Chill Out and Be Friends with Carbs



posted by Edward Casanova | Dec 12, 2019

Afraid of carbs? Well, don’t panic.

A lot has been said by the media this past couple of years of how terrible these guys are, normally before advocating for a low-carb, ketogenic or even worse a carnivore diet.Yet, the fact is that they are our primary source of energy. [1]

Here’s an interesting fact:

The thermic effect of feeding is higher for protein and carbohydrate than for fat. This is because, for fat, the process of energy storage is very efficient, whereas, for carbohydrate and protein, additional energy is required for metabolic conversion to the appropriate storage form. [1]

What this means is that your body has to spend more energy to store those carbs into energy through thermogenesis (almost 10% of the caloric value of carbs).

With pure fat oxidation the RQ is 0.707, with pure carbohydrate oxidation it is 1.0, and with pure protein oxidation it is approximately 0.8 [1].

RQ stands for respiratory quotient or the required oxygen to oxidize the compound.

I’m obese, overweight…I should go low-carb

Stop right there before you make things worse!

Human nutrition requires a different and more holistic approach than a reductionist solution.

An old and outdated belief was that if you were obese, your caloric requirements would be below those of an average individual. However, this has been proven wrong:

At one time it was thought that this was due to low energy requirements in the obese due to low energy expenditure and reduced physical activity. However, using DLW (the “gold standard” to measure free-living energy expenditure in humans), it has now been established that obese subjects systematically underreport their actual energy intake by 30– 40% and have a normal energy expenditure, relative to their larger body size.

So, if your body is less efficient at storing carbs than fat, smaller portions in that type of diet don't necessarily mean a smaller caloric content and you have the same energy expenditure as an average individual, why would you want to consider going keto or low-carb?

Learn from the Tarahumaras

Imagine if you could only eat basic and on a pretty tight budget. Also, without enough money to buy animal products.

Just corn, potatoes, beans, squash, and some occasional seasonal fruits. You will get fat for sure right?

According to this study [2], the Tarahumaras are one of the leanest populations with a diet high in whole grains and cereals as well as other vegetables.

500 hundred Tarahumaras were selected. You can find more information about their diet in this study. [3]

Surprisingly their cholesterol levels were similar to those on a fasting state because of an extremely low-fat diet. Their macros were 80%C, 10%F & 10%P. [2]

Some of their cholesterol levels were way below 100mg/dl.

And if you’re worried about their protein intake, these guys were packing in with almost 79-96 grams of protein with all the essential amino acids obtained from the combination of corn and beans. [3, 4]

Some may argue that low cholesterol levels are because of the high physical activity levels of the Tarahumara population. But, here comes Dr. Campbell with his famous China Study [5] showing that Chinese populations in rural areas (with a similar plant-based diet and way lower activity levels than those of Tarahumaras) showed similar lower cholesterol levels.

Another nail in the coffin to demystify the genetic upper hand of these populations against metabolic diseases is shown in this study [6], where Tarahumaras living in urban areas with more access to animal foods and processed alternatives had significantly a higher risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome than those living in rural ones.

Seems that we can learn more than a simple way of living from these populations.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading. If you liked this post, upvote and share it with your friends. Feel free to curate it, as long as you include the original authors and follow me for more fitness wisdom.


Next: Plants for Eternal Life?

  1. Introduction to Human Nutrition, 2nd Edition, Michael J Gibney Susan A Lanham-New Aedin Cassidy Hester H Vorster, 2009, 2002 by The Nutrition Society
  2. The plasma lipids, lipoproteins, and diet of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexicoo 3,, Connor W Cerqueira M Connor R Wallace R Ren#{233} Malinow M Casdorph H, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1978 vol: 31 pp: 1131-1142
  3. The food and nutrient intake of Tarahumara Indians in Mexico, Thesis, The University of Iowa, 1975
  4. FAO/WHO Expert Committee: Energy and protein requirements. FAO/ Nutrition Meetings, Rep. Ser No. 52, WHO/techn. Rep. Ser. No. 522, 1973
  5. Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: The Cornell China Study, Campbell T Parpia B Chen J, American Journal of Cardiology 1998
  6. J. Moreno-Ulloa, A. Moreno-Ulloa, M. Martínez-Tapia, J. Duque-Rodríguez, Comparison of the Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome and Risk Factors in Urban and Rural Mexican Tarahumara-foot runners, Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice (2018), doi:

This is a curated post made from different sources. The health information here is provided as a resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes, nor intended to be medical education, nor creating any client-physician relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always do your own research (you can use this to download journals) and consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions, for guidance about a specific medical condition or fitness purposes. Edward Casanova shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  trending

You Have Been Curated By Vegan-Curate, Here to Curate For the Animals And Heatly Living.

Have you come to Check out Our New Vegan Community


thx for sharing guys!

Great article 😊
@tipu curate


Thank you 😊