This is a frequent battle cry amongst many people I speak to about healthy eating. “Carbohydrates cause my weight to balloon,” they say. Even in the gyms around Singapore, people are recommending low-carb consumption and when I recommend a 40%-60% whole grain diet, people begin to roll their eyes.
This is the big problem in our modern diets – there isn’t anything to hang your hat on, so to speak. People today are picking and choosing from fruits and vegetables and a range of protein but this system of eating has no ballast – hence the tendancy towards nervous energy and twitchiness in our human relations.
First of all, most of us are eating several helpings of fruits each day. This is consistent with the recommendations from nutritionists. However, we tend to choose fruits we like ie, the sweet fruits. With the general movement towards juicing, many of us are ingesting alot of fructose – which is, at the bottomline, still a sugar and therefore very yin. Very few people try to rebalance their fruit or juicing with vegetables, or with a pinch of sea salt.
The vegetables we eat tend to be leafy vegetables – found in the salads which have become the mainstay of any weight loss plan. No wonder frequent fatigue is a corollary of a weight loss plan! Leafy vegetables, doused in vinaigrette, is too yin.
With these being the mainstay, it is no wonder that the standard modern diet is full of BIG YANG ie, animal protein and eggs. Many people I know say: Oh, but I only eat fish. Fish, beef, veal, pork, chicken, capon, turkey…name it, in macrobiotics they all go by the same moniker…YANG.With the tendancy towards yin eating, the body feels it needs to ‘energise’ itself and looks for the same degree of yang to balance out the yin.
So, when we do not take any carbs, we leave our bodies open to eating out of balance by pushing it towards animal protein, simply because when we don’t have a strong balancing influence in our daily food intake, we swing from yin to yang. And this is reflected in the increasing stress and snappishness of daily communication.
Let me leave you with one final thought on eating grains – refined grains tend to be empty calories, and also more yin. Its blandness cries out for strong tasting foods such as highly seasoned sauces, and animal protein. Whole grains, on the other hand, are more balanced, with good proportions of potassium and sodium, close to the proportions that occur naturally in human blood.
This means that it doesn’t need such strong seasoning, which in turn lowers the salt content required in food, which in turn lowers the tendency towards yang food, which lowers the need for yin food…and so on…and so on.
Ultimately, this means that see-saw is slowed, reduced, and balance is achieved.
Avoiding carbs, therefore, is not the answer to better health and weight loss. Rather, eating the right carbs will lead to better health and weight loss, and more stable mental health.