Tag Archives: low carb

Effects of Processed Foods

December 6, 2018 was the day I forever changed the foods that I eat. More specifically, I cut out pasta, potatoes, rice, bread and all general sweets. That action has had a profound impact on my general health and how good I feel on a day-to-day basis.

The motivation for me to cut out carbohydrates came along in late November 2018 in the form of a phone call with one of my younger brothers. He had just been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The story was that his vision suddenly seemed to get worse, so he set up an appointment with his eye doctor with the idea that his glasses prescription had suddenly changed. The eye doctor took one look in his eyes and told him he very likely had Type 2 diabetes. Eye care practitioners frequently are the ones who notice the first symptoms of a Type 2 diabetic problem.

I quickly realized that if Type 2 diabetes (T2D for short) could happen to my brother, who is five and a half years younger than I am, then it could just as easily happen to me. In order to effectively wrap my mind around it, I started watching all sorts of YouTube videos explaining T2D. It quickly became painfully obvious that T2D is a diet-related malady that can be avoided and the symptoms of which can even be reversed with a change in diet.

In the last roughly 70 years we have been attacking our bodies with chronic, excessive carbohydrate consumption. We mindlessly attack our bodies with cookies, cakes, candies, pasta, potatoes, rice, bread and GMO frankenfruit. The average human body has roughly a gallon and a half of blood. Normal blood glucose levels are about 5 grams, or one level teaspoon of sugar. The average American consumes the equivalent of between 32 and 55 teaspoons of sugar a day, depending on how much of what they are consuming is processed. I’m defining processed foods as things such as potato chips, sweet rolls, bread, pasta, processed snack “treats,” etc.

In the past one year and ten months, I have lost about forty pounds, which I consider to be sort of a big deal considering I’m sixty five years old. I also lost the acid reflux I’d been plagued with for many decades.

One of the not-so-obvious things that excessive carbohydrate consumption, particularly consumption of modern grains cause, is a dysregulated inflammation response. Inflammation is a normal part of a functioning immune system. Inflammation is necessary for the proper ongoing process of life. However, processed foods manufactured with modern cross-bred grains can cause inflammation function dysregulation.

Here’s my opinion of how this works. There are at least four proteins present in modern cross-bred grains that would not normally occur in nature. Some of these proteins very closely mimic naturally-occurring proteins, but aren’t exact duplicates. Many of the proteins we eat are not metabolized, but end up being directly utilized as protein building blocks for our bodies.

The body takes up these alien, unnaturally occurring proteins and uses them as building blocks anyway.

In the meantime, there are elements in our immune systems that are constantly circulating in the blood that are looking for foreign invaders. When they find these alien proteins, they create an inflammatory response. It doesn’t matter to the immune system’s emergency inflammatory response system if it is attacking part of the body, such as a joint structure or other tissues – it simply responds to the presence foreign, non-natural proteins.

Sure, it has been great to lose forty pounds and easily keep it off without having to ever worry about overeating. It has been great to live 100% acid reflux free.

But perhaps even more importantly for my long-term health, my body’s inflammation levels are vastly reduced. The eczema that was present on the heals of my feet for the last 27 years is now gone. It took a few months, but the eczema packed up and vacated the premises on both feet. I also had a long-standing problem with excess mucous in my respiratory and sinus systems. That’s also gone. I no longer experience unexplained joint aches.

Overall, it’s astonishing.

Who knows what potential maladies might have been averted simply by eliminating dysregulated inflammation?

With the virus situation currently making the rounds in 2020, a dysregulated inflammatory response is possibly the greatest risk factor for severely negative outcomes.

Losing 40 Pounds, Losing The Carbohydrates

On December 6, 2018, I decided it would be a good idea to eliminate pasta, potatoes, rice and bread from my diet. I ended up sticking with it. At this point, I’ve lost 40 pounds. My weight seems to have stabilized at about 147 pounds. This change has been nothing short of a revolution as well as a revelation.

What caused me to radically change my diet? A bit of back story is in order. I’ve spent much of my life overweight. My parents tell me when I was 4 months old, I weighed a hefty 25 pounds. At around 7 years old, I weighed around 100 pounds. Once I moved into adolescence the weight dropped off somewhat.

Me at 225 pounds
Me at 225 pounds

As an adult in my 20’s and 30’s, my weight stabilized at around 155 pounds and remained there for many years. However, once I got into my 40’s the weight started increasing. Around age 45, I reached my highest weight ever at 225 pounds. At that time, I had a job where I was constantly around cookies, cakes and candies day in and day out. Once I was away from that job, left to my own devices, my weight dropped to around 185 to 190 pounds and hovered there until my dietary change.

In November of 2018 I was talking to one of my younger brothers and he mentioned he’d just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. That grabbed my attention. I really didn’t know a lot about type 2 diabetes, so I started watching a bunch of YouTube videos about it. I figured if type 2 diabetes could happen to my younger brother who is five and a half years younger than I am, it could just as easily happen to me. From the information in the videos it quickly became obvious that the cause of type 2 diabetes is carbohydrate overconsumption, plain and simple. That is what motivated me to change my diet.

