#3rd world problems. Obesity too?

For some reason, people are making more noise about the rising rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease in Africa. The irony isn’t lost on anyone that, even as many people on our continent struggle to feed themselves properly everyday, we now have another section that seems to be eating themselves to an early grave. We are going through a ‘nutrition transition’ as the UN puts it.

The statistics, in my opinion, are a bit dodgy but we are definitely on an upward swing. And no, its not just South Africa and the Northern states.

If you live in a city anywhere in Africa, it’s pretty obvious that people are getting larger. We are still a long way from reaching the terrifying proportions found in some places, namely the US of A, land of the free and land of refined carbohydrates and sugar and additives and everything that is wrong with industrialized agriculture, but we aren’t safe.

Do we really need to worry about extra inches round our middles, or what we eat? The thing is, there isn’t much social stigma attached to being overweight in Africa. Here, you are rarely fat. You are big, you are healthy, you carry a ‘wide load’, you are plump, you have a big booty, etc. You will never lack suitors just because you don’t look like a Cosmo cover girl.

Only problem is, being overweight carries the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later on in life. Diabetes is basically when your pancreas give up after riding the sugar train for too long. Blindness, amputations, kidney failure and other nasty side effects are basically glucose poisoning. My grandma has diabetes. I can count at least two relatives who succumbed to it, and it’s not a pretty way to go.

Living in Africa (yes, I said Africa, with its many countries and diverse peoples and I know how many countries there are) means that, to some extent, we are protected from some of the more atrocious food crimes, such as antibiotic soaked meat, e-coli in salad vegetables and we aren’t exactly being avalanched by nutritionally worthless but calorie dense fast foods.

And of course there is the idea that our ‘traditional’ diets are very healthy, and that if we eat like this then we will live to be 120 like our great grandparents. Except that it’s not very true anymore. (Interesting study that compared Maasais with rural and urban Bantus and their overall body composition of Maasais, urban and rural Bantus to find out who would be the chubbiest.)

Living and working in a typical African city usually means wasting huge chunks of your day stuck in traffic, getting home late, and basically checking out in front of the tv or with a beer. Which is fine, because trying to go for a jog in Nairobi is ridiculous.

But it also means that we probably did not notice the creep in our diets: more refined carbs, more junk food, more options to eat out, more beer, more processed foods that contain hidden sugar, more soft drinks, etc, all the while buying bigger and bigger pants. 

Our diets, already pretty heavy on the starches: I’m talking about maize in all its disguises, which isn’t as traditional as we are led to believe: ugali, sadza, paap, whatever you want to call it, its the same.

And now we  have even more added carbs that turn into sugar in our bodies: living on wheat and maize and potatoes and cooking oil does not constitute being on our ‘traditional’ diet.  (Pdf on history of food in East Africa)

The  thing is, with the amount of pure carbohydrates and sugar we eat, and the lack of movement, we start to exhaust our pancreas.

Over the short term, an appetite out of whack, weight gain and inexplicable cravings.

Long term?

Diabetes and ‘lifestyle diseases’.

Learn about proper nutrition. Take charge of your health today.

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Weight management programs that go against conventional wisdom (Part 1)

Everyone knows that a healthy diet is the key to looking good, feeling good and being skinny. We have all been taught that we must eat lots of vegetables and fruit, healthy grains, and that red meat is bad and fat is even worse. And if you have a few kilos to lose, then exercise a lot and practice something known as ‘moderation’.

For many people, this works just fine. But for others, no amount of balanced dieting and treadmill running seems to do the trick. And for them, there exists a whole host of alternative plans to choose from. I will talk about some of the popular weight loss plans out there today, starting with the big daddy of them all:

1. The Atkins Diet

Dr Atkins was an overweight cardiologist who managed to normalize his weight by limiting carbohydrates and increasing his consumption of meat and fat. He published a book in 1972 and another in 2002 that became very popular but also very controversial.

This is because he basically said carbs make you fat, but saturated fats don’t, so you can eat them as much as you want with no negative effects on your health. Dietitians and doctors were outraged that a fellow colleague could promote such an irresponsible approach to weight loss, and he was ostracized by the medical community.

Science sort of agrees with him now: a diet high in protein not only makes you full, it also increases satiety, making it more natural and easy to control how much you eat. (Light read from Women’s Health and deeper stuff as to why exactly.)

