When you hear the word carbs, what comes to mind?
But that is far from the truth.
I got more clarity when, recently, I was in conversation with Dr. James Krystosik, AKA Dr. Good Carbs, or Dr. J. He recently wrote a book titled ‘Carbs from Heaven, Carbs from Hell.‘ which was the background of our conversation.
The talk revolved around carbs and diet, the immune system, and gut health which Dr. J says is akin to the ‘Grand Central station’ of our body. So even if you’re not dealing with a severe auto-immune disorder, this will be an eye-opener as it was for me.
Dr. J has studied with some of the most outstanding leaders in functional medicine over the years – with people like Dr. Jeffery Bland, Dr. Esselstyn, and Dr. Whitaker – names that some of you will recognize.
He has been to many seminars with Dr. Mark Hyman of The Cleveland Clinic, which now has a functional medicine department for maybe eight to 10 years; the subject that Dr. J has been talking about since 1986.
Carbs? Here’s the full story…
Carbs are the body’s primary source of fuel. Yet, today, people fear carbs so much that you could literally rob a bank by holding up a piece of bread!
People have been duped literally into thinking that carbs are a problem. It is time that people are educated about carbs.
Carbs are of two types:
- simple carbs, and
- complex carbs.
These are things like glucose and fructose. If you think of a pearl – let’s make it real simple – and you have a couple of pearls strung together, that’s a simple carbohydrate. And, if you put together a whole string of pearls, that’s complex.
Unfortunately, Americans mostly get simple carbs, which are ‘carbs from hell‘. The average simple carbohydrates come from things like white bread and white rice that have had the fiber stripped away from them.
‘The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead!‘ So stay away from white bread.
Those things could be eaten in moderation. But the problem is, there are so many of those simple carbs in our food supply that they become a detriment to us. A little bit of honey’s good once in a while or a little bit of raw cane sugar; these are good things you could have and can enjoy.
But when you start to have them at excessive levels as the average American does, that’s where the problem begins.
So, simple carbs are really problematic. They’re quickly absorbed into the blood, spiking your blood sugar. that makes you feel energetic for a while, but then you plummet.
And if you do that all day long, week after week, month after month, year after year, you start to develop a very overwhelming burden on your pancreas. And then develop diabetes.
We have diabetes at epidemic levels. The World Health Organization says that by the year 2030, we will not have enough dollars in our medical system to be able to treat all the people with diabetes.
The next one is the complex carbohydrates, which are ‘carbs from heaven‘.
So, when people bash carbs, they’re literally bashing all carbs, and you need to look at and distinguish between the carbs from heaven and those from hell.
The former has the full matrix – the three-dimensional matrix of fiber, minerals and vitamins, and the phytochemicals. All those things together make them a complex carbohydrate that God has put together to help us in short-term health and long-term health. And that’s the key.
And the average American is not eating that; they’re eating a lot of these simple, refined carbohydrates. They’re adulterated.
And they’re perverted from what nature intended.
The United States Department of Agriculture said that the simple carbohydrates in these white flours, white bread, and white rice are as bad as the sugars themselves. These refined carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels as much as refined white sugar or white rice.
On the other hand, the complex carbohydrates in whole grains like brown rice, whole-wheat bread, keen-wah, beans, and lagoons all have the three-dimensional matrix mentioned earlier. Therefore, they help to keep the blood sugar stable and protect our heart and blood pressure – from all epidemic levels of diseases that we have here in this country.
The 3 Principles – Common sense, Science, and Nature
And this is serious. We got to really start to take care of our health and look at these things from three principles –
- common sense,
- backed up by good solid science and
- cooperation with nature. We can’t fool mother nature; got to cooperate with her.
Food is your medicine.
What if medicine could take a cancer cell and diffuse it, like a bomb expert diffuses a bomb, or be able to take a cancer cell and turn it into a healthy cell, reverse heart disease, lower blood pressure, and cure diabetes?
If there were a drug like that, the drug industry would have billions of dollars and billions of people just flooding to buy that drug. And do you know what that drug is? It’s called food.
