrition from insoluble fiber, much of which is already broken down by cooking.
Cooking gave humans an unmatched advantage by making available calorie denser storable foods that could not be consumed otherwise (like tubers), thus allowing for year-round food in a single place.
Modern raw foodists also eat a diet that is nowhere close to that of other apes. We do our own version of cooking and processing with blenders, dehydrators, and other modern appliances, making fibrous vegetables, and even fruit, easier to digest.
#3: “Humans are the only species who cook their food and the only species who suffer from degenerative diseases!”
I never fully believed the myth that wild animals don’t suffer from disease, but it is still a commonly seen argument for a raw food diet.
Wild animals do suffer from a wide range of diseases, but typically some of these could be avoided in the context of modern medicine. In other words, deaths by parasites and infectious disease are common.
Generally, it is true that wild animals don’t suffer from common degenerative diseases that affect humans, such as heart disease.
However, wild animals do die of various kinds of cancer, even if they don’t live in polluted areas.
The problem with this argument is that although it contains a grain of truth, it leads one to believe that a raw food diet is the only way to perfect health. Raw foodists do die from diseases, and in some cases those diseases have nothing to do with their diet (or could not be improved through dietary changes alone). Raw foodists have a lifespan that is quite average in general. This is not something that has been scientifically proven, but a personal observation of mine. If most raw foodists reached a very advanced age, I would have heard about it by now.
I would avoid the “wild animals” argument, because humans are so different from wild animals in so many ways that we can’t possibly compare ourselves to them anyway.
Wild animals don’t wear clothes… Should we try not to either?
#4: “Cooking food turns it into poison.”
Cooking food does affect it at the molecular level. In some cases, raw foods that contain real poisons are rendered edible by cooking. For example, raw kidney beans are poisonous, but by soaking and cooking them we destroy the enzyme inhibitors that can cause serious food poisoning if those beans are eaten raw.
On the other hand, cook some steak over the grill, and you’ll create a series of new, carcinogenic compounds that were not present in the steak before, and we saw a few pages ago that acrylamide, produced by high-heat cooking of carbohydrates, is carcinogenic.
Certain methods of cooking, such as steaming, appear rather innocuous. Of course, raw foodists will say that we don’t know yet what possible toxic compounds are created in any form of cooking, so steamed broccoli could be just as bad as barbecued meat, just for different reasons. This is, of course, pure conjecture, and most likely not true.
If cooked food were truly toxic, the human race would have disappeared a long time ago. This argument doesn’t do a lot of good for the credibility of the raw food movement.
#5: “Cooking destroys the natural live energy in food.”
Some raw foodists have used the “vital energy” argument to promote a raw food diet. The idea is that raw foods contain some kind of vital force that is destroyed by cooking.
To prove their point, they will show you Kirlian photographs (a special type of photography that captures a sort of “aura” around an object), showing the difference between raw and cooked foods. Raw foods appear bright with a beautiful aura, while the aura of the same foods when cooked appears dead, with depressing colors.
Kirlian photography uses a high-voltage source connected to a photographic plate. The object being photographed will be in contact with the plate. Because low current electricity is used, the technique is harmless.
According to Media College:
Small coronal discharges are created by the strong electric field at the edges of the object. The frequency of the electricity excites electrons in the object so they ionize the surrounding air.
Objects must be conductive for this technique to work. The object can be moist (e.g. a living thing), or conduct metal. A dry non-conducting object will not produce the effect. (…)
Many paranormal enthusiasts still claim that the aura captured by Kirlian photography is some sort of “life force.”
However this is easily debunked:
#1: Kirlian photographs can be taken of anything moist or conductive, including coins, paperclips, etc.
#2: Kirlian photographs taken in a vacuum (where no ionized gas is present) show no aura.
#3: Some people claim that a living object slowly loses its aura after it dies. This is more easily explained by the fact that it loses its moisture.
