Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers over 3.5 million years ago. They ate animals, insects and they consumed a few greens. 10,000 years ago, agriculture gave us complex carbohydrates with grains, potato and yams. These complex carbohydrates are basically just a series of simple carbohydrates or building blocks joined together.
For some people who have an inheritable sensitivity to carbohydrates, these simple and complex carbohydrates can turn on a storage response that leads to an accumulation of bodily fat and also to a build-up of hazardous fat around the stomach and potentially in the arteries.
Complex carbohydrates are broken down to simple carbohydrates in the digestive system. Simple carbohydrates can be disaccharides, such as SUGAR or monosaccharides, such as GLUCOSE. If you think about our ancestors 3.5 million years ago, there wasn’t much SUGAR in their diet.
THE NAME FOR A SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATE IS SUGAR.
If your doctor has already suggested that you make dietary changes then:
You need to find the motivation that makes the change a priority.
It might be that you’ve got a wedding to go to in six months’ time and you want to be five to ten kilos lighter. Or, it might be that in two years’ time you want to have a holiday at a beach resort and wear a one-piece. It could be that you want to lose five kilos so that can play with your grandkids.
Whatever it is, your priority needs to be rock-solid for you.
The more rock-solid that priority is, the easier it will be for you to follow through with your doctor’s dietary guidelines. You should document it for a while, but once you follow this guide for an extended period, you will not need to keep documenting it, because you will form the habit and you will keep going from there.
You need to understand that the positive consequences of that change are not immediate.
This is one of the biggest problems with making any lifestyle change and maintaining it. So, for those of you who are tech-savvy, there is a free app available for iPad, iPhone and Android, called MyFitnessPal, which gives you an easy and effective way to keep track of your daily dietary intake.
If your doctor has not recommended that you make any changes to your diet, or you haven’t yet had this conversation, it’s a good idea to raise this question, so that your doctor can help you to identify a diet that works best for you.
Dr Warrick Bishop
is a cardiologist with special interest in cardiovascular disease prevention incorporating imaging, lipids and lifestyle. He is author of the book ‘Have You Planned Your Heart Attack?’, written for patients and doctors about how to live intentionally to reduce cardiovascular risk and save lives! Dr Bishop can be contacted via website