To some, this question may not even have come up. But some people who have purchased Gourmet Nutrition have noticed that so many of the "Anytime" meals in the book are pretty low in carbohydrates.
Doesn't the USDA food guide pyramid suggest that we have 8-12 servings of grains per day? We'll get to that little "back-door deal" in a bit.
But first the reasons for the low carbohydrates in Gourmet Nutrition. Here's the meat of the reasoning.
Muscle gain/loss and fat gain/loss are regulated by hormones. They are not regulated by exercise or diet. Exercise and diet are simply the way we manipulate the hormones.
The greatest energy storing/fat gaining hormone is insulin. Now I'm not trying to demonize insulin, it is needed. Just ask a diabetic. But insulin transports energy into our cells to be used. But what happens when don't use it? That energy is stored as fat.
Insulin is released in the greatest volumes when sugar is eaten. The more simple the sugar, the stronger and faster the insulin response from the pancreas. So insulin is released when you eat pancakes, donuts, whole wheat bread, apples and oranges. Any sugar will activate an insulin release.
Now one of the main things I've told people in the past is that they need to have whole grains instead of refined grains. I have slowly began to step away from that to an EVEN MORE conservative position by saying we should minimize or even ELIMINATE GRAINS from our diets. Instead the sugars we eat need to come from fruits and vegetables. Grains are a great source of carbohydrates if we need a lot of them. However, unless you are have a job that relies on a lot of heavy manual labor, you won't need that many.
But now I'll ask some of you to take it a step further: vegetables should out number fruits 2-to-1. You'll still be getting 2-3 pieces of fruit daily, But some fruits have a high sugar content. A high sugar content, no matter the source will have a strong insulin release and as a result, begin to store the energy in the form of fat if not used almost quickly.
What are some of these fruits? Any fruit that has above 10g of sugar per serving should be only eaten once or twice per day. Examples of these are apples (12 g of sugar), banana (20 g), cherries (13 g), dates (73 g), grapes (15 g), mango (15), persimmon (19 g), and pomegranate (17g).
Instead try to eat fruits and vegetables that are very low in sugars: strawberries (5 g), peaches (8 g), passion fruit (6 g), grapefruit (7 g), cranberry (4 g), carrots (2 g), avocado (7 g), watermelon (8 g) and cantaloupe (6 g). There are many, many others.
However, just about every vegetable you can think of (aside from potatoes and yams) will have a very low sugar content. Remember, we want to control insulin. And the way we do this is by minimizing sugar and increasing exercise along with protein and consumption of unsaturated fats. If you look at the Gourmet Nutrition nutrient breakdown for each meal, you'll see that the "anytime meals" have fewer than 20 g of total carbohydrates per small serving.
So give that no-grain diet a try and load your diet with meats, dairy, fish, nuts, beans, vegetables and fruits. You'll be glad you did!
Tomorrow I'll tell you why the USDA "recommends" why we should have such a high whole grain intake. It has do with money.