And it’s called carbs, complex carbs. Research, stacks of it, shows that these kinds of carbs, literally our food, are medicine, just as Socrates said that food is your medicine 2000 years ago!
Food has messages. It’s information. Food is information to our bodies. And that food can be translated into a message of good health or disease, depending on the ones we choose to put in our mouths.
Every bite you take is a life or death decision.
And the Americans are digging their graves with their teeth.
We have a choice to take charge of our health and get information, as we talked about earlier—education before medication.
So let’s get back to the common-sense element.
Now have you heard of blue zones?
The Blue Zones
National Geographic, in 2010, actually had published a study they had put together by hiring some of the world’s best scientists. So we’re talking about immunologists, cardiologists, epidemiologists, endocrinologists, and statisticians.
By studying various populations around the world, they discerned that five regions of the world had the healthiest people. So when they had all these areas of the world mapped out with these little dots on maps of the world, they literally took a blue marker and connected the dots to find these five regions. So that’s why they are called the blue zones.
And by the way, one of them was Loma Linda, California. The other four were Ikaria, Greece, Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa in Japan, and Costa Rica.
They found that these people had a golden thread that ran through their whole diet and lifestyle. And there were several principles, but one of the major principles was diet. They all ate a very high amount of carbohydrates. About 75 to 90% of their diet was carbohydrates – would you believe that?
And these people had a very low incidence of chronic epidemics that we have at epidemic levels.
While we were just like enamored by that whole idea that it was carbohydrates that these people were eating, in America, we had just the beginnings of the Atkins craze. And people were starting to bash carbs and say they were the problem.
These scientists proved that it wasn’t carbs in general but refined carbohydrates. And amongst various reasons like the amount of saturated fat Americans were eating, the lack of exercise, and all the other things, diet was the premiere. And all these people in the blue zones ate the complex carbohydrates.
And so, the blues zones are an excellent example of common sense. These people have been eating this way for thousands of years. And they’ve had this tradition where at mealtime they consume these foods that they enjoy – carbohydrates, which in Italy is pasta, in Costa Rica, rice, in Okinawa, sweet potatoes and, Greece, bread, and potatoes. And yet these people had great health.
So, when we use that principle of common sense, we see that you don’t have to limit carbs because the amount of obesity in the country before 1950 was very minimal. Less than 3% of the population had obesity and ate carbs off the wazoo.
And they were eating lower amounts of protein, primarily a plant-based diet. And by the way, in Ikaria, Greece, on average a month, they were eating about 250 different plants, could you imagine?
And that’s the key – getting diversity in your diet because that’s going to interplay inside of what’s going on in your gut too. We’ll talk about that when we get into the science aspect.
So, common sense is a critical issue. The average person is not using common sense; their doctor doesn’t use common sense. So we’ve got to look at that element as a key—a secret to having short-term and long-term health.
The Pima Indians
Another common sense thing is when we look at the Pima Indians. Pima Indians were originally in Mexico and lived in the mountains and the desert. So they had two different areas. And these people were extraordinarily healthy.
When they first migrated to the United States, they had a drought in the mountains; they had less than 1% of their population with obesity – less than 1%! Diabetes was almost non-existent. Cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s – these things that we see at epidemic levels here in this country – were virtually non-existent.
When they migrated to the United States, and our government took them in, which was really nice, they gave them government allotted food supply. And what were those foods? They were refined carbohydrates, white bread, and white rice. They gave them lard, and they gave him all kinds of other things that were really bad for their health.
And today, the Pima Indians have the highest incidence of obesity globally! Diabetes and obesity are at epidemic levels amongst Pima Indians. So it wasn’t genetic. They turned on the expression of the genes that they had. We call that epigenomics.
And they develop these chronic diseases because of their lifestyle and the wrong choices. So it’s not about bad genes and bad germs or bad luck that we think we get diseases; it’s because of bad choices. The idea of bad genes, bad germs, and bad luck is bad science.
Let’s now shift to the science behind it, demonstrating that carbs are not the problem. We can look at it from several angles, but a few are really pertinent.
First, let’s talk about diabetes because that’s at such epidemic levels here in this country. People in the low-carb community are talking about how carbs are bad across the board. All carbs are causing our diabetes epidemic.
