I don't accept any sort of new idea when it comes to eating. "Low Carb." "Sugar free." "Fat Free." Those labels on foods both crack me up and make me sad. Of course beef jerky is "low carb"... I wasn't exactly looking for my daily amount there. Sugar free generally indicates a faux sugar. The amount of people I know who drink diet coke makes me want to throw up. The aspartame has been found to decompose into a variety of fun things such as formaldehyde at a lower temp than your body is at. No, it's not funny. No, I don't get the jokes about it making you well preserved, because last time I checked, it's a poison.
I eat bread. And potatoes (which with the skin are full of nutrients). And pasta. Oh, and even white rice (generally basmati). Carbs will not kill you, in fact there is a reason they continue to be one of the most important food groups. It is about balance. Healthy carbs. Not Iron Kids Bread (which has an ingredient list as long as my arm and which G freaks out over because "it's squishy."), but choosing whole grains bread. Bread really only should have certain ingredients in it: some sort of flour (generally enriched makes me irritated as if you were eating healthy it wouldn't need to be), possibly grains, yeast, sugar or honey, water, butter, and salt. If it has additional things, you probably shouldn't be eating it. I've seen bread with preservative go bad quicker than anything I've made homemade. Why? Because while mine may dry out a bit (then it gets used for toast), it usually doesn't have anything to go bad as long as we actually eat it.
Portion sizes with carbs have a lot to do with this issue. If we're eating things like pasta or potatoes I don't serve bread at the table as a general rule of thumb. In courses, there might be a slice of baguette with soup. But outside of that, I just don't. Pasta shouldn't be the main part of a meal. I understand that goes against the grain, but it's the truth. A small portion of it with protein and veggies is what you should be having. I've seen guys who can pack away in less than half an hour enough pasta to feed 3-4 people. It's disturbing. Same goes for potatoes. When we make roasted potatoes we each get 4-6 small potatoes. When we do baked potatoes, we either choose smaller potatoes or we split a larger one. A serving of mashed potatoes is about the size of a larger scoop of ice cream. (and for the love of all that is good about food, please use real things in your mashed potatoes, not nickel laced margarine!)
** I would like to interject here that I know athletes who carb load and that is an entirely different thing. They're packing their bodies with a fuel for a grueling workout on their body. The average person should not be carb loading.**
Fat free also amuses me. I eat a lot of fat free or low fat: it's called fruits, veggies...and yes, sugar. But I also eat a lot of normal fats. Butter, coconut oil, lard...these all have a place in my home. I drink whole milk (I balked at first when G wanted to buy it, but now even 2 percent tastes off to me). What it comes down to is where you are getting your fats. Butter spread on toast in the morning? Yum and good for you (as long as you're not eating crap bread, but that's another matter). Deep fried twinkie? Not so good (okay, flat out bad). Does it mean you should never eat that deep fried twinkie? (well, I find plain twinkies gross, so I'm a bad judge). No, it doesn't... but it should be a once a year oddity at the fair sort of thing.
Now, sugar. Hmm. I understand there are people who get addicted to it and have to basically cut it out as much as possible for health reasons. I also understand that there is a big difference between occasionally indulging in a delicious, rich, well made dessert and someone who has to have a hostess cupcake every afternoon. If you find you have a problem with sugar, then yes, you need to cut it out. But not by substituting faux sugars that your body doesn't recognize as sugar, so when you eat any real sugar it stores it as fat (which for the record is what scientists discovered is happening). You're better off just cutting sweet things out, and letting your body slowly get back to a place where it recognizes "sweet" as a taste with more normal things, such as fruit or dark chocolate. I love sweets... it's just the things I find sweet may not be what you find sweet. In baking, try to slowly cut back the amount of sugar recommended.
Our country (and now others) keeps coming up with b.s. like these, only to see obesity rates rise. There are a lot of contributing factors to this (including eating like you move a lot during the day when in fact you sit behind a desk), but I do think that the correlation has more to do with diet (as that has more to do with weight than exercise).
What's your take on it?