The Hemp Connection + vegan

If you're NOT pregnant or trying to conceive, consider lowering your carbohydrates for an interesting reason

Yesterday I reviewed a book entitled,"The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living". I started with the negative part of the review because years of reviewing blog statistics has taught me that people don't stick through much of what I write to get the main idea. Because avoiding ketosis is such a crucial concept I felt like that point needed to be made before getting to something I really liked about the book.

What this book discussed that I did like, was the concept that human brains, even though we're taught that they depend on glucose, can learn to live on ketones for energy. I immediately thought of the many of you who comment here and elsewhere that you feel as though you're addicted to carbohydrates. It's certainly going to feel that way if your brain has become so used to using glucose as its only fuel source that when it's not there it feels as if it's run on empty.

I tend to think of an addiction as a chemical reliance on a nonessential substance. A dependence is a reliance on something we need. We're not addicted to oxygen, for example, we're dependent on it. So I prefer to think of the relationship many of you have to simple sugar as a dependence, not an addiction. You can teach your brain to use low-glycemic carbohydrates and protein as sources of low-glycemic sugar, and you can even learn to use ketones.

If you've tried to jump from a simple carbohydrate-dependent diet to a carbohydrate-deficient diet overnight, chances are it felt like you were going through withdrawal. It is possible to gradually learn to use ketones over time, but if your experience in getting there is so miserable, you're likely to not stick with it. There are a lot of options between all and nothing.

As I mentioned yesterday, the extreme carbohydrate restriction described in this book proved a point, but in the process it also created some other potential nutrition deficiencies.

Instead of jumping to that extreme, why not try gradually removing the simple carbohydrate from your life and replacing it with protein and low-glycemic carbs? It will help the carbohydrate you DO eat distribute itself more evenly over the course of a day (just like your carburetor does for your car), and you might potentially (and gently) teach your brain to be less dependent on one source of fuel, pure sugar.

Be scientific about it. Use an analysis program such as http://www.fitday.com/ to track what you're doing and plan how to experiment with other ways. Record how you feel. Feel what feels best. You'll know when you've hit that place because that next drop in carbs will leave you feeling hungry, moody, and low in energy.

Let us know what you learn about yourself! Everyone is different, and therefore everyone's carbohydrate needs are different. The concept underlying the book is not unsound, it's just likely not necessary for everyone to restrict carbohydrates to that extreme.

The beauty of nutrition is that there are many paths to the same destination. Be it raw, vegan, Paleo, low-carb, low-glycemic, we prefer to show you how, once you've decided which food philosophy best fits your personality, to make it work on your behalf.

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Relevant to: If you're NOT pregnant or trying to conceive, consider lowering your carbohydrates for an interesting reason + vegan