Friday, August 7, 2009


Most people think that if you eat something, it should kill hunger. Anything will do. What they do not realize is that different types of food composition have different effects on the body. The net effect of the Standard American Diet (SAD) is to make you tired and hungry.

Carbs, which we have known all along, make you take up water and get puffy. They will kill hunger for awhile, but ultimately, if you have a healthy pancreas, it will kick in insulin to take the sugar out of the blood that came from the carbs. After eating carbs by themselves, you get to the stage, a couple of hours later, where you could kill someone and take their food.

The unfortunate part of this process is that over a lifetime of too many carbs, the pancreas begins to OVERREACT to carbs, making you hungry after you eat them. Years of overeating carbs produces Type 2 diabetes, in which the cells are resistant to glucose, and ultimately can exhaust the pancreas.

Protein is a wonderful muscle builder and hunger killer. When you combine protein exactly with carbs, you are doing a couple of things: slowing down the insulin response to the carbs, and also reducing the number of effective calories you are taking in. If you make your diet with a higher percentage of protein, not only do you kill hunger, but, since it takes 40% of the calories in protein to digest the protein, you are reducing the net calories in your diet.

Carbs and protein together was recommended by the American Diabetic Association for some 50 years. Yes, it is a hassle to make them exactly equal each time you eat. But I would rather do that than shoot so much insulin, which only increases insulin resistance.

So, with a heart-healthy low fat diet (30 gm for most people) and balancing protein and carbs, taking 1 gm carbs and 1 gm protein for each pound of muscle mass, you are giving your body what it needs, and super-nourishing yourself on far fewer calories.

Most people I have worked with cannot believe how full they feel on the 1000 or so calories they are eating on this balanced protein and carb diet. That is because the protein is killing their hunger and slowing down the insulin response to the carbs they eat. (see my post DIET TO NORMALIZE BLOOD SUGAR, and find your sex and height. Eat the recommended targets of fat, protein, and carbs daily to lose weight and normalize blood sugar.)

So, yes, you can get along on far fewer calories, and not be hungry. Food composition is everything.

No comments: