Carbohydrates and health - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 11-12-2016, 12:53 PM
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Carbohydrates and health

Carbohydrate-rich whole foods - such as beans, whole grains, and fruit - are recommended by every mainstream health organization.

The American Heart Association recommends whole grains, which are rich in carbohydrates: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Health...49_Article.jsp . A popular whole grain, brown rice, includes 85% of its calories as carbohydrates: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/...d-pasta/5707/2

The American Diabetes Association lists beans at the top of its "Top 10 Superfoods" list: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...uperfoods.html . Pinto beans, a popular type of bean, includes 74% of its calories as carbohydrates: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts...roducts/4430/2

The American Council on Exercise recommends whole grains, which are rich in carbohydrates: https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fi...ntastic-fiber/

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the world's largest association of Registered Dietitians and other nutritional professionals) recommends whole grains, which are rich in carbohydrates: http://www.eatright.org/resource/foo...family-healthy


Diets that are high in carbohydrate-rich whole foods have been shown to be effective for weight loss. An often-cited peer-reviewed study is "A Low-Fat Vegan Diet Improves Glycemic Control and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Randomized Clinical Trial in Individuals With Type 2 Diabetes" : http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/29/8/1777 . In this 5-month intervention study of people with diabetes, people were placed on a low-fat vegan diet, with 75% of calories from carbohydrates. No calorie-restrictions were mandated, yet people still lost weight. The American Diabetes Association references these findings on its "Meal Planning for Vegetarians" webpage: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fit...r-vegetarians/ .


To quote the American Diabetes Association:

“A vegetarian diet is a healthy option, even if you have diabetes. Research supports that following this type of diet can help prevent and manage diabetes. In fact, research on vegan diets has found that carbohydrate and calorie restrictions were not necessary and still promoted weight loss and lowered participants' A1C”


Several peer-reviewed studies have shown that higher intakes of whole grains (a high-carbohydrate whole food) are associated with lower body weight. Here are a few such studies:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/96/3/483.full

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/6/1745.long

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/2/390.full


Even potatoes, among the starchiest of foods, have not been shown to cause obesity or type 2 diabetes: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/104/2/489.abstract
(note: fried potatoes ARE associated with obesity and other health problems).


In contrast, carbohydrate-rich processed foods are not recommended by any mainstream health organization.



Based on this ample evidence, I think it's safe to say that high-carbohydrate whole foods are healthy.

Mainstream health organizations recommend that vegan diets include legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and small amounts of nuts and/or seeds (See this vegan nutrition guide, from Kaiser Permanente: https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/w...et-booklet.pdf ). Carbohydrates are the calorie-foundation of such a diet.

As with any eating style, one should not overconsume total calories.
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Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 11-12-2016 at 03:37 PM.
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#2 Old 11-12-2016, 01:54 PM
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Note: I started this thread in order to present the overwhelming evidence that high-carbohydrate, whole-food diets are healthy. Periodically on VeggieBoards, individuals raise concerns about the high carbohydrate content of vegan diets. Some people are reluctant to base their diets around foods like lentils and brown rice, for fear that they will gain weight or become diabetic. Evidence from several studies shows that, assuming that you don't overconsume total calories, a low-fat, high-carbohydrate, whole-foods diet will very likely help you to lose weight, and to avoid type 2 diabetes.

Note #2: On this and other vegetarian forums, I've occasionally seen people report that they gained weight on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate, whole-foods vegetarian diet. Upon further questioning, those individuals (1) were underweight to begin with, and actually would benefit from some weight gain, or (2) were eating a fruit-dominated, "30 Bananas A Day" type diet.

Proponents of the "30 Bananas A Day" diet recommend that women consume a minimum of 2500 calories per day (http://www.30bananasaday.com/forum/t...referably-free ). That is too many calories for all but the tallest or most physically-active women! (calorie-needs calculator: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-li...r/itt-20084939 )

On the "30 Bananas A Day" diet, this high food (and calorie) intake is necessary because (1) fruit is extremely low in protein, and therefore (2) very high fruit consumption is necessary in order to meet protein-intake recommendations. One banana only contains about 1.3 grams of protein (https://www.google.com/#q=banana+nutrition ), and a 130-pound woman is recommended to consume at least 47 grams of protein per day (http://fnic.nal.usda.gov/fnic/interactiveDRI/ ). This would require 36 bananas, for a total of 3600 calories per day!