Dr. Kemper – Proves that it is the fat that is the problem, not carbs
In the early 1900s, Dr. Kemper, who was working with Duke University, had a diet that is not recommended for everyone without medical advice, but it demonstrates a point.
He took patients and put them on a low-fat diet but included fruit, lots of sugar, and some rice. And he cured people with diabetes. Hundreds and hundreds of people. He worked with 19,000 people. Proved the point that the fat was the problem, not carbohydrates.
And he demonstrated not only that diabetes gets cured but also that chronic kidney diseases were being reversed. People who had high blood pressure and had cancers even were being cured through this particular diet.
Diabetic retinopathy, the number one cause of blindness here in this country, was being reversed, which is miraculous!
Dr. Esselstyn’s alternative to bypass surgery through diet.
Recently Dr. Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic has developed a program.
Say there are patients scheduled to have triple bypass surgery. It’s like taking a chainsaw, ripping up a big portion over your chest, ripping it open, and doing this procedure to correct—six inches of your blood vessels and your heart. But you got 60,000 miles of blood vessels. So you don’t just have a problem with six inches. You, thus, haven’t corrected the real problem going throughout the entire body.
Dr. Esselstyn will put them on a plant-based diet based on the concepts and principles developed by Dr. Kemper at Duke University. But what he did is he improved upon it. They took away the white sugar and white rice and gave them things like beans, whole grains, keen-wah, brown rice, whole wheat bread, fruits, and vegetables.
And so Dr. Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic could have patients scheduled for triple bypass surgery cancel their surgeries!
Dr. Ornish – the pioneer of a plant-based diet
Dr. Ornish is another one – Dr. Dean Ornish. He was the pioneer in this whole model. Dr. Esselstyn followed a little bit later. But Dr. Dean Ornish put people on a plant-based diet along with some cold-water fish, like salmon, sardines, and such kinds of stuff. And he could show that he could reverse heart disease.
Seeing the result, other hospitals started to develop centers in their hospitals. And people will have a choice; to get the triple bypass or go to Dr. Dean Ornish’s program at the hospital.
And where these hospital programs were at. Places like West Virginia and Tennessee. Very economically deprived areas. It’s all about the money desk. So, they didn’t bring it to places like Las Vegas, Phoenix, or San Francisco. They didn’t do it there. They did it in economically depressed areas.
We have to learn on our own. We must take a proactive role in our health to protect ourselves and our families and live independently healthy.
Everybody wants to be independently wealthy. That’s good. But if you live recklessly and just follow the average American diet and live the average American lifestyle, you could have all the wealth in the world; but if you don’t have your health, you have nothing.
Health is wealth.
The Low-Carbs Advocates and the Insulin Index
Now, the low-carb advocates talk about how carbohydrates generally raise insulin levels inside the body. So you’ve heard that, right? And because insulin is a fat-storage hormone, many say stay away from the carbs if you don’t want it to keep pounding on the weight.
These people are selling such books, posting articles on the Internet, and teaching people about the idea that carbs are bad. They are giving you half-truths. If you dive into the research and look a little bit deeper, you’ll find out the true story, the rest of the story.
And so, when you look at the insulin index – the index that measures the rise in blood sugar levels and how much insulin is released out of the body when you eat food with sugar – for carbs, they say it is really the worst.
However, the reality is that beef, pork, lamb, or chicken raises the insulin score 27% higher than whole wheat bread. Think about that. And most people don’t know that.
The Insulin Resistance
People themselves are the number one cause of diabetes. It’s called insulin resistance. When you eat something with sugar or carbs that have sugar in it or saturated fat, your blood sugar level will start to increase, which triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas.
If the blood sugar is spiked too high over and over again, it taxes the pancreas, and eventually, your pancreas gets lazy and won’t pump out the insulin. So then you have blood sugar levels that go high.
Because of the high insulin index factor, you create insulin resistance over time. Therefore, eating high-fat meals can cause insulin resistance. Research has proven over and over again that it could be caused by eating high-fat diets.