Because raw foods have a high moisture content, they appear more vibrant under Kirlian photography than their cooked counterparts.
#6: “Raw foods are easier to digest than cooked foods.”
It is true that some raw foods are much easier to digest than some cooked foods, but in most cases this is not true.
One example: starchy foods are easier to digest cooked than raw. This category includes potatoes, rice, and pretty much all grains. No population could ever survive eating these foods raw, as we only digest a tiny percentage of the raw starch, compared to most of the cooked starch. Raw starch probably won’t harm you, but you just can’t digest much of it.
Most of the world’s population lives on a starch-based diet, because it is simply a more reliable source of calories.
When raw foodists try to take some grains or beans and eat them raw, I always laugh. I’ve seen recipes that called for soaking rice to “sprout” it, and then turning it into a dish. But raw rice, even when soaked and sprouted, has very little nutritional value, because we don’t digest most of what’s in it. At least raw rice is not toxic, unlike many kinds of beans that can put you in the hospital if you eat them raw (such as kidney beans).
Does that mean I don’t support a raw food diet? Absolutely not! I just think we need to remove the false science from it in order to avoid making big mistakes and taking it to an extreme.
I expand on this in my new book Raw Freedom. Read it at 50% off using coupon code JULYFREEDOM.
Let’s say that you were to travel extensively, go on a round-the-world trip, or even just go for a vacation abroad.
Does it make sense to eat a raw food diet when you travel?
As you know, I promote a plant-based diet (raw foods is great), and I am a proponent of eating a lot of fruit.
I’ve also traveled extensively before, including an 8-month trip around the world covering over 20 countries, so I’m aware of the challenges and also advantages of eating raw on the road.
One of my main concerns when traveling is health, which means eating as well as possible and getting exercise (which is not always easy when traveling!).
Overall, I would say that it’s quite easy to eat a plant-based diet when traveling.
The best places to find fruits and vegetables around the world are usually grocery stores and farmer’s markets (which in many countries are just called “markets”).
The problem when traveling is not just to find food, but to have a way to eat it.
At home, I normally use a big Vita-Mix blender at least once a day to make green smoothies.
While traveling, you’ll need to minimize your luggage and bringing a 15-pound vita-mix is usually out of the question. Even a travel blender takes a lot of space and is hardly usable to make smoothies.
A good idea is to bring a flexible cutting board though, as well as one knife and a couple of tupperware containers.
While traveling, a good portion of our diet can consist of fruits that will be cut up and eaten that way.
In many countries like Thailand and even throughout Europe, fruit is easy to find and delicious.
Vegetables are something to watch out for in many foreign countries where the water quality is questionable. I’ve known more than one raw-foodist who got seriously ill with parasites after eating greens and vegetables in Asia.
Also, making a big salad in a hotel room is not that easy or fun to do. So
So I generally eat a lot less salads during my travels and instead eat more cooked vegetables.
Eating 100% Raw or Not?
Some people, for various reasons, make the 100% raw diet the most important focus in their lives. So if they went on a one-year trip around the world, they would do everything they can to eat 100% raw all the time.
For me, based on previous experiences, I’ve decided that eating raw is not my main concern when I travel.
There are several reasons for this:
1) When traveling and without access to fruit in bulk, and without a blender, it’s much harder to get enough calories from fruit.
2) I consider high-fat raw meals to be worse for health than low fat cooked vegan meals.
3) My goal is health and not just “raw foods”. I also want to have fun on a trip and not feel stressed by having to eat 100% raw all the time.
4) Because I don’t want to be eating a lot of raw vegetables in many countries for health reasons, supplementing the diet with some high-nutrient-density cooked vegetables is a good idea.
5) When eating 100% raw for a while, the body will violently react to any cooked foods eaten because it has not adapted to eating them in a while. Based on previous experiences, it’s not a good idea to become *that* sensitive on a trip, especially if it takes you to remote locations where finding enough fruit calories might be difficult.
