Not so nuts about the Paleo lifestyle? Healthy carbs might be the better way to go, study finds.

Eat your veggies! Good advice…even if it was something we grew up underappreciating because of taste and texture. Many times vegetables don’t register as carbohydrates on most people’s minds. Carbohydrates are considered things like pasta and bread, which they are, but they are poor quality and much refined sources. So, when someone is steered toward a high protein, low carb or a calorie restricted diet, it’s usually those bad carbs we want to eliminate.

Unfortunately, you take those carbs, that may also include things like potatoes and rice, which admittedly should go, and you replace them with protein and there is no emphasis on the vegetables, what is your body left with? What happened to variety and ensuring your body had all the requirements for supporting life in its so many forms?

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As a chiropractor, I’ve always been a bit concerned about low carbohydrate and calorie restricted diets. Primarily because the nervous system runs on carbs, sugar to be exact. Seeing as the nervous system is the primary control system that runs your body, it’s good to keep it supported with appropriate sources of nutrients. Poor nervous system function means poor body functions which means not so good experiences in life.

Low carb and calorie restricted diets have other drawbacks. They tend to keep your body in fat storage mode. So, as long as you keep the effort up, you may be able to see positive change, but it’s not happening in a way that supports positive function in your body. This is why it always comes back to haunt you later when the pounds return. To top it off, science now shows when that weight comes back, especially because your body is still in fat storage mode, it puts that fat closer to your organs. Internal fat has a higher correlation to health problems.

paleo-lifestyle

Now, a new study conducted from the University of Sydney has found that following a low protein, high carbohydrate diet may provide people with health benefits similar to having a paleo-type diet.

When properly designed and created, a person can get the same benefits as calorie restriction without having to actually be deprived of the calories…and, this makes it much more sustainable for the long term. Plus it includes the variety and constant availability the body requires unlike calorie restricted approaches with longer periods of fasting and lopsided percentages regarding any one food source.

This brings up the age-old debate about the fact that it’s not what you eat that’s as important as how you eat it and when you eat it, with obvious exceptions. Empty calories are empty calories and sugar is sugar. Neither are a good option in anyone’s nutritional approach. But combining foods like protein and fibre along with high quality carbohydrates may indeed be the recipe that your body needs to be at its best.

Isn’t this what we were always told?

Eat a variety of foods in moderation. Foods, of course, do not include packaged products with a shelf life longer than your life! Healthy carbs, in fact, can usually make up for the drawbacks found in our other food choices because they contain the nutrients required for life processes, including detoxification and healing. Of course proteins and amino acids certainly play their role, however as a primary source of nutrients and energy, it’s hard to find the science that really supports it would be the case.

Consumers live in a world of competing trends and fads, yet the body always lives in a world of fundamental requirements. Yes, we are all a little bit different, and if we listen to our bodies in a positive way, they will usually steer us toward our healthy individual predilections. If your style of eating has a “name”, it would be good to review how it fits into what science, independent science at that, says about what your body needs. Remember, it’s not always what gets results that is best for you, rather it’s the results you get that should bring out the best in you.

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