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FYI SOUTH Magazine, April 2007

Balancing Act


By Daniel C. Luthi, Nutrition Educator & Chinese Herbalist Translated by Liu Fang Ru

The next step on your quest to lose some weight is to learn to balance carbohydrates, proteins and fats in each meal. Ideally, each and every meal should consist of carbohydrates (preferably non-starchy vegetables and fruits), proteins (preferably organic/free-range meats, poultry or fish, soy products, nuts and seeds), and fats (preferably fish, olive, nut and seed oils).

The reason we don't want to eat carbohydrates alone, especially pasta, white rice, breads, etc., is that they cause a drastic increase in blood sugar which is quickly followed by a massive dose of insulin being released to help lower the high blood sugar level. As blood sugar levels drop – due to all this insulin – the brain starts starving for glucose, its main energy source, and we feel sleepy and sluggish, just like we often do after a plate of pasta for lunch.

This in turn triggers the brain to send out“the search for food”signal and we react by snacking on sweets during the mid-afternoon hours which, of course, increases insulin production. This cycle goes on and on. Worst of all, high insulin levels will convert the excess glucose (from carbohydrates) into fatty tissue.
By reducing the amount of pasta in the above meal, and by adding more vegetables, some protein and good fats to it, we can reduce these insulin and blood sugar highs and lows. This step facilitates balanced nutrition, reduced conversion to fatty tissue, and diminished need for unhealthy snacking, and it therefore is the cornerstone for successful weight loss. Furthermore, long-term exposure to insulin and blood sugar spikes can lead to a compromised immune system, diabetes, heart disease, and various cancers.

In summary, cut down on your pastas and breads, load up on your veggies, add a little protein, dribble on some olive oil, squeeze in a tad of exercise, and you are one step closer to a slimmer you!

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