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When/Why Did Carbs Become A Problem?
Old 12-06-2011, 05:26 PM   #1
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When/Why Did Carbs Become A Problem?

I'm cooking dinner now. It's a vegan dumpling stew, so I'm using white potatoes and flour. I try to use sweet potatoes as much as possible, but they wouldn't be right with this. And instead of enjoying it, I'm feeling guilty about it being a high glycemic dish. Thinking "there goes my blood sugar!" and "I'm adding five pounds to my hips!"

But then I began to wonder what has changed. A well balanced, nutritious meal was considered to include white potatoes and bread, like a roll. And there were less diabetics and overweight people back in the day when people ate like this.

So---what changed??
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:34 PM   #2
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one factor is portion sizes have crept upward
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:37 PM   #3
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America's sweet tooth; too many beverages and recipes loaded with huge quantities of sweeteners, combined with too many school buses, remote TV controls and other modern conveniences?
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:38 PM   #4
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I'm cooking dinner now. It's a vegan dumpling stew, so I'm using white potatoes and flour. I try to use sweet potatoes as much as possible, but they wouldn't be right with this. And instead of enjoying it, I'm feeling guilty about it being a high glycemic dish. Thinking "there goes my blood sugar!" and "I'm adding five pounds to my hips!"

But then I began to wonder what has changed. A well balanced, nutritious meal was considered to include white potatoes and bread, like a roll. And there were less diabetics and overweight people back in the day when people ate like this.

So---what changed??
Who knows- maybe the overall level of activity. My grandfather never saw a dumpling he didn't like, never saw a doctor, and died at age 84 after slopping his hogs one cold January morning. Sat down on the cistern top, rolled a cigarette and never got to smoke it.

At the same, I don't remember seeing many older farm wives that would have been considered svelte either. It may be that after menopause, it is just a struggle for the average woman to stay slim. Seems to be much easier for men. Maybe if the older woman is tough enough she stays thin like a man.

I had a great-aunt who in fact lived with us for several years. She had one lung, smoked like a chimney (Pall Malls) and in her resume had the fatal shooting of one of her less than careful husbands. Aquitted, as it seemed that all concerned felt that the guy needed killing. She died in her late 80s. Another win for the Uncle Mick theory.

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Old 12-06-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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one factor is portion sizes have crept upward
And physical activity isn't what it used to be either, for the average American, who probably burned off more calories while slopping the hogs, etc.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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And physical activity isn't what it used to be either, for the average American, who probably burned off more calories while slopping the hogs, etc.
The mods should all be buff...
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:57 PM   #7
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The mods should all be buff...
It's part of our fitness routines.

Seriously, sometimes when looking at old news clips I am surprised at how fat people were back then. It's not just a recent phenomenon, or at least not entirely recent.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:02 PM   #8
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When I walk all day, sometimes with a backpack (touring a place I've never been before) I can eat pretty much anything and everything I want, and not gain weight, in fact I gain muscle and lost fat. Back home, even though I put in almost two hours at the gym everyday (and working hard, not just gabbing), I have to really watch what I eat, and concentrate on low-cal foods like veggies. Just tracking calories in and calories out, it takes a full day of physical activity to burn off what a normal appetite consumes. And now research is starting to indicate that our parents, and even our grandparents, if they were overweight, can affect how our bodies process sugars. At least they've found this in rats.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:09 PM   #9
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Agree with portion size--for example, juice glasses were 4 oz. (or smaller) when I was a kid, for that serving of oj. McDonald's original burger and fries were smaller than the kids' meals today. We probably eat a lot more carbs in these giant portions today than protein, so imho carbs get the bad rap as they're way lower on the thermogenesis scale than proteins.

But many people here find restricting carbs to be a good thing, so who knows--maybe great grandma and grandpa were in the wrong.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:13 PM   #10
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I once read a study that said that it's all the diet stuff that has made us fat. Apart from the chemicals in aspartame, there's the psychological factor - we can eat/drink as much as we want and indulge in things because we had them with "diet coke".

No one food is bad - potatoes included. It's volume. And conditioning: I'm sure I'm not the only one who had to clean her plate because of all the starving children in (name 3rd world country of choice)
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:18 PM   #11
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But many people here find restricting carbs to be a good thing, so who knows--maybe great grandma and grandpa were in the wrong.
I don't think they were wrong, they just led different lives.

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Old 12-06-2011, 06:39 PM   #12
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On portion size, the one that always strikes me is that the original Coca-Cola bottle (when I was a kid) held six ounces and it was unusual to have more than one. We drank mostly water to quench our thirst. When Pepsi came out with an eight ounce bottle, that was considered really large.

So in fact, portion sizes have definitely ballooned to proportions that would be unrecognizable to our younger selves.
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Old 12-06-2011, 06:53 PM   #13
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I remember being envious because the US coke and pepsi cans were so much bigger than the ones we got in Canada.

We were kinda stupid - generationally speaking - don't you think
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:50 PM   #14
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When I was young, potatoes were not considered healthy. We were supposed to avoid this fattening, "starchy" food. Then, when we were told to avoid fat at all costs (80s and 90s), potatoes were seen as healthier. I find it encouraging that that is changing.

Another example: shredded wheat. Remember when the senate said that the box was nutritionally superior to the cereal? They were right, but soon we came to see shredded wheat as wholesome healthy grain with lots of fiber. Hopefully the tide will turn on this too.

P.S. Apparently the shredded wheat thing happened around 1970.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/19...al-pfrederick/
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:23 PM   #15
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On portion size, the one that always strikes me is that the original Coca-Cola bottle (when I was a kid) held six ounces and it was unusual to have more than one. We drank mostly water to quench our thirst. When Pepsi came out with an eight ounce bottle, that was considered really large.

So in fact, portion sizes have definitely ballooned to proportions that would be unrecognizable to our younger selves.
Isnt that a perfect example. Just think how the sizes have changed and escalated the past 40 years in sodas. But candy bar lovers have probably lost weight. They have shrunk so much over the past couple decades, I need to put on my reader glasses to find them on the rack!
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:59 PM   #16
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I agree with the folk here who have said that the main thing that has changed is physical activity level, and perhaps also our increased intake of sugar (and processed foods).

With all the different "flavor of this particular year" diets around, I'm thinking that eating a little bit of most everything, but keeping your overall portion size down is a pretty good way to go, combined with preparing as many of your meals at home as possible with non-processed ingredients, and staying away from soda.

My grandma was a well stout woman (who gave wonderful hugs). In fact, she was built like the proverbial brick you-know-what-house. She lived to 102. Ate sensibly, but I'm sure that genes were on her side too. Her size didn't seem to be much of a problem.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:39 PM   #17
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I don't disagree with anything that's been said. Portion size combined with activity level is probably a big part of it. However, all they demonizing of this food and that food is just so much hype. Rat poison is bad for you. Potatoes, soda, fried foods, Oreos , etc. should be eaten in moderation, not completely avoided without a good reason.

They aren't bad for you. Will trans fat kill you? Eventually maybe, but a little here and there isn't going to do much. Same with most things. If an Oreo takes the edge off, calms you down and makes you happy, I think the benefits, in moderation, outweigh any harm it may or may not cause in small doses.

I smoke cigars, maybe three or four a week at most. I checked. The increased risk for mouth, throat or lung cancer cannot be determined it is so low at that amount of use. Moderation. If I had a cigar hanