I have always been amazed how our society works when it comes to healthy eating and healthy living. The old food pyramid, used for decades now (as we subsequently grew by pound upon pound as a society), listed carbohydrates as the foundational principle of a healthy diet. Eat the bread! Eat the cereal! Eat the pasta AND the rice!
So America hunkered down on the carbohydrates, all of them, and lots of them, and gained weight, sometimes… many times… becoming obese.
Alongside all that weight gain, the world became a place with more diabetes, higher cholesterol, more physical disabilities caused by arthritis, and cancer.
I’m pretty sure all that carb loading on a normal person with a normal lifestyle caused some sluggishness that in turn created even more weight gain, more health problems, and a lesser quality of life.
I mentioned above that I have always been amazed. What has really amazed me has been the medical response to living a healthy lifestyle. Did you notice my wording there? I said the medical RESPONSE. The medical field responds. (That is kind of after the fact, if I wasn’t clear there.)
So many times, I see people gain weight and struggle with life, and then when they go to their doctor, the advice is to lose weight. The doctor generally doesn’t care HOW, so long as it is not a completely crazy weight loss. Generally, anything will do if weight is lost in any reasonable way at all, and sometimes even unreasonable ways are considered when there are real problems that need quicker results. Usually though, they don’t care. It’s up to you to figure it out.
Well sometimes some doctors do care, especially if they like or promote a particular diet such as a low fat diet or a South Beach Diet or a calorie restricting diet, a wheat free diet, Weight Watchers, or maybe even gastric bypass surgery. Usually though, it’s your game to play at that point.
“Just lose weight”, they usually say, and to their credit at least, many will tell you to find whatever works for you personally. Doctors usually understand not everyone responses well to one certain kind of diet plan alone. Bodies are different. Motivations are different. Weight needs and desires are different. So are people and their likes (and dislikes).
But then watch what most doctors do when the weight is not lost and obesity comes into play, along with a concern the weight is causing a possible health concerns or Prediabetes. What do they tell their now-obese patients?
They say “Eat foods on that are low on the GI Index” (which more or less equates to lower carb intake).
They say “Stop eating the breads… and the cereal… and the rice AND sometimes the pasta”.
They say “Watch your carbs. Limit your carb intake. Eat healthy carbs.”
And they say “Forget that stupid food pyramid”.
“Eat healthy!”, they say.
So this is what has perplexed me about our society. If eating healthy means watching our carb intake, eating foods that do not raise our insulin levels, and eating the right carbs when we are unhealthy, then why isn’t it just as important to watch our carb intake, maintain our insulin levels, and eat the right carbs before we get diabetic to begin with?
Now I am not necessarily advocating a strictly low carb diet, an Atkins diet, a Ketogenic diet, or even a Paleo diet here for all. As I have already said, people are different. People have different needs, and people respond differently. What is more, people will have their likes and dislikes and may stick with one and not something else.
I AM advocating, however, that those who are gaining weight or have gained weight and want to have a better life consider the kind of diet that works for those who are having life problems already by being overweight. I am advocating you consider the diet doctors give to those who are obese and exhibiting problems, the diet the doctors THEN seen to deem as healthy. I am advocating the kind of diet medical professionals will describe, after the fact, as a healthy diet to have a better life.
Basically, I am advocating a lower carb intake that keeps insulin levels in check (does not raise insulin levels which in turn throws off hormones and consequently, in turn, causes weight gain, illnesses, hormonal imbalances, Pre-Diabeties .. and inflammation too by the way).
I am also advocating people who want to lose weight and begin their journey to a better life ahead read up on the advice doctors give their patients AFTER they have become ill, sick, disabled, or diabetic, and that they follow those healthy eating patterns instead of waiting to get worse and then being told about those healthy eating patterns.
It just never made sense to me to have a pyramid of supposedly healthy food choices which has made society fat and then to give overweight, sick people a completely different set of food choices which are supposedly healthy food choices to regain their health after the fact.
Just why don’t we all eat the right way from the beginning? Limit those carbs just a little bit. Eat foods lower on the Glycemic Index. Furthermore, eat to consciously to maintain our insulin levels to keep our entire system in line as god intended it to be.
All in all, let’s find and follow those healthy eating patterns to keep those extra pounds off (or take them off) to being with – before we hear the dreaded words we really don’t want to hear from our doctor!
Changing to that healing diet before we get sick may just save a lot of grief in the long run.
Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. – Proverbs 17:1