Initially, the blood sugar levels go down when they go on a low-carb diet. The hemoglobin A1C and fasting blood sugar come down. Blood pressure may decrease. That’s when those on a low-carb diet go, oh, wow! Look at this. I feel better. My doctor says my numbers look better. But that’s only in the short run.
Americans love to hear good things about bad habits. So, when you tell a person you can have all the meat you want, they’ve learned to crave them because of marketing and advertising. Then they just swarm towards that.
But in the long term, the research shows that over time, if you continue to eat that way, you develop insulin resistance, diabetes, and high blood pressure. In addition, you begin developing clogged arteries and heart disease.
A physical fitness guru on the Internet was once a low-carb advocate. He was a Paleo – a low-carb diet – and KIDO – another low-carb diet – advocate.
And he was living that way, a huge physical exercise guy. But, he ended up having a heart attack. And what he’s doing today?
He is on the same path as in the book “Carbs from Heaven, Carbs from Hell”. He wrote a book on carbohydrates now, and he talks about and tells the story of how he got a heart attack. And now he’s completely changed his ideas about what he thinks about carbs.
Potato – Carbs from Heaven – scores this highest Satiety Score!
The Satiety score measures how long the food you take keeps you satisfied.
And they found that the number one food – at the top of the chart to keep you satisfied the longest – was not meat as one would usually think – but potatoes! Potatoes are the food that the low-carb people have always considered carved from hell.
And it’s potatoes, a carb from heaven if you eat it with the skin on. Americans peel the skin, the essential part, because that’s high in fiber. And the fiber on the outside not only can help keep the body feeling satisfied, but it keeps the blood sugar at a nice even level. And it also helps with all the phytochemicals.
We talked about food as medicine. Phytochemicals – not Fido, the dog – are compounds inside the foods; that God has put inside these foods. That’s our medicine.
And when you look at foods – whether it’s brown food, yellow food, orange food, red food, or purple food – those are color-coded foods have these phytochemicals. So each of those pigments, those colors, has a signature, and they all have benefits. And so when we eat those foods, especially the skins on them, we’re getting all those medicines coming inside of our bodies, and scientists are finding those phytochemicals help prevent diseases.
And they also help to treat diseases. Because as we eat them every single day, we’re getting medicines every single day, and they’re helping to restore and reclaim health. So the potato. It’s been bashed. But I’m saying you should mash them with the skins on them.
The Potato Queen and Dr. Good Carbs
So how did Dr. J earn the title Dr. Good Carbs? He had brought one of his patients on an ABC television program as a guest.
And this woman had previously been on a low-carb diet. Before coming to his clinic called ‘The Other Side Of Medicine‘, she was totally fearful of carbohydrates. She was probably 125 pounds overweight and had lost about 15 pounds on a low-carb diet. And when she was on it, she was miserable. She had low energy, which is very common for people on a low-carb diet, and she had constipation, which is very common.
And these people on low-carb diets must take fiber supplements to get the flavor. So they take pills and fiber supplements. Common sense says you should not have to take a pill, a fiber pill, to get a benefit so you can go poop. You should be able to just go ahead and eat the food and get the benefit of the fiber to be regular.
So she had all these problems. She feared potatoes because the low-carb advocates had scared her. The same potato was the worst food on the planet. After much persuasion and convincing, she finally agreed to take potatoes.
She lost over 95 pounds, close to a hundred pounds. And so on this television program, they dubbed her the ‘Potato Queen’, and that’s when they Dr. J as Dr. Good Carbs.
Dr. Burquette and his surprising find!
Dr. Briquette was an epidemiologist and also is an internist. He was practicing as a medical missionary in Africa. While there, he cared for Naval, British officers, and their wives. He noticed something interesting about the British Naval officer’s wives.
They had a lot of problems and chronic illnesses. But the maids of these Naval officer’s wives were very healthy. And so he was scratching his head as they were the same age group. So what’s the difference that these women – wives of Naval officers are overweight, while these maids who were taking care of them were in really good health.