My philosophy for eating while traveling is simple:
- I eat a lot of fruit because it’s easy to find, safe and usually less expensive than everything else.
- Avoid raw vegetables in many countries for health reasons.
- If I have access to a kitchen and will be in one location for a while, I buy ingredients to make simple and healthy plant-based meals.
- If I’m traveling for tourism, I enjoy some of the local cuisine and burn it off by walking over 18,000 steps a day!
- I don’t worry too much about making my diet perfect when traveling.
Stay safe, eat fruit, walk a lot, and enjoy your trip!
What do you think? If you traveled around the world, would you stick to a 100% raw diet? Post your comments below.
NOTE: You can save 55% on my course “How to Travel the World for Free” by using coupon code IRELAND for this week only. Click the link below to find out more and remember to use the coupon code on checkout for the discount!
I really like Dr. Klaper. He’s been truly a pioneer in the field of scientific, vegan nutrition.
I met him during my short fast at the TrueNorth Health Center, last December, where he works as a doctor on staff. I also did a consultation with him.
I always found him full of insights, inquisitive, and extremely generous.
Enjoy this video of Dr. Klaper at conference a couple years ago, where he discussed olive oil. You’ll discover:
- Why studies done on olive oil never proved it was healthy in itself
- What’s wrong with restaurant food
- The reasons why olive oil is NOT heart-healthy
- How olive oil makes your arteries stiff, and the studies that proved it.
Now, does it mean that you should NEVER consume olive oil?
I put olive oil is the category of “concentrated foods to be enjoyed rarely and in moderation.” If you’re really active, burn a lot of calories, and eat only whole plant foods, then having a dish containing a small quantity of olive oil, like one teaspoon or two, once in a while, probably won’t hurt you. But I agree that for most people, when trying to lose weight, the policy of avoiding most oils 100% of the time is best.
What do you think?
If you’d like to get started the raw food diet, we have a special on the Raw Health Starter Kit. You save 35% by using coupon code JUNE2014. Click on the ad below and make sure to use coupon code JUNE2014 to get the discount!
Filed under Raw Vegan Video Blog by Frederic Patenaude
Last February I attended the live event organized twice a year by Dr. John McDougall, where he invites scientists from all over the world to share the latest findings in nutrition.
I always come from those weekends invigorated with new information.
One of the highlights of the weekend was the presentation by Dr. Michael Greger.
Check out this video, that was shot during the weekend. You’ll discover interesting facts:
- How beef causes more diabetes and more insulin spike than carbs (including potatoes)
- What’s the REAL cause of insulin resistance and diabetes
- Why fat causes twice the blood sugar spike
NOTE: My product “How to Eat Well for Under $100 a Month on a Plant Based Diet” is on sale for the next two days. As long as you use the coupon code MAY7 upon checkout, you’ll get a $20 discount. Go here:
Filed under Questions & Answers by Frederic Patenaude
In 2011 I was traveling in the Philippines for the first time, where I made some interesting observations.
The Philippines is probably one of the most important countries in the world that most people know the least about.
It’s the largest archipelago of islands on the planet (over 7000 of them), and a country that was previously colonized by the Spaniards and then under the rule of the United States for almost 50 years.
What I noticed is that people there eat a lot of rice (and I really meat a LOT), yet remain slim. Why is that?
Do Carbs Really Make You Fat?
Almost every single best-selling diet book published since the 90s repeats the same thing: eating carbs makes you fat. Sometimes they’ll make a distinction between “good” carbs, like fruit or whole grains, and “bad” carbs like white bread and white rice, but usually it’s the same story. Cut out those evil carbs and you will get skinny.
My own experience traveling the world, in addition to all the research I did, does not support the theory that carbs make you fat — even the so-called “bad” carbs like white rice.
One thing that shocked me coming to the Philippines is how much white rice the local people eat, with little else.
