Reader’s Question: When you say “no carbohydrates,” do you mean ALL carbs? What about good carbs?
Dr. Glenn Rothfeld: If you’ve been reading my eTips for a while now, you know that I’m a fan of the Paleo Diet – which focuses on animal (and fish) proteins and lots of vegetables with beans, nuts, legumes, healthy oils, and some fruit.
It eliminates processed and packaged foods as well as refined sugars and carbohydrates.
Many of my patients sneer at me when I suggest they change their diets in ANY way. After all, people – especially people of a certain age – don’t much like change.
But when the change involves giving up carbohydrates… well, you’d think I’d just taken away for their reason for living.
I certainly hope you’re living for more than the dinner bread basket!
But still, for many of my patients, cutting out carbohydrates sounds like a punishment – when, in fact, it’s actually a GIFT!
Those soft and warm buns, white bread and pasta not only increase insulin, but they can also lead to weight gain… as well as a higher risk for heart disease, circulatory problems, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Feeling a little foggy in the head? It might be the carbs. (There’s a reason why Alzheimer’s is also known as “Type 3 diabetes” – and you can bet a lot of it has to do with how many carbohydrates are in the diets of those afflicted.)
Some people think that anything that says “whole grain” must be good for you, but even whole grain breads, cereals, pastas, etc. can have a pretty high glycaemic index.
And any type of grain – even “whole” – can disrupt your gut flora (including creating some not-so-pleasant fungal and yeasty problems).
I can’t tell you how many of my patients’ “mystery symptoms” all but disappear once they’ve gone Paleo and cut the carbohydrates out.
Now, cutting carbohydrates might make you feel not-so-good at first, because they feed the “bad guys” in your gut – and when you deprive, for instance, yeast of their “food,” they become quite unhappy and can actually cause cravings for sugar and starches.
I find the key is to pair your daily probiotic with prebiotics – dietary fibres and oligosaccharides that are technically a type of carbohydrate! They feed the GOOD bacteria in your intestine, allowing THEM to multiply and be healthy and shifting your gut’s balance between good versus evil in the right direction.
Prebiotics are available in supplement form, which is an easy way to make sure you’re getting enough of them. But prebiotic-rich foods like dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, and onions are also a delicious addition to mealtime.
And if you find yourself DYING for a starchy fix, feel free to feast on a little sweet potato.
Have a question for me? Drop me a line at email@example.com and I might answer yours next.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing