I know Mario guilts us all into thinking that Americans use too much sauce on pasta, and he’s right if you’re trying to make it in the traditional Italian style. But this is America, after all, and we can make things however we want. In another spin of an idea from Lopez-Alt’s vegan experiment, consider your carbohydrate sources and where your calories are coming from. We all know that fats aren’t created equally. Neither are carbs, and that’s been a lot harder for people to understand. What makes you gain weight? Sure, more calories in than burned, but there’s a lot more to it than that. High insulin spikes do it too, and it makes a difference what type of carbs you consume. It’s not simply about low-fat.
Coca-cola: high glycemic index carb in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Sadly, even the Mexican brand has switched over. [sighs in disappointment]
Lentils: low glycemic index complex carb that needs some breakdown.
Glycemic index means how high it spikes your blood sugar after eating it. The simpler and more elemental the carb, the higher the glycemic index. Sure, there’s more to it than that, but roll with it. When you spike your sugar, insulin releases to get it out of your bloodstream, or else the high concentration will overwhelm your kidneys, and you’ll get dehydrated along with a lot of other negative physiologic effects of high blood sugar. Insulin increases fat production, and decreases fat breakdown. The more insulin you produce, the more your body reverts to storage instead of breakdown mode.
Thinking about this kind of stuff is more difficult than just reducing fat. Low-fat by itself won’t do it though. The only way it works is that with all other consumption being equal, all you cut is fat. In terms of caloric density, fat has the highest when compared with protein and carbs. So it would make sense to cut it out of your diet, decrease your caloric intake, and be done with it. That’s not the whole story, though. If you compensate for the decreased satiety you get from eating a higher fat meal by eating high-glycemic-index carbs, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. That’s why Entenman’s isn’t diet food even though it’s fat free.
There, I’ve said it.
Now getting back to something we can eat.
Making a stir fry with red pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and adding lo mein noodles, you have a choice.