You know how all these fad diets and fear of carbs are followed by quite a number of people these days? Let me tell that’s a whole lot of bullocks. I get really annoyed when someone says you’ll lose weight with a diet that’s low in carbs.
Well OBVIOUSLY because carbohydrates hold water, so with less carbohydrates in your body, that means you’ll also lose water mass. But with that weight loss also comes loss of your protein stores cos’ there isn’t enough glucose from carbohydrates going through your body for normal bodily functions. So your muscle mass will waste away with it.
Most of us probably know that carbs are where you get glucose, and glucose is your body’s fuel like petrol is to a car. So if you don’t get enough, your body will feel tired quite easily and your brain will find it difficult to cope, plus you’ll be in a bad mood pretty darn often. Not pretty. If that’s not enough, a diet lacking sufficient carbs could also cause bad breath. Bleagh.
So those are basically the reasons why you shouldn’t follow a diet that has very low carbs in it like the Atkins diet. I think Atkins says to have about 20g of carbs per day or something like that. In actual fact, your body needs at the very least 130g a day. That’s right, that’s how much you’re starving your body with a crap diet like that. And it probably can’t be sustained for long cos’ your body will just burn out.
So, aim to eat healthily people, don’t just follow any trending fad diet that promises weight loss, because honestly, they’re usually a whole lot of rubbish.
That being said, don’t overdo on the carbs either as it gets stored as fats, and you don’t want too much of that. Hehe. The Australian recommendation is to get about 45-60% of your total energy intake from carbs, which would equate to 230-310g of carbs per day. That’s an estimate and it’s more accurate to tailor it to your body mass. Also 100g of a food (eg: rice) doesn’t mean it’s 100g carbs. So you’ve got a bit of calculating to do if you’re gonna calculate carbs. A simple and rough estimate is to get about 1/3 of your plate to consist of carbs in a meal. Get a good distribution of carbs throughout the day, snack (not potato chips, healthy snacks like water crackers or an apple) a little in between meals if you need to so that you get a good supply of glucose throughout the day.
Hope that helps clear some stuff up about carbs and the misconception that it should be minimized in a diet.
I’ve decided to go through some of my previous readings from my Bachelor degree at RMIT before I begin my Master in March and I stumbled across this article about organic food. I don’t personally buy a lot of organic food and you’ll understand why later (mostly cos’ of price and discrepancy in organic regulation). Perhaps in the future when I have a secure income that would allow me to afford opting for organic foods.
So, this article by Jeffrey Kluger called “What’s So Great About Organic Foods?” that was featured in TIME magazine in August 18, 2010 discusses the pros and cons of organic and conventional foods. I’ll just sum it up for you and add some opinions of my own.
Organic - Pros
Organic - Cons
Conventional - Pros
Conventional - Cons
You can read the full article here.
If an organic food doesn’t provide a nutritional edge, and costs more, consumers are obviously gonna opt for conventional foods unless they’re the very concious of their environmental implications. From what I hear, the economy is topsy-turvy (I know close to nothing about commerce related stuff, so even when I listen to the news about economic stuggles, I am going “Whot??”) and people are finding their budgets tighter and tighter. If eating a balanced meal based on organic foods mainly is too costly for them to survive, I’m not gonna judge them for buying conventional foods to survive. After all, as Kluger mentions, eating an apple is better than eating none at all.
I do appreciate the fact that going organic is better for the environment and sometimes health, but I don’t necessarily support the fact that some organic goods are just so much more expensive and simply isn’t feasible for the average consumer.
On another note, some people say that converting to a vegetarian would be better for the environment cos’ of less land requirement, less methane from the animal (funny, but true), and some other reasons that I can’t think of right now. That being said, I don’t think I could ever be vegetarian. Humans are meant to be omnivores, not purely herbivores. I don’t mind eating less meat though cos’ I like my veggies and there are lots of other protein sources like cheese, grains, legumes and leafy greens (just to name a few). Afterall, the ideal is that meats should be the supporting players in a person’s diet and grains and veggies should be the bigger part of it, rather than the other way around.
Hope this helped you understand organic foods a bit more.