I’ve been to places like Thailand where people eat a lot of rice, but it’s nothing compared to the Filipino portions. At the breakfast buffet table, the first thing
Filipinos go for is a giant serving of rice that takes up most of their plate. Then after that they grab some of the other stuff, which occupies less space on their plate.
For lunch, the local Filipino guys eat the tallest pile of rice I’ve ever seen, along with smaller portions of meat or fish. I suspect it’s the same scenario for dinner. For dessert, they top it all off with more “carbs” in the form of fresh fruit, which they seem to devour eagerly. In spite of all this carb consumption, most people are fairly thin.
Any man working outside is downright ripped here in the Philippines. Like everywhere in the world, there are some overweight and obese people, but from my observation these people tend to eat more junk food and drink more soda.
Rice, By Itself, Doesn’t Make You Fat
Think about it for a second: a cup of rice is only 250 calories. How many cups of rice do you think you can eat in a day? It’s so filling that even if you gorged on rice all day, it would be pretty hard to eat more calories than your body needs.
Fruit is even lower in calories, as the average banana contains only 100 calories… how many bananas do you think you can eat?
Research has shown that the only way to gain fat from carbs is through a process called “de novo lipo genesis.” It’s extremely difficult to do that from complex carbs, but somewhat easier from refined sugar.
Here’s from an article I wrote at RenegadeHealth.com
Some animals, such as cows, have a physiology that makes it very easy for them to convert carbohydrates into fat for long-term storage. For example, cows eat grass, which is a carbohydrate that’s indigestible for humans (but they have the ability to use the energy in it), and cows can store an incredible amount of fat from this food source.
Humans are very inefficient at converting sugar into fat.
In a lecture on Fructose, Sucrose and High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Dr. James M. Rippe presented the current research on the subject. A few highlights:
- Americans consume between 100 and 150 grams of fat a day. How much of body fat is generated from their sugar or carbohydrate intake? About one gram!
– In one study, they gave young healthy males up to 50% added carbohydrates. That’s 1500 calories above their regular diet! How much fat was produced by their bodies on this excess? 3.3 grams on average. That’s on a diet containing over 700 grams of carbohydrates.
– To put it in perspective, one pound of fat is 450 grams.
So when you feed people an extra 1500 calories from sugar or carbohydrates, and about 3 grams of extra fat are generated by the body, where is the rest going? Essentially, to glucose.
Whenever there’s an imbalance in energy (too many calories in, not enough calories out), the body will store excess calories as fat. But those calories essentially come from the fat in your diet, not the carbohydrates!
Your body doesn’t actually store carbs from food in the form of fat. Even in force-feeding scenarios in many experiments done on the subject, The fat you eat is literally the fat you wear.
But like I said, if you eat too many calories in general, including from carbohydrates, your body will hold on to the fat in your food and in your body.
Fat is More Caloric-Dense
A tablespoon of pure sugar is 50 calories.
On the other hand, a tablespoon of oil is 120 calories, and it’s quite easy to add extra calories without noticing it by adding some oil to your food like in fried rice, fried noodles and fried meat. Also, the body can store the fat you eat as body fat with almost no effort.
A simple look around the world shows that people who eat natural foods and exercise are ripped and healthy, and most of these people eat quite a lot of carbohydrates (often because they are cheap and available year round).
Carbs tend to make you fat only in combination with more fatty foods. If you sit around all day and eat a lot of fatty food, and then top it all off with a bunch of fruit, then it’s possible you’ll start to gain weight.
Of course, not all carbohydrates are created equal. Here is my simple guide to carbohydrates:
Great — Eat Freely
- Fruit, Beans
- Whole grains (not processed into flour)
- Root vegetables (including potatoes)
You can eat from this category and be healthy, but you must include other sources of fiber.
- White rice
- Bread made from whole grains
- Bad Carbs
Generally avoid but if you have some occasionally, you’ll be fine if the rest of your diet is healthy.