He started to study them. He found that the diet of these people was the key factor. The indigenous population from Africa, these maids, were eating up to 150 grams of fiber per day. That’s a lot of fiber. Do you know how much the average American gets in fiber per day? About 15 to 25, but closer to 20 grams of fiber per day. That’s a scanty portion.
He came up with the fiber theory of disease. It’s very well recognized across the world now. These natives had normal bowel function as well – between 18 and 24 hours. Do you know the transit time for the British Navels officer’s wives?
48 to 92 hours.
So there are so many different angles. We can look at it from the science aspect. But, sadly, people are not getting this information.
Cooperation with Nature
You can’t fool mother nature, right? That’s what we’ve heard for a long time. And yet we try to fool mother nature all the time. Make sure that your gut – the Grand Central station in the body – is in good health.
Dr. J has been sharing this information with people way ahead of the curve. Back in 1988, on the radio, he talked about the microbiome. Medical doctors used to be cynical and say, “You don’t know what you’re talking about; you have no idea. The body is a balance inside of itself. And they will regulate themselves, and you don’t need to worry about the microbiome.”And It’s only now, in the last five, six, or seven years that it has become mainstream.
Today, every single research paper – thousands of them now – points to the microbiome as the most critical factor in so many chronic diseases. And we have chronic diseases at epidemic levels. So we’ve got to get back to using common sense first.
The indigenous populations are so healthy, eating so much fiber and getting such a diverse array of foods in their daily diet. So, as a result, we have good bacteria, and we’ve got bad bacteria in the gut. It’s called the microbiota. And that microbiota is the community – a bustling community – of good and bad bacteria.
We should have about 80% good and about 20% bad bacteria. So, most Americans have imbalanced bacteria, and they have what is called dysbiosis. And that’s an imbalance between the good and bad. Scientists have studied it over and over again.
They found that these indigenous populations who eat a plant-based diet around the world have a very diverse community of microorganisms living inside their gut, and the more diverse your gut bacteria, the healthier you are.
Each plant has a specific group of different, good, beneficial bacteria that those bugs or bacteria love to eat. So each plant has a community of different bugs that like to migrate and eat them.
And so, the more plants you eat, the more diverse the bacteria in your guts will be. By the way, not only bacteria but also yeast, viruses, and even parasites live inside us.
And in this bustling community of microorganisms, it really helps us to maintain good health. Scientists have found over a hundred trillion different microorganisms living inside our gut.
Do you know how many human cells we have in our body? We have 10 trillion. And there are a hundred trillion microorganisms living in our body. We have about 67 trillion living inside of our gut. And that’s really important to understand because most of our immune system resides in our gut.
All the things that it does to protect us from having a leaky gut, which we can’t even get into talking about today. But that’s where we ended up having so many chronic diseases because of what’s called the leaky gut syndrome.
And if we’re not taking care of our gut and those good microorganisms, then we’re not going to be healthy. And those microorganisms have a laundry list of things they do, helping to increase the absorption of nutrients, helping to strengthen our immune system, helping to decrease insulin resistance that we discussed earlier, and on and on and on.
- So, not all carbs are bad. There are carbs from heaven (complex carbs) and carbs from hell (simple carbs). While the former consists of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, the latter are glucose and fructose which are as bad as sugars. So, let’s use common sense and follow the diet of the Blue Zone population who have been found to be in excellent health.
- It has been scientifically proven that while complex carbs are good, the primary reason for diseases is fat and especially saturated fat. Unfortunately, both simple carbs and saturated fat have become the main diet of Americans leading to epidemic levels of diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This was not the case in the 1950s when the diet was mainly complex carbs.
- You cannot fool mother nature. Our gut is the Grand Central station in our body. There are multitudes of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and parasites. It’s a bustling community of good and bad bacteria – the ideal combination being 80% good and 20% bad bacteria. The populations who eat a plant-based diet around the world have a very diverse community of microorganisms living inside their gut. The more diverse your gut bacteria, the healthier you are.
So apply common sense, and science, and listen to nature to live independently healthy because health is wealth.
For more information that’s way ahead of the curve, years before you’ll get it from mainstream, conventional medicine, go to “The Other Side of medicine” Facebook page for a weekly 1-hour talk.
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