The "30 Bananas A Day" diet, and other fruit-dominated diets, are not recommended by any mainstream vegan organization, nor by any mainstream health organization.
.

_________

Specific recommendations for a healthy diet include: eating more fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and grains; cutting down on salt, sugar and fats. It is also advisable to choose unsaturated fats, instead of saturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids."
- United Nations' World Health Organization
http://www.who.int/topics/diet/en/

Last edited by David3; 11-12-2016 at 02:47 PM.
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#3 Old 11-12-2016, 07:32 PM
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When I eat mostly raw I have much better blood sugars than doing what the doctors tell me. Then when I told my GP he told me not to come back ever.
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Last edited by cherries; 11-12-2016 at 07:44 PM.
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#4 Old 11-12-2016, 09:51 PM
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I've lost 2.6 stone of prednisone weight just the past six months only by counting calories and making sure I eat more whole grains on a vegetarian diet.

That was all, I'm still eating whatever I like I just adjust my portions to the right size. It's a fine way to live.
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#5 Old 11-13-2016, 05:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidhuriel View Post
I've lost 2.6 stone of prednisone weight just the past six months only by counting calories and making sure I eat more whole grains on a vegetarian diet.

That was all, I'm still eating whatever I like I just adjust my portions to the right size. It's a fine way to live.
My partner just came off prednisone again a few months ago and this time had packed on a ton of weight, mostly around the middle. He has always been rail thin for years so it's been alarming. He is now quite overweight. I've been after him a lot lately to eat healthier because he can no longer get away with some of the bad habits he took for granted before. He used to guzzle three bottles of Mountain Dew a day (I abhor soda pop and have personally avoided it since 2008) but now has been soda pop free for two weeks. Just from doing that, he's lost a few lbs. It's tough going losing weight after prednisone, so hats off to you!


Interestingly, I coded my first case of a vegan in the hospital this last week. I have coded thousands of charts and had only seen one vegetarian come in for anemia once. I see many many labs done and glucose is almost always too high in the patients that have labs done in the hospital. All are omnis, and not all of them are overweight nor do they come in for diet related reasons. Some are actually quite thin. So anyway, this older woman came in who had been vegan for decades. She recently ended up eating meat again due to financial circumstances and needing food donated from a well known organization (not going to name it for privacy). Within a few weeks of eating meat she became sick with constant digestive issues and hence the hospital. Because she had been so healthy for so long, her medical record history is sparse, a rarity for someone of that age. But her labs, oh my they were like perfect! Also a rarity.

My labs too are always excellent as a vegan, fasting glucose included (which I have had done with free employee cholesterol screenings etc). I'm all about whole grains, potatoes, beans, fruits and veggies.
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#6 Old 11-13-2016, 09:46 AM
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I recently ordered The Starch Solution and I'm hoping it arrives tomorrow. I love carbs!
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#7 Old 11-13-2016, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naturebound View Post
Just from doing that, he's lost a few lbs. It's tough going losing weight after prednisone, so hats off to you!

My labs too are always excellent as a vegan, fasting glucose included (which I have had done with free employee cholesterol screenings etc). I'm all about whole grains, potatoes, beans, fruits and veggies.
Sorry to hear your partner needs prednisone too, it's an awful drug and the weightgain is sadly impossible to avoid. Though I manage to gain less each time I use it due to experience thankfully.

I'm still quite overweight because I have PCOS and been off and on prednisone for years now (not a good match!) but I finally steadily found a way to lose it

My fasting glucose and even non fasting glucose is also always ''perfect''; even on prednisone! Doctors and nurses are constantly stunned when they see it because I'm overweight, on steroids and have PCOS yet seem to be completely fine when it comes to glucose levels. Has been like that all my life. I consider that a blessing, and who knows it might be because I don't drink pop and am a vegetarian
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#8 Old 01-22-2017, 11:55 PM
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Pretty informative, thanks!!
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