- Flour and products made from them
- White sugar, and other refined sweeteners
- Fruit juice
- Processed grains
By the way, I am putting white potatoes in the “good carb” category. Too many people have needlessly condemned potatoes. But name me one “bad” food that you can eat exclusively for weeks and months at a time and totally transform your health in the process?
As for white rice, it is highly digestible and easy to eat for people with food sensitivities and allergies. Combine it with lots of vegetables to get some of the missing fiber and nutrients.
To discover how to keep your blood sugar stable on the raw food diet, make sure to get started with the Raw Health Starter Kit.
Go to: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/starterkit.html
As you may know, I recommend a low-fat diet.
This may fly in the face of current diet fads and trends that tout the benefits of “good fats” to no end. Yet, I have never found anything more powerful for health as a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet.
My program is not original. I first came to these conclusions after eating a raw food diet for a period of three years and not only failing to find any benefits in my personal health, but also experiencing a decline. My problems were those that many others have experienced on a similar program: lack of energy, blood sugar swings, mental fog, and failure to thrive. Those problems were resolved by increasing the carbohydrate content of my diet and eliminating excessive quantities of fat — whether refined (like oil) or coming from natural foods (avocados, nuts, etc.).
I initially experimented with this idea after having read many books by Albert Mosséri, one of my early mentors in Natural Hygiene. He was extremely skeptical of nuts and avocados, and recommended to avoid them in general or only consume very small quantities. He never blamed the fat specifically, but relied on his experience working with more than 4000 patients at his fasting and retreat center.
Later, Dr. Douglas Graham influenced me greatly, when he was promoting his 80-10-10 diet, before his book was published. His diet advocates getting most calories from fruit, with plenty of green vegetables, and a maximum of 10% of fat by total caloric intake. That means, for most people, less than 1/2 avocado a day, on average (and not every day, if you’re not very active or athletic).
Finally, getting up to date on the latest science in human nutrition through the work of many great doctors has reinforced my belief that a low-fat diet is best for health. The doctors and authors who influenced me the most are:
Dr. John McDougall, MD
T. Colin Campbell, PhD
Dr. Neal Barnard, MD
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, MD
All of those doctors, and at least a dozen more that I won’t mention today, all recommend a low-fat, plant-based diet.
What’s a low-fat diet?
Essentially, it doesn’t mean avoiding all fats. But it means getting most of your calories from carbohydrates (from whole food sources), and fewer than 10% of your calories from fat. Some people allow up to 15%.
In practice, that means:
* Do not consume any oil.
* Do not consume any food of animal origin, especially dairy products, beef, chicken and eggs.
* Do not eat more than one ounce of nuts a day, or half an avocado, on average. Eliminate those foods if you have heart disease or wish to lose weight.
When you follow such a program, your taste buds will require a bit of adaptation. It’s not that fat has much taste, but it helps carry flavors like salt or sugar. Also, when we eat a higher-fat diet, our taste buds get used to it.
According to Dr. Esselstyn, it takes around 12 weeks to adapt to a low-fat diet. Initially, you may find the food bland and unappetizing. But, after a while, you will enjoy it even more than your old food, and will even find the taste of a high-fat meal repulsive.
This entire process takes around 12 weeks, so be patient.
I can attest that it’s true. Nowadays, if I eat something that many people would consider “delicious,” I will find it extremely unappetizing if it contains a lot of fat. Unless, of course, all that fat is mixed in with sugar, which tends to fool everyone’s taste buds.
When I go to a restaurant, I always ask for “no oil” even if the recipe doesn’t mention that oil is added. Many chefs drizzle oil on top of a salad or a soup just before serving. For example, hummus at Middle Eastern restaurants often receives that oily treatment. By asking for “no oil” you can at least avoid that extra, added fat. Also, I ask for dressing on the side by default. This tends to work better than asking for “no dressing,” which often leaves the waiters absolutely puzzled.