When you think of the word SUGAR or CARBS, do you immediately associate those terms with weight gain or getting fat?
With all the promotion of the low carb diets by authors such as Atkins, Minger, Sally Fallon…etc, the popularity of losing weight using these diets are increasing, and with that, the anti-carb mindset is getting more and more extreme.
It’s no wonder some people are saying crazy things like “I don’t eat fruit anymore cause of the sugars,” or “bacon for breakfast is healthy, cause it’s got protein!” So what’s the deal with that? Does fruit make you fat? Do high sugar foods make you gain weight?
What about other high carb foods like rice? People think rice makes them fat because rice turns into sugar, which turns into fat, making you gain weight. If that was true then why are there 1.7 billion asians in the world living on rice, and most of them are skinny? The fact of the matter is the countries that are most anti-carb are the countries that are the most obese.
Today I’m gonna be busting the myth that fruits, sugar, or carbs make you fat.
Carbs – What Are They?
First of all, what are carbs? Carbs (carbohydrates) are your body’s main fuel source. Carbs are broken down into glucose and then transported to muscles and trillions of cells in your body via the bloodstream. Insulin is used to help the glucose enter the cells to provide your body with energy.
Carbs are actually your body’s preferred fuel source. Given the choice of fat or carbs, the body will choose to use the carbs any day of the year. But in the event that no carbs are available for the body to use (if you restrict your dietary carb intake), then the body will switch over to burning fat and ketones instead for primary fuel, also known as “ketosis.”
What Are High Carb Foods?
When you think of high carb foods, do you think of donuts, ice cream, cake, pizza, and other things like that? Those are NOT “high carb” foods, they’re more like high FAT foods. Take 1/2 a cup of vanilla ice cream for example, it has 136 calories of which 7.3g is fat, which means almost HALF of the calories comes from fat.
These junk foods does contain carbs and sugar, but a large percentage of it’s calories come from fat. Many of these junk foods also have high sodium content which retains water in your body, which can then look like fat. You can easily have an extra five pounds of water weight on you, and you would think it’s fat, it’s very difficult to tell the difference because it actually looks like fat on your body!
Plant-Based Whole Foods
So to clarify, from this point on when I mention “high carb foods,” I’m talking about unprocessed whole plant-based foods such as fruits, potatoes, rice, legumes, corn, etc…with no butter or other fats added to them.
Foods that have 90% or more of their calories coming from carbohydrates are truly high carb foods. If you add some high fat cream and a few table spoons of butter to your mashed potatoes, then that’s no longer a high carb food but instead a high fat food.
Do Excess Carbs Turns Into Fat?
Excess glucose gets stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen for future use, the body’s glycogen storage capacity is about two pounds. If there’s any left over then it does not get stored as fat, instead it is burned off as heat, a process that is known as “dietary thermogenesis.”
The process of converting dietary carbohydrates into body fat is done through a process known as “de novo lipogenesis,” but the human body does this very inefficiently, and this process does not activate easily. The opposite is true for high fat consumption.
After eating high fat foods (butter, cheese, oils, meat), the fat you eat is absorbed into the bloodstream via the intestines and then it goes to the body fat “adipose” cells that are designed for storage. Therefore if you eat a high fat diet, you better either be calorie restricting (so-called portion control), or exercising your ass off to burn it off, or else you will be wearing the fat in no time.
Why calorie restrict when you can enjoy high carb foods and eat them until you’re satisfied without worrying about getting fat?
The Fat You Eat Is The Fat You Wear
There was a study done where they overfed a bunch of women with a diet of simple sugars and had them eat 50% more calories than they normally ate in a single day.
So instead of eating 2,000 calories per day, they would eat 3,000 calories of glucose, so you would think for sure they would gain loads of fat, yeah? No, they hardly gained any.
From this experiment of overfeeding these women, they gained an average of less than 4 grams of fat daily, which means that even if the overfeeding continued on for 4 straight months they would only have gained ONE pound of fat, so obviously even overeating huge amounts of sugars contributes to an insignificant amounts of fat gained from de novo lipogenesis. So where does all that body fat come from? Well, as the saying says… “the fat you eat is the fat you wear.”
Another study was done in the early 1990s in Cuba when the Soviet Union was dissolved and Cuba was left in an economic hardship, this period of time is known as “the special period.“ During this time their diets consisted mostly of rice and sugarcane, there was no meat or dairy in their diets as these food had disappeared from the marketplace.
During the “special period” which lasted until the late 90’s, the adult population saw an average weight loss of 5kg and had a decrease in their rates of many chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. For more information on this “special period,” watch this video on YouTube.
