A common thing people will tell you when you’re trying to slim up that waistline is that you should be cutting carbs. Stopping yourself from eating bread, pasta and potatoes already cuts down a lot of your healthy choices, not to mention the lack of chocolate and biscuits! And one of the most terrifying consequences- no pizza!
But is this self limitation worth it? Will stopping the carbs make your inner photoshop beach body attainable?
(Perhaps aim for more realistic photoshop creations than this? Yes, they just selected her groin and torso, casually moved it in a bit and stretched her arms, hoping nobody would notice. This was published. Never base your self image on the media!)
I’ve Stopped eating Carbs, Can I be skinny now?
Well, I think you look great already but if you insist on not eating pizza, I’ll try and convince you otherwise.
There have been a great many studies on diet, and one of these studies set up two groups of people. one group were told to cut carbohydrate-high food from their diet, and the other group were tasked of cutting out all fatty foods.
The first noticeable change was that the low fat group lost weight slower than the low carb group . This may seem great to begin with, but was simply a matter of options. When you take on a low carb diet, you’re limiting your choices and as a result, naturally eating less – even more so than if you eat only low fat foods. So as a result a low carb diet seems great to begin with, but for the wrong reasons!
I haven’t eaten a pizza for years, do I have a smaller surface area?
Probably. But you are also sad inside.
A year later, and even on to three years later, it was found that the two groups were evenly matched. Although both had lost weight and were healthier, neither diet really had an edge on the other.
Now that sounds pretty boring – nobody likes a draw! Surely there must be some kind of deciding “extra-time” win? Did both groups diet for three years for NOTHING? (scientifically speaking)
Well, the interesting part is after the three years. Both groups were allowed to go out and eat whatever they wanted, with no limitations to low carb or low fat food. Pizzas are back on the menu!
The study found that the group who had cut out the carbs gained weight noticeably faster than the group who had cut out the fat!
IF PIZZA MADE THEM FAT THEN CARBS MUST BE BAD FOR ME!
Not so fast! (Although I’m pretty certain pizza is terrible for you. It’s a messy delicious lovechild of fat and carbs.)
Carbohydrates are complex little guys. As always, things aren’t so simple here.
Carbs are split up into three categories. You have Sugar, Starch, and Fiber –
Sugars are sweet (duh!) short-chain carbs like glucose, fructose,sucrose, and galactose
…Not Galactus. You can’t eat him.
Starches are long chain, and get converted into glucose when you digest them
Fibre surprisingly does not get digested by your body, but contains some helpful fuel for the bacteria in your gut.
Combined, their job is to give you energy. But last time I checked, eating a whole loaf of bread didn’t give me much get-up-and-go…Maybe that’s where my carb-laden diet is going wrong?
I ATE A WHOLE LOAF OF BREAD AND NOW I FEEL TERRIBLE. SURELY THIS MEANS CARBS ARE BAD?
OK, so lesson two about carbs is the whole Complex/Simple carbs thing you may have heard about before.
Complex carbs are the good guys. They’re made up of a long, complex string of sugar molecules, and are usually full of useful things your body needs like vitamins and minerals. Once you suck these into your food hole, your body takes a while to digest them and make the most of them. Because they’re complex and deep and they need time to get to know you.
Simple carbs are the bad guys. They’re made up of a short chain of just sugar. Not much else. They’re shallow and your body digests them really quickly and moves on because they’re not that interesting. This means that they give you energy really fast (because they’re pretty much just sugar) but they don’t do a lot for your body’s nutrition: they’re too simple for that. They’re not healthy like the complex carbs, but they do the same job. Why bother?
THANKS FOR THE BIOLOGY LESSON. CAN I BE SKINNY NOW?
Ok I’ll get to the point.
The Simple carbs are the problem here. Because they’re usually just a couple of sugar molecules hanging out together, it usually means they’re tasty. So people like to eat them. Then because they are digested quickly by your body, causing your blood sugar levels soar and then crash. This makes your body feel like it needs more: creating a vicious cycle of eating these nutritionless simple carbs.
The complex carbs on the other hand contain more starch and fibre as well as a more complex arrangement of sugar molecules, full of vitamins and minerals your body can process.
Examples of simple carb foods are: Honey, Chocolate, Sugar, Sweets/Candy, Jams/Preserves, Cakes, Biscuits, Fizzy drinks, and anything baked with white flour white such as bread and pasta – white flour is just wholewheat with the fiber and goodness stripped out!
Examples of complex carb foods are: Beans and Soy produce, Vegetables, Wholewheat bread and pasta, and nuts.
You see what I mean? The unhealthy carbs are the ones that arguably taste the best. They trick your body into thinking you want more and more.
Next time you feel like a chocolate bar or something sweet, grab an apple, a strawberry, a box of grapes… Anything to keep those carbs complex and interesting. Your body will thank you.