At first, I thought changing my diet would be difficult. I drive a truck over the road and therefore am forced to constantly eat in restaurants. I quickly figured out that I could simply drop pasta, potatoes, rice and bread from my diet.

For many years I have eaten twice a day, with occasional vending machine snacks. Making the change was easier than I thought. I did have a decisive experience early on, however. I was in a Denny’s restaurant and they brought a yeast roll with my meal of steak, broccoli and salad. The yeast roll was fresh from the oven, fragrant, warm an oh-so soft! I thought to myself I’m not going to eat the roll. I ate the steak, the salad and the broccoli. The roll was still sitting there. I couldn’t resist. I pinched off a piece. I chewed it for about thirty seconds and then thought I’m not going to swallow it. I discreetly spit the chewed bite of yeast roll out into a napkin, and that was that. Following that experience, it has been easy for me to avoid bread.

I’ve always adored pasta. I could eat pasta every day or even every meal. What’s interesting is that now it can be placed right in front of me and I’m not tempted by it. There’s scientific evidence that the digestive bacteria in the human gut, the species of which is controlled by what we eat, communicates with a brain area that controls cravings. Change your gut bacteria by changing your diet, and you will change what you crave.

Steak, Salad and Green Beans
Steak, Salad and Green Beans

Within the first week I no longer had acid reflux. No more need to constantly gobble antacid tablets, which are ineffective anyway. Permanently eliminating acid reflux is reason enough to continue to never eat pasta, potatoes, rice or bread again.

Besides spontaneously losing the acid reflux problem I’d been plagued with since I was a child, I also had another pleasant surprise. Since around 1990, I had a weird dry skin problem on the heels of my feet. The dry skin would form painful cracks in the winter months. At one point I got a secondary bacterial infection that required an antibiotic in order to avoid blood poisoning. That condition was diagnosed as eczema. In the intervening months it has spontaneously healed.
For many years I also had a chronic fungal infection in the nail of my right big toe. One day a few months ago I noticed that the super thick toenail had reverted back to a normal nail.

On the way down
On the way down

Another beneficial side effect of a low-carb diet is a distinct reduction in overall body inflammation. Prior to the diet, I would have mucous drainage particularly from my sinuses. That problem also went away.

At age 65, losing 40 pounds is kind of a big deal. Not having to worry about gaining weight or worrying about overeating is an amazing thing. Sometimes I eat rather large meals, but my weight remains completely stable. On the rare occasions I feel like eating a snack from a convenience store in the middle of the day, I will either eat frankfurters from the “roller grill” every self-respecting convenience store has, or cheese sticks. On occasion I’ve eaten nuts such as pecans.

Generally, I don’t feel hungry. When I do feel a bit hungry but I can’t stop or there is no food around close, it is very easy to ignore.

Current weight
Current weight

Another amazing benefit is that I never experience energy dips. Before this, there were regular occasions where I would suddenly feel drowsy to the point where I wanted to stop and take a nap, particularly a couple of hours after eating. That never happens anymore.

I also seem to have better overall mental clarity.

Overall, I’m feeling better than I have in years.

2029 Eating Keto Losing Weight Feeling Great

2029 Eating Keto Losing Weight Feeling Great

A bit over a month ago I decided to delete the major carbohydrate offenders from my diet — the items that metabolize directly into sugar. Might as well be eating sugar cubes as to eat potatoes, rice, pasta and bread, not to mention desserts. I have gone from 185 pounds plus to 171 in about a month or so. Even more important, the acid reflux and bloating I suffered with for years is completely GONE. I am eating a few carbohydrates in the form of salad vegetables, but no more items that directly metabolize into sugar. I’m not just eating protein, but I’m also eating healthy fats. My energy levels remain consistent throughout the day. I am sleeping more soundly at night without waking up nearly as much throughout the night. During the day I seem more alert than I have in a long time. Carbohydrates become a slow poison when eaten in the massive quantities that sadly typifies the average Western diet. Just getting rid of the bloating and acid reflux alone is enough to make me NEVER go back to eating poisonous levels of carbohydrates. All I’ve really done is eliminate potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, junk food of any kind, and deserts. These are low nutrition foods that destroy the human body if eaten consistently over a period of decades. The average person (depending on size) has a gallon and a half of blood. In that gallon and a half of blood, the normal blood glucose level is about 5 grams, or one teaspoon or sugar cube. The average American is eating the equivalent of 31 teaspoons of sugar a day. Is it any wonder that America has become the land of obese type-two diabetics? How is eating the equivalent of 31 teaspoons of sugar a day defensible? The answer is, it is not defensible. Eating that much equivalent sugar a day is sheer madness.

I’ve had at least one person tell me that “Everyone will die of something.” True enough. However, I don’t want to die from type two diabetes complications — they are extremely painful and unpleasant in the extreme. Type two diabetes complications include blindness, heart attacks, strokes, amputations, etc. just to name a few.