There is a nationwide fear to consume carbohydrates. The mainstream dogma on carbs is that they cause blood sugar to rise and insulin to be produced.
What they don’t tell you is that insulin is also responsible for protein and fat transport. On top of that, carbohydrates and fat consumed together can have an amplifying effect on insulin production, say University of Sydney researchers.
Simple carbohydrates like processed fructose actually act more like fat in the body than carbohydrates.
A great rule of thumb for carbohydrate consumption would be to only consume them from whole food sources (via fruits, grains, beans, vegetables) without the addition of oils or heavy dressings.
Beware of the Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a measure of how many carbohydrates one food has per 250 calories. It does not account for serving sizes, whereas the glycemic load, does.
For example: Referring to the Glycemic Index would lead you to believe that M&Ms are a better diabetic snack than carrots.
I’m not kidding.
Bottom line, neither take into account the profound effect fiber and resistant starches have on blood sugar control. This leaves the high nutrient, high carb benefits of plant-based foods like beans, fruit, legumes and whole grains out to dry.
What does the rest of the world say?
Dr. Colin T. Campbell, the author of the China Study, revealed that the lowest incidences of chronic disease were reported in countries that ate an extremely high amount of carbs (70-85% of total calories) and very little fat (around 6% of calories).
Another correlating trait that is found in these cultures is very small consumptions of animal products, oils/dressings, or processed foods, leading researchers to believe that a whole-foods, plant based (aka high carb) diet is the way to go.
See: What is Hba1c?
The prevalence of diabetes and obesity has risen in large countries like India and China, while these cultures had thrived for centuries prior to their westernization.
One could easily connect the dots between their abandonment of high carb diets, adoption of more fat and protein, and their nationwide epidemics.