You see the problem with a no-carb diet? If you cut out all carbs completely, you’re cutting yourself off from these wonderful complex carbs, that actually help your body and make you feel great. Cut out or simply cut down on the simple carbs and you will feel better.
As well as limiting your simple carb intake, the other diet key is to keep an eye on your portion size! Just because you’re eating complex carbs, doesn’t mean you can eat a whole loaf of wholewheat bread every day and keep decreasing that waistline. Track your calorie intake, make sure you’re not overeating, and make sure you’re exercising regularly to burn off any excess calories. These are even more important steps on the road of weight loss.
The conclusion: If you’re struggling to lose weight even with regular exercise and healthy portion sizes, try cutting back on the unhealthy simple carbs, but continue eating the useful complex ones.
I Didn’t type “crabs” once IN THIS ARTICLE!!
If you’ve had personal experience with cutting carbs whether negative or positive, please share your story in the comments below!
Hey hungry people! Today we’re tackling another food myth – “Do eggs increase my cholesterol, and should I be avoiding them?”
2 EGGS EXCEED MY MAXIMUM DAILY CHOLESTEROL!
Yeah, this is a common (and understandable) misconception.
The American Heart Association (AHA) told everyone that a person’s recommended daily limit to cholesterol is 300mg per day if you want to keep your ticker ticking. Large eggs contain about 185mg of that, so 2 eggs take you up to a dizzying 370mg already and you haven’t even touched your bacon!
WILL I DIE IF I EAT 2 EGGS?
I can eat 2 eggs just fine, and I don’t mean to brag but I’ve done it more than 3 times now. The problem with the AHA’s recommendation is that your body just isn’t that simple, and although you’re consuming 370mg of dietary cholesterol in those two massive eggs you ate, it doesn’t actually raise your entire body’s blood cholesterol by 370mg, because usually your liver would produce its own – but you just gave it a bunch of cholesterol to deal with, so your body regulates the amount, and produces less than it would before. Your body is pretty clever and I bet you never give it the credit it deserves!
There have been studies (at least 17) done on the effects of eggs and the cholesterol increase they have on the body, and just one egg a day is said to be almost impossible to detect!
Some studies force fed people 1-3 eggs a day to see what happens, and found that the majority of people’s “good” cholesterol went up whilst the “bad” cholesterol went down.
The population of Japan are one of the largest egg consumers of the world, with each person eating 328 eggs a year on average, whilst having a very low level of cholesterol and heart disease issues compared to other developed countries.
So Eating those 2 eggs now and again is not going to raise your cholesterol to worrying heights. It’s more likely going to be the rest of your diet surrounding the eggs, like that bacon I mentioned earlier! If you’re worried about your cholesterol being too high, to the point you’re worrying about eating the eggs in front of you, I recommend you re assess your entire eating plan with a trained medical professional, and they can help you out much better than any food blog can!
SO WHAT’S IN MY EGG? IS IT STILL BAD FOR ME?
No, not a face hugger! I Hope not, that would be bad for you!
A single large egg has about 90 calories in it – but what do these calories consist of?
Eggs contain a lot of complete proteins, containing essential amino acids that your body cannot create alone, and can be found in many foods, most people get their protein from meats or fish, but eggs can be a great source for vegetarians. Protein is great for rebuilding muscle, which is why you’ll hear about body builders drinking raw egg whites (The yolk contains nearly all the fat so they often avoid these, although this means they miss out on 42% of the protein and almost all of the nutrients!)
Eggs are also a great source for Vitamin D, and one of the few natural sources. Vitamin D is important for bones and teeth, as well as calcium absorption that benefits the heart and colon.
They also contain Choline, a nutrient that helps with brain health, especially in younger children.
They’re essentially little balls of goodness than can be prepared in so many ways! If you haven’t eaten those eggs yet, they’ve gone cold – go and make some more!
Protip: If your egg floats to the top of a glass filled with tap water, it’s gone bad. Definitely avoid these.
How many eggs did you eat today whilst clinging to mortality? Discuss below!
Hey Hungry People! This is commonly thought of as the best meat you’ll ever eat, and priced accordingly – So let’s discuss what makes it so good, where to get it, and dispel some common myths about this supremely delicious animal!
WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT IT?
Wagyu is famous for its highly marbled texture, unseen in any other beef.
This marbling – high in monounsaturated fat, Omega-3, Omega-6, and Omega-9 has a lower melting point during cooking. Wagyu beef results in a juicier, more tender meat than anything you’ve tasted before, melting in your mouth with a richness unfound anywhere else. This extraordinary taste comes at a high price however. It wasn’t regularly available to export until 2013, and even then, good wagyu sells for £200/kg whilst Kobe sells for £500/kg in Japan!
WHAT IS WAGYU?
