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Sisson Says: Don’t “Loaf” Around

Posted By Mark Sisson On November 6, 2006 @ 4:01 pm In Carbs,Diet,Health,Nutrition,Smart Fuel | 5 Comments


Apples are asking what I think about bread. The short answer: not very much. But this is an ongoing issue worthy of some debate, so let’s get it started:

In general, the best source of carbohydrates is a vegetable, not a grain (unless you are an athlete, in which case, you’re probably just trying to consume as many calories as possible).

Among other things, grains contain lectins [7], a mild toxin (is there such a thing as a mild toxin?). Technically, grains don’t “want” to be your next meal. They didn’t really evolve to be our food source – we humans exploited them when we figured out how easy they were to grow. Consequently, they’re in everything – especially processed foods – because they’re cheap and can be made into just about anything, from sauces to syrups to candies to side dishes.

It’s not for nothing that our ancestors ate [8] only flesh (meat and fish), nuts, roots, fruits and berries, and grabbed at wild greens for fiber. In fact, there’s a whole dietary movement – sometimes called the Caveman diet, sometimes the Paleo diet – we cautiously subscribe to (I’m uncomfortable with extreme diets, though I also am uncomfortable with how we define “extreme”!) Why? Grains are a relatively new thing for humans, and the evidence increasingly points to the notion that this isn’t a good development. If you’re into learning more, check out our Carbs [9] category.

I recommend that you stick to zero grains a day. On the whole, I stick to vegetables for my carbs – I just don’t really “do” carbs. Vegetables have far more vitamins, fiber and minerals than grain-sourced carbohydrates, and they are much lower in calories, giving you room for protein and vital fat. Vegetables also keep your blood sugar levels at a healthy, low level, so you don’t start pumping your pancreas to death.

Scientists point out [10] that the human body was designed to subsist on a mixture of fresh vegetables, good fats (from nuts, fish, oils, and meats), and protein (from fresh meats, beans, a little dairy, and fish). Add in plenty of water, occasional fruit, and you’re set. On the whole, avoid the processed, unnatural, refined, sugary stuff. Try it for just one week [11] and you’ll notice a big difference – really.

Technorati Tags: caveman diet [12], paleolithic diet [13], paleo diet [14], no-grain diet [15], sugar [16], blood sugar [17], grains [18], fiber [19], paleodan [20], anthropology [21]

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[7] grains contain lectins: http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

[8] our ancestors ate: http://www.paleodiet.com/

[9] Carbs: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/category/carbs/

[10] Scientists point out: http://www.earth360.com/diet_paleodiet_balzer.html

[11] Try it for just one week: http://calorielab.com/news/2005/09/12/lost-diet-secrets-of-the-stone-age-revealed

[12] caveman diet: http://technorati.com/tag/caveman+diet

[13] paleolithic diet: http://technorati.com/tag/paleolithic+diet

[14] paleo diet: http://technorati.com/tag/paleo+diet

[15] no-grain diet: http://technorati.com/tag/no-grain+diet

[16] sugar: http://technorati.com/tag/sugar

[17] blood sugar: http://technorati.com/tag/blood+sugar

[18] grains: http://technorati.com/tag/grains

[19] fiber: http://technorati.com/tag/fiber

[20] paleodan: http://technorati.com/tag/paleodan

[21] anthropology : http://technorati.com/tag/anthropology

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