The diet is pretty simple, and requires people to cut down ‘carbs’ to the bare minimum, that is, lots of vegetables and some fruit, while eating as much meat, fish, eggs and healthy fats as desired.

It is executed in 4 stages, gradually allowing the dieter to increase the amount of ‘carbs’ they eat until they find a level that lets them maintain their body weight at the desired level. You can read all about them on their official website

From the picture above, it honestly doesn’t look so bad. But humans have the capacity to turn good things into not so good: initially people took this diet as licence to gorge on processed meat. The market soon followed, with an increase in low carb ‘products’ such as bread, cookies, and everything else in between, causing even more controversy and complaints that Atkins is not a good weight loss program.

The downside

People struggle with this approach because:

  • It is very difficult to believe that you cannot eat all the things you were told were healthy- bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and anything that contains wheat
  • Your diet choices are pretty limited, and there is a lot of pressure from society to eat high carb foods.
  • Your alcohol tolearnce may suffer and the intensity of your hangovers may surprise you
  • Interpreting this as licence to eat grade A steaks at every meal rapidly becomes unsustainable
  • Obviously, some people get bored because the food choices seem limited. How many eggs can you honestly eat in one day?
  • It takes some time to forget the ‘stuffed’ feeling you associate with having eaten enough
  • If you are vegetarian, then, well you need to get super creative
  • Some people also report feeling unwell, especially in the beginning. Low-carb enthusiasts call this the ‘low carb flu’ and it usually goes away after 2 weeks or so.
  • Going back to a diet of 60% or more carbs will result in serious weight gain, so if you are in, then you are in for the long haul

The upside

  • You will lose weight and you will lose it fast, especially during the first two weeks
  • You lose water and fat and get to keep your muscle. This is a good thing
  • You don’t need to exercise (but it’s recommended)
  • You don’t need to count calories
  • It is a nutrient dense program that doesn’t require the buying of protein powders, pills and other gimmicks
  • You won’t experience the hunger swings that come with calorie counting
  • Your cravings for sugar, sweet drinks, chocolate and junk will slowly but surely all go away
  • You could get used to not eating bread and eventually realize that starches are devoid of taste anyways

 Verdict

Is it sustainable? 

This depends on individual preferences and tastes. Atkins is pretty flexible after the initial phase and is not a zero-carb diet. Also, you don’t need to buy any special stuff. You could start right away and keep on keeping on.

Is it healthy?

The jury is still out on whether or not humans need starches as an integral part of their diet, but many people think that, actually we don’t.  The emphasis on lots of vegetables, fruit and high quality protein is a solid win, but many people are suspicious of eating meat. Does it rot in our systems? Does being vegetarian save the planet? Neither here nor there.

There is also a debate about whether or not saturated fat causes heart disease. The debate is swinging in favour of the fat heads, and more specifically, understanding that you only need to avoid manufactured fats and not be scared of the good stuff.

I should say that I’m not a health expert. But I do find the controversies surrounding weight loss, health and diet very interesting, and I want to share this information in case anyone out there is interested in a dose of self experimentation…

5 reasons why strength training works for me

For a long time, I thought that the best and fastest way to lose weight was to do some serious cardio.

So I dutifully went to the gym, ran on the treadmill until I nearly destroyed my knee, cycled on the stationary bike while reading Cosmo magazine and worked out my anger issues by jumping around to cheesy music during aerobics.

I would feel great after my workouts, sleep better and generally enjoy the post work-out rush.

But I never lost any weight. Not a single kilo. Not even a few centimeters off my generous middle.

I would give up by the third week, start making excuses about why I could not go to the gym,  experience crushing guilt because I had paid so much for the damn membership, then go back for another three week spurt of intensive exercise, all leading to nothing.

But after I got my diet sorted out and actually started losing weight, I started working out at home. With videos that I found on the internet because I knew, at the back of my mind, that I would never live up to my gym membership expectations.

Since I  had really enjoyed doing yoga in India, that’s what I started with.

Here are 5 reasons why I love strength training (aka everything that isn’t cardio):

1. Fewer reasons not to do it

Some people enjoy the whole gym routine. Getting your bag, rushing from the office/school/home to catch your favorite class. Secretly competing with the guy next to you.

Me, not so much.

I find that there are too many built in excuses (too much traffic, I have that assignment due tomorrow, I’m going for a drink with my friends…) in this routine. Working out at home, on the other hand, is different.