High Carb Low Fat Vegans (80/10/10)
Besides the studies mentioned above, there are many vegans in the “high carb low fat” online community who have claimed they experience long term weight loss on a diet consisting mainly of fruits, rice, corn, potatoes, and other high carb foods. High carb diets meaning at least 80% of their calories coming from carbohydrates, 10% from proteins, and 10% from fats, this way of eating is also known as “80/10/10,” originally promoted by Dr. Doug Graham.
30 Bananas A Day
Vegan Youtubers such as Durianrider and Freelee the Banana Girl frequently talk about their consumption of high amounts of fruits in their diets, most notably for eating 30 bananas a day! (no, they don’t eat ONLY 30 bananas a day everyday) I recommend you check out their videos on YouTube and you will see they eat all sorts of different things.
The first time I told anyone I ate 30 bananas in a day I was told “you’re not gonna get enough nutrients!” But the fact of the matter is nutrient deficiency is not going to be a problem if you only do this for a short period of time, you will be more than fine as long as you make up for it in variety over the long run.
Eating 30 bananas a day sounds extreme and crazy for the majority of people, even for other vegans. But that’s because we’re conditioned by mainstream society to see that eating a bucket of KFC is normal, whereas eating 30 bananas a day is not.
High Carb Low Fat Lifestyle
The HCLF (high carb low fat) lifestyle gained quite a huge following in recent years and is now quite popular among the online vegan community. There are many doctors who also support and advocate this HCLF vegan whole-foods lifestyle, such as Dr. John McDougall, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Neal Bernard, Dr. Michael Greger, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn just to name a few of the big ones.
Fruit Doesn’t Make You Fat
Fruit is generally considered a healthy food because it is low in calories and fat, and high in fiber while containing many essential vitamins. Most people would agree with that, but they also say “don’t eat too much.” People like to talk about “calories in calories out” and that a “calorie is a calorie.” That’s what you will hear if you look at what everyone else is saying in the mainstream media.
But the truth is it is not that simple, the body reacts differently to different foods. Eating 3,000 calories of fruit is not the same as eating 3,000 calories of donuts or KFC, the body will not want to convert the fruit/sugars into body fat in the same way that it easily converts fat from donuts and KFC into body fat.
Fat and Carbs Don’t Mix
Although if you mix the two things together then it’s a completely different story. If you add high fat cream, cheese, butter, and bacon into your mashed potatoes…then problems will occur, not because of the high carb potatoes, but the high fat animal stuff you put with it. Go ahead and make some mashed potatoes with a splash of almond milk and leave out all the high fat junk, and you and your waste line will be fine.
Judge By Results Not Theory
Go on YouTube and check out Durianrider, Freelee, or any of the HCLF vegans who eat 3,000+ calories daily consisting primarily of things like fruit and potatoes, they are all lean and healthy year round.
This is not a short term fad diet, it is a long term healthy lifestyle. The vegan doctors I have mentioned are also all lean and healthy, because they actually walk their talk and eat this HCLF plant-based whole foods diet themselves.
Low carb proponents like Atkins, Sally Fallon, Loren Cordain, William Davis, and Barry Sears are good at selling a crap ton of books, but take a look at them and ask yourself this: WHY ARE THEY ALL FAT?
Sure there are people following the low carb diets who have had success in losing weight for a short while, but I guarantee that in the long term this diet is unsustainable and therefore the weight will always come back. Why?
Because calorie restriction (starving yourself) is a big part of these low carb diets, and that means you’ll probably binge eat at some point, and thats when the weight comes back – you will gain all the weight back and then some.
Just look at people who apply calorie restriction to achieve weight loss, most gain the weight back and more. One example is Rachel Frederickson from “The Biggest Loser.” I have also done calorie restriction myself in the past, it simply does not work long term.
I know a lot of the stuff I have written so far is going against the mainstream information that’s around, but I believe it to be true. I may not be a doctor or have any medical education background, but the things I have said are backed by people who have those things. Also there’s so much anecdotal evidence on youtube that shows how wrong the mainstream information is.
If eating so much fruit makes you fat then why are all the fruit eaters so lean? Durianrider’s been basically eating sugar sugar sugar for over 12 years and he’s so lean that he looks like a meth addict who routinely gets a “random check” every time he’s at the airport lol. Like I said, look at the results and judge by that. Look at what works long term instead. Look at the people who’s been doing it for years and see how it has worked out for them.
I hope this have helped inspire some people in their weight loss journey and please do leave your questions, comments, and feedback down below.