Wildly popular is the low carb diet and for good reason. Simple carbohydrates, nutrients that are
composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, are high on the glycemic index and having been getting a lot of attention lately as the cause of most of our health issues. Simple carbs are fruits and fruit juices, table sugar, corn syrups, and all foods that are refined and processed. Simple carbs are addicting and result in constant feelings of hunger and cravings that never seem to go away. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, have fiber in them such as greens, squash, broccoli and are low on the glycemic index and have considerably less impact on our blood sugar. Many diets recommend 60 per cent of your diet be composed of carbs. The proponents of these diets are living in the past where sugar was glorified and fat demonized. These recommendations have led to the demise of our health and well-being. It is carbohydrates that have led to our obesity epidemic, crisis in health due to nutrient deficiencies, fatty liver disease and diabetes. In fact, when people rely on carbs to get their nutrition their deficient bodies will pull nutrients from their bones to get what they need. It may be surprising to you, that our bodies are composed of only 2 per cent carbohydrates and inside the human body there is only one teaspoon of glucose. These facts alone should make one realize that overloading the body with carbs just doesn’t make sense. Another fact is that if you didn’t eat any carbs your body could make sugar on its own, converting some of the protein and fats you consume, to glucose.
One way to check how your body reacts to carbs is to use a glucometer. This is the same device
diabetics use to test their blood sugar. You can do your own experiment by testing blood sugar before and after eating a carbohydrate to see how your body responds and what you can tolerate. If blood sugar takes a big spike you’re body may not be tolerating sugars well and these foods should be avoided to prevent becoming diabetic.
Some points to consider regarding eating carbohydrates:
* Healthy carbs like leafy green vegetables, non-starchy vegetables, and berries can provide a
quick fuel source, are full of fiber, help lubricate our joints and feed our good gut bacteria.
* Try to eat as many colours of vegetables when in season and eat local and organic when
* If you can tolerate some carbs eat whole fruits versus juices. If you are diabetic think of fruit as natures candy and avoid it. Like vegetables eat fruit low in sugar , in season and organic.
Strawberries are excellent for you but buy organic as most are full of pesticides.
* If you add a healthy fat to your fruit it will blunt the effect of the sugar. Strawberries and
whipped cream anyone!
* All sugars even “healthy sugars” are sugar to our bodies. It can’t tell the difference between
white sugar and honey. They are equally high on the glycemic index. They may have other
nutrient benefits but if you have carbohydrate intolerance you need to avoid them all, even my
favourite, maple syrup.
* Incorporate fermented foods into your diet to replenish your intestines with good healthy
bacteria and help you absorb minerals properly. Only buy fermented foods that are found in the
refrigerated section of your grocery store and introduce them slowly to avoid gas and bloating.
In conclusion, we now know that healthy fats are good for us and we need to limit our carbs particularly those refined sugary types. I recommend a gradual approach to eliminating carbs to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms that often mimic the flu. Sugar is like a drug and it is one that does a lot of damage to our body and our brains so we all need to make this change.
Mary Newport, MD author of The Coconut Oil and Low Carb Solution, educates us on how diet and the use of high energy foods can nourish and protect our brain. She started her research on her own husband who had early onset Alzheimers. His decline stsrted when he was 51 and resulted in an inability to do even the simplist of tasks. In her quest to help him she discovered a drug that comtained medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) oil and decided to try coconut oil which contains MCT instead of the pharmaceutical version. She new that this type of oil is partly converted in the liver to ketones, an alternative fuel for brain cells. She added 2 tbsp. of coconut oil to her husbands diet which led to a dramatic response/improvement in his cognitive abilities. She then went on to share her results with others who had the same result in most cases. To learn more from Dr. Newport check out www.coconutketones.com.
So now that we are informed, how do we add Coconut Oil or MCT oil into our diet? Here are some suggestions for use:
1. Coconut oil contains lactic acid which has anti-macrobial properties whereas in MCT it has been removed. MCT oil is tasteless and odourless. There is a suggestion that Alzheimers may be caused by bacteria so if this turns out to be a factor coconut oil itself would be more beneficial. To date improvement has been seen with both types of oil. A combination of the two, 4 parts MCT with 1 part coconut oil, seems to have the best results.
2. Consistency is key. Consume everyday, several times a day.
3. Coconut oil in combination with a low ccarbohydrate diet, or keto diet, is more successful as Alzheimers is now know as diabetes of the brain. Getting rid of sugar is key.
4. Coconut oil is easily available in grocery stores. It does not matter whether you buy refined or organic (although they may have more nutrient value) but never buy partially hydrogenated oil as it will contain harmful transfats. Read the label.
5. Shelf life of coconut oil is long, at least 2 years at room temperature. No need to refridgerate.
6. Also coconut oil can be heated up to about 350 degrees or smoking level and is unaffected by microwaving.
7. It is recommended to start slowly ingesting coconut oil as it can lead to indigestion or even sudden diarrhea.
8. It is totally acceptable to work up to 3 to 6 tablespoons a day to achieve ketosis.
9. A fun food idea is to use it in your coffee or tea, often referred to as a bullet coffee, or use in salad dressings, or to fry your eggs or vegetables in.
10. Coconut oil improves our absorption of magnesium and calcium so is helpful to prevent osteoporosis. This is important for those who don't eat dairy or are lactose intolerant.
Coconut oil has many health benefits. Those who are more likely to benefit from using it are those who have or at risk of neurodegenerative diseases and those who have pre-diabetes or have type 1 or 2 diabetes, people who are bipolar disease, memory issues or brain fog but all of us at all ages can benefit from this healthy fat as it boost our immune system, helps us control weight, lowers cholesterol and moisturizes our skin.