Sometimes when I’m feeling really lazy I will do a ten minute power yoga session. Other days I will do 20 minutes of core work, or 35 minutes of weights. The point is, it’s easy to find little gaps of time to work out.

My favorite is as I wait for my dinner to get ready, or just before I take my evening shower.

Also, the fact that you begin to see improvements in your performance, flexibility and muscle tone almost immediately is a strong incentive to keep doing what you are doing.

2. Value for your time

To be honest, it is not very easy losing weight just by exercising alone. Especially if you are a woman. But strength training is different, because your body is very good at responding by packing on some muscle.

Mind you, I’m not talking about looking like a body builder here.

I’m talking about toned arms, that line that runs down your back, and an ass that has reclaimed its natural, perky as a peach  shape.

Another benefit is that you can also ditch those firming creams meant to get rid of the ‘orange peel’ effect.

You will not get that by running on a treadmill. You could, from playing basketball. (But be honest, we aren’t in high school anymore.) Or, more realistically,  just by doing 20 to 30 minutes a week of strength training two or three times a week.

Assuming, of course, that you are watching what you eat.

3. Variety

I’m using the word strength training here to include all the stuff that involves working your muscles by exhausting them, either with added weights or using your own body weight, which has lots of benefits.

So, yoga, power yoga, hot yoga, yoga-lates, pilates, circuit training, HIT, HIIT, tabata, metabolic training, the Women’s Health workouts, the list is endless.

And if you have a decent internet connection, you can find something out there that you will like and that will suit your level of fitness. (I’m still on that thing that came before fiber optic. Do you even remember what that feels like???? smh)

4. You won’t get rabidly hungry

If you ever played sports in high school, trained for a marathon or otherwise committed yourself to some serious exercise, you know that intense hunger is your body’s natural reaction to increased physical activity.

This is also one of the reasons why exercise alone will not really help you lose weight (unless you are a young male producing oceans of testosterone…and in that case go away, we hate you.)

Add that to the fact that we vastly overestimate how much we actually burn while working out, and  feel entitled to a post-work out treat and you can see how this whole thing could rapidly become an exercise in futilty.

For example, eating a pack of ‘medium’ fries is enough to erase all the hard work you did during your 45 minute aerobics session)

Check out more comparisons here and here.

However, by no stretch of imagination can I reward myself after a 10, 20 minute work out.

Especially if I barely broke into a sweat.

5. You become more aware of your body

This is especially true if you incorporate some yoga, Pilates or some other form of exercise that emphasizes on repetition and relaxing your body. When I do yoga, my posture naturally improves, the tension around my neck and shoulders disappears and I can literally feel that my muscles are stronger as I go about my daily activities.

I don’t know if that makes sense.

This awareness is also a powerful incentive to keep working out, and often, to push yourself further either by lengthening the duration, trying out something new, or increasing the amounts you do. Mostly without forcing yourself.

The bottom line is, working out is an important part of managing your overall health. Being consistent can be a challenge, especially if you seem to be doing it all for nothing.

That is why it is important to find something that you love doing, and that you can easily incorporate into your lifestyle. For me, that is lifting weights, walking a lot and doing some yoga.

What’s worked in the past?

Marketing magic and your beliefs about food

We all have some pretty rigid beliefs about the food we eat and what we consider a healthy diet. I know this because I have to constantly defend myself for refusing to eat processed carbohydrates in any form, starting with the obvious culprits, like cake, to foods with inexplicably powerful emotional bonds such as bread, rice and pasta.

I often come across many self appointed nutrition experts who feel the need to correct my seriously flawed thinking. Given that arguing with people with deeply set beliefs is futile, I make a few noises and quickly change the subject.

confusion

I started reading  up about on why we are so deeply set in the way we eat today, and how it got that way.  Honestly, we are like rats- we can survive on almost anything: from almost exclusively vegetarian diets,  to diets ultra-high in animal fats, and almost everything in between.

That being said, I present to you some things that really, really should have no place in your kitchen:

Breakfast cereals should not be confused with food

You will find a box of the stuff in many cupboards. Sometimes untouched, but still there, radiating with fibre and iron and goodness. It’s a healthy breakfast. It’s the right thing to do. But is it, really?