Wagyu is simply the name in Japan for a cow bred for its beef. Consisting simply of the words Wa – meaning Japanese-style and Gyu – meaning Cow.
There are four different types of Wagyu – Japanese Shorthorn, Japanese Polled, Japanese Black, and Japanese Brown.
The majority of these cows are the Japanese Black, and this breed is again split up into many strains such as Tajima, Tottori, Shimane and Okayama. Whilst the other three breeds of wagyu only make up 10% of the population combined, with shorthorn being less than 1%.
The wagyu were originally bred as work animals in rice cultivation during the 2nd century, muscular and hard wearing. Each breed of wagyu was isolated due to the mountainous landscape of Japan, and developed their own individual flavour in their meat. These factors created the unique marbling not seen anywhere else in the world, highly sought after by both farmers and meat-eaters alike!
There have been rumours spread that Wagyu have daily massages, are given beer to drink, and played soothing music, to help create the best atmosphere and relax the cattle, producing the best beef possible. Unfortunately, this is not true, as much as we’d like it to be! I’m quite happy picturing a field full of chilled out cows on their daily spa trip!
So, Wagyu refers to the type of cow your meat comes from – NOT where it comes from. Just because your food comes from a certain type of cow, does not guarantee the highest of quality.
The very best of Wagyu meat is shipped with area names. The most famous and highly regarded of these is Kobe beef.
WHAT IS KOBE BEEF?
Kobe is the capital city of the Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan
The famous Kobe beef is taken mostly from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black Wagyu; all descendants of the famous Tajiri-go Wagyu from Ojiro, a village in the north of the Prefecture.
These Wagyu are raised according to the regulations of the Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Association, of which Kobe beef is a registered trademark. It’s illegal in japan to brand meat as Kobe beef without being graded and certified by these regulations. Similar to how you have Cornish pasties, Champagne, and Parma ham from only those specific places!
These regulations state that:
- The meat must come from Tajima strain wagyu, born in the Hyōgo prefecture.
- The Wagyu must be Farm fed in the prefecture.
- The Beef must come from a castrated bull (also known as a steer or a bullock) or virgin cows.
- The Wagyu must have been Slaughtered at one of five specific abattoirs in the prefecture.
- The Beef’s Marbling Standard (BMS) must be of a level 6 and above.
- The Quality score of the meat must be a 4 or 5.
- The total weight of all beef allowed from each animal must be 470 kg or less.
- A yield score (percentage of edible parts) of A or B
- Each Wagyu must have a 10-digit Tracking number attached to it, so that it’s authenticity may be traced.
Only when certified, can the beef have a “Nojigiku” Chrysanthemum stamp as proof of it’s classification.
That’s a lot of rules, and it results in only around 3000 cattle being certified as Kobe Beef every year, with Kobe being only 0.06% of Japanese beef consumption. Along with the exceptionally high quality of the meat, this limited availability is a huge driving factor behind the high price.
Tajima are even kept alive and fattened for longer than typical cattle, and live for 26-32 months compared to the average 18 months for US beef – again ensuring high quality, but at almost double the cost of upkeep over the cattle’s lifespan.
CAN I EAT KOBE BEEF OR WAGYU OUTSIDE OF JAPAN?
As of August 2012, the exporting of Kobe beef was slowly brought back, and can likely now be imported into your own country – but considering there are so little cattle certified as Kobe, which alone makes up such a small amount of the Japanese beef consumption, it’s very difficult to source and would be incredibly hard to find a reputable place to eat genuine Kobe Beef, unless you are paying a very large amount of money in a very exclusive restaurant.
In fact, (because it is legal to do so outside of japan) many restaurants and butchers can falsely claim to supply Kobe beef to their customers, when in fact they offer Kobe “style” beef. This is often Wagyu interbred with native cattle species, creating a cross breed that although may have some of the original wagyu marbling, will not be anywhere near the quality and taste found in the breeding, handling, and regulation of actual Kobe beef.
Some claim the cross breeds are used because outside of japan people are not acclimatised to the richness of pure Kobe quality wagyu, but personally I would hazard a guess that it has been done as a cost saving and climate management benefit. I imagine It would be a nightmare to breed and keep pure Japanese cattle outside of their usual climate and expect the same results.
Surprisingly though, some farmers have taken that challenge by the horns and have bought their own pure Wagyu breeds from japan to their own countries. A handful of Farmers in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Scotland have embraced the breed and tried to distribute the Wagyu more locally. This will arguably never be the same flavour and texture as Kobe beef, but you’ll have to try both to find out – a journey that will empty your wallet quicker than it fills your stomach!
At this price, it’s probably a long way from Kobe quality Wagyu!
Let us know in the comments if you’ve Wagyu or even Kobe beef, and what you thought of it compared to your usual favourite cut of steak!