Growing up, P&G cornflakes made a welcome change from the monotony of bread and tea every morning. In high school, we all inhaled large quantities of cereal with powdered milk, reminding us that yes, there is more to life than boiled beans and white porridge. That was the end of it for me though.

So, what’s the bid deal about cereal?  Who said we all have to have cereal in the morning? (And why only in the morning?) Is it even worth your money, buying cereal?

Not really.

Basically, cereal starts with a whole grain- like corn, or wheat. Then the germ and skin are removed, to increase shelf life, and then sugar, vitamins, minerals and other stuff are added back in to give it taste, flavour and magical properties.

Cereal was invented by one Mr John H Kellog in the 1800s. John may have been a bit of an uptight fellow: a Seventh day adventist, teetotaller, vegetarian, and for some reason, a man with a very strong interest in constipation and masturbation. He fed tasteless bits of corn flakes to the patients that he had in his health asylum, in between their water and yoghurt enema healing sessions.

His brother, Keith, was less interested in bodily functions, and more concerned about getting rich. He added sugar these flakes, and after fighting with big bro for a while, (who did not want to sell cornflakes to the public) dedicated himself to seriously advertising these Kellog’s cornflakes.

Soon they hopped over into the UK, pouring millions to convince women that modern women and their families have cereal for breakfast, and in the process, killed the traditional (and delicious) cooked breakfast.

Even though I never had Coco Pops until I was about ten, I knew (and still know) their jingles thanks to Cartoon Network. And I bet you do too.

It doesn’t matter if you are eating fluorescent coloured sugar balls or some healthy sounding stuff with bran and extra fibre and iron and everything that will give you eternal life. It’s all nutritionally worthless. This video explains more.

Fat does not make you fat (most of the time)

Fat is delicious. Our bodies crave it because we need it for hormone production, cell development and nice, photoshopped looking skin.

My very unscientific observations have led me to believe that very few cultures in the world traditionally live ‘low fat’.  In fact, several cultures seemed to do just fine on diets made up almost exclusively of animal fat and meat. (Maasai, anyone?)

I was terrified the first time my Nigerian ‘friend’ cooked for me. I mean, it was literally a few pieces of meat floating in a soup made of oil, with more oil for good measure. (The fact that it is a scary orange colour did nothing to appease my fears) Italian cuisine is basically a thinly veiled excuse to drink olive oil, and well, let’s not talk about India and their relationship with ghee here, which is one of the most delicious things you can find on God’s green earth.

Of course, it did not take long before profits came in the way of nutrition. Enter hydrogenated vegetable oils and fats: because they have been seriously altered from their natural state, they are rancid, unstable and  loaded with free radicals to kick your system out of whack and expand your waistline (which is what I strongly suspect is going on in countries that soak everything in oil and are now growing fat).

This includes margarine, which was invented in a laboratory in France. It was a weird colour and everyone was suspicious of it. Then it was dyed yellow, and heavily marketed to convince people that it’s healthy and better than butter. It’s not.

Low Fat Diet

So, rule of thumb, if it cannot be made without industrial machinery and extreme heating, it should not be ingested.Seriously, ghee, butter, palm oil, coconut oil, even blocks of animal fat are better than grain based versions.

Low fat anything is a crime against nature

I hate low-fat products. I’m suspicious of them because this whole ‘low-fat’ idea sounds unnatural to me. According to the food chart rammed down our throats since our home science days, fats should only make a small portion of your diet. And if you want to lose weight, ditch the fats.

All well and good. Except that it’s very difficult to live without fat. Yoghurt, ice-cream, cheese, and even just getting your vegetables not to stick to the pan and burn is impossible. Plus crunchy, delicious chicken skin. And a nice, grilled piece of red meat sizzling and dripping in fat.

Enter low-fat creations that solve the problem: take out the fat. Add sugar and chemicals with unpronounceable names so that your body can get the same hit from the food as before. Ignore the small fact that sugar is processed in the liver, like alcohol and other toxins that your body clears out. Never mind that it is addictive and completely ruins your natural appetite control.Release to the general population that is under the impression that they can eat low fat to lose weight.

One thing though, that combination of fat, sugar and comforting carbohydrates hits the brain’s sweet spot, and will definitely cause a nice little spread around the middle. But for better health, less carbs, less food products and more fat!

Learn more about sugar’s all powerful, all evilness here.

How to set yourself up for success (Sidestep the holiday guilt and overcompensation.)

Christmas/New Year is the only holiday that I truly love (unlike the rest, which are really just days off from routine..) There is Christmas itself, with that warm happy feeling you get, being with your friends, family and everyone is determined to outshine each other’s Christmas parties.

And then there is New Year’s when you remember all the good and the bad times from the year, and you are full of hope for the next year- you know, because this time you will be perfect and awesome and everything will be amazing.

For about 7 years straight, I would set myself a new goal: lose weight. Then I would dream about how skinny and fabulous I would be. If I did it for 7 years, you can imagine just how successful I was in this area. This year, that goal will not appear on my list. Finally.

Here are a couple of things to consider if you want to take advantage of New Year’s surging hope to set yourself up for success when it comes to weight-loss:

Health is a decision, not a goal

Leave the SMART stuff in the boardroom. Getting healthy (and losing weight) is a decision that has to be committed to. If the internet is to be believed, losing weight is pretty easy. Just go on an ice-cream diet and let that lactose intolerance take care of the rest.

The thing about losing weight is that it’s hard, and it takes time. A lot of time. You are fighting against years of habits, your own body’s resistance to shedding fat, hormone imbalances and the general shittiness that is life sometimes. (Who cares about losing weight when you can’t find a job? Or when you are fighting with your boyfriend?)

But once you decide to make your health a priority, you can begin to make adjustments that will gradually move you towards what you want to be. The other day, I attended a Christmas party. The table was loaded with chocolate and sugary desserts. If I was on diet, I might have had a few and then gone home and beaten myself up about it. But the reality is, people will keep inviting me out to eat crap with them. So I had coffee and took pictures. And if not now, then when?

Get yourself informed

Nutritional information is a mess right now. Your skinny friends will tell you to eat as much as you want and then do sit ups. You might be tempted to buy some weight loss tea.

Prophets on the internet will cry out: stop eating meat! Go vegetarian! No, meat is good for you!  Count your calories! Don’t count them, do cardio four hours a week! Don’t eat starchy foods! Eat starchy foods! Snack throughout the day! Eat only three times!

Jesus Christ. I can say that only three things are the solid truth:

1. You are what you eat: If you are overweight, you are probably eating too many calories. That’s a fact.(I spent several years convincing myself that actually it’s my genetics. It wasn’t). They could be from food, alcohol or all that other stuff we like to drink that isn’t water. Figure that shit out.

2. Exercise is good for you: My doctor informed me that exercise is not really the most important part of weight loss. And that 80% of your body composition actually comes from what you eat.

That being said, regular exercise helps in subtle ways: it releases hormones that make you feel good, helps stabilize your insulin levels, improves your circulation and a host of other things that move you closer to optimum health. But remember: unless you will spend 5 or 6 hours every week doing high intensity sprints, no way in hell are you going to ‘burn’ all the excess calories you consume.

3. Sugar is not your friend: Too much glucose in your blood can be life threatening, which is why we produce insulin, which helps your body convert excess sugar into fat. Basically, too much sugar in your diet wrecks havoc with your insulin levels, which in turn ruin your natural appetite control, which makes you eat more and more without your body stopping you.

But it doesn’t stop there: our brains respond to sugar in the same way as if we were taking drugs. (Complex explanation and easier to read one) This hormonal chaos explains why we crave chocolate, and not cabbage.

Obvious suspects like table sugar and fizzy drinks aside, there is one more enemy lurking out there: refined carbohydrates. Stripped of fibre, all that is left in flour, maize meal, pasta and bread is…yep..sugar.

The good news is, the less sugar you have in your diet, the less you crave it.

4.Get some support: I have almost no self control. I know this. In any case, it took a medical professional to sit me down and set me straight. If you can, get a partner. If not, subscribe to blogs online. My two favourite are Mark and Erika . Of course, I use my own judgement and pick and choose what information works for me..but still, information is power.

Don’t stress too much. Don’t set crazy goals and don’t beat yourself up about it. When it comes to good health, focus on the little habits. They are the ones that count.

Merry Christmas!

Going on a binge: the anatomy of self destructive behaviour

Up until recently, I used to drink a lot. Enough to be classified as a binge drinker (according to those ridiculously low thresholds set by fun killing scientists and doctors.) I did not have a drinking problem or anything, but I have enough embarrassing memories in my shame box to keep me warm for the rest of my days, and a few people out there who will never have any respect for me. Youth…

mmm, look at my problems dissolving away

mmm, look at my problems dissolving away

Like many introverts, I used alcohol to make it easier to deal with crowds and parties that seemed to be the only way to socialize and let off some steam. But like this article candidly discusses, I’m not alone. And if anything, my escapades are nothing compared to what some crazies out there get up to on the regular.

So anyway, I decided to drink less, for the extremely profound reason that I wanted to lose weight. It worked, and it worked very well.

Until I stumbled on a new problem. Binge eating.

binge

Booze was great for dealing with (and causing) unhappiness and depression. What better way to unwind after a long day than with a glass of wine? (yeah, fuck it, the whole bottle actually…)

But once I stopped this, I noticed that every once in a while, I would go off and systematically work my way through terrifying large amount of junk.  In retrospect, it’s actually quite scary. On more than one occasion,  I have methodically eaten a box of cookies, a bag of buns and other crap that I would never ever have touched in my previous life.

Why?

Binge eating is not about satisfying a craving. It’s not even about hunger. It’s not the same as over eating because you went out for dinner and you just couldn’t resist.

It’s exactly like drinking, except that instead of a hangover the next day, you have to deal with a bloated system and that sickly feeling that comes from a sugar overdose.

Even worse is that, you only have a narrow window where you decide to start eating or not. I call this the trigger moment. And it can be incredibly stupid. An annoying comment from a friend. Feelings of guilt about something that you should not have done.

Having painfully developed enough self awareness to recognize the signs, I can stop myself more often than not. But sometimes I don’t. And then the rampage begins and I literally eat everything in my path.

After this comes what I call the spiral.

alice in wonderlandAfter loading yourself with several days worth of calories, you get upset with yourself. And then, paradoxically, continue for a couple more days, because, hey everything is lost and you will never succeed at anything.

This kind of thinking is pointless and this is where all those self help books I read come in handy. This is the only thing you need to know and do if you struggle with binge eating:

Move on. Get back to your life and normal routine as if nothing ever happened. Don’t starve yourself. Don’t exercise harder. Don’t think about the damage that you have done. Don’t try and calculate how much you ate or if you will get fat again.

If you have to, think about what set you off. Really think about it. And then it’s back to business as usual.

Because life’s a bitch like that. You win some, you lose some, but you keep working till you get there.

The truth about carbohydrates

Like many people, I have been on an on and off battle with my weight for most of my life. The problem started when I was in high school: life kind of sucked for me, and I basically  ate to make myself feel better. 

Not the most original story. 

Anyway, I grew older and I learnt about vegetables and how awesome they are. So I ate lots of vegetables and went to the gym. And never lost any weight. Rinse and repeat for three or four years. 

This year, I spoke to a dietician who explained to me why my diet is so important for weight loss. Over the years, I had picked up a lot of false beliefs such as:

  • you can eat anything, you just need to work out
  • you have to eat carbohydrates (and by this I mean starchy stuff) otherwise your body will go into starvation
  • eat whenever you are hungry
  • calorie counting is a guarantee for failure
  • alcohol has little to do with weightloss. So, i’m going to have a salad and then drink this bottle of wine. Alone.

I will deal with carbohydrates today. Up until this point, I had no idea that fruits and vegetables actually count as carbohydrates. Not only are they carbs, but they are the best and purest form of carbs that our bodies need. The rest, are details.

 

But obviously, I’m not an idiot.Look at this food chart below:

Image

 

People who promote low carb diets use the chart below to justify their cause (as they flaunt their lean, fat free physiques at us):

Image

 

Behind this chart is a detailed story about sugar, insulin and our bodies. I will talk about that later because I think that the facts speak for themselves. But right now, it is enough to say that if you want to lose weight and keep it off, the goal should be about 100g of carbs a day. How hard is that? Look at the carbohydrate content of fruit below:

Image

 

 

A couple of bananas, an apple, a few grapes. I can choose whatever I like and my body will have enough energy to function.  In contrast, one cup of pasta has about 50g of carbs. Rice, more or less the same amount. And bread, whether wholewheat, multigrain or just plain white has about 13 g per slice. So if we are following conventional wisdom, we end up eating more than 200g of carbs everyday.

Which is fine if you work on a construction site. Not so much if you sit at your desk all day.

And this is why I swore off starches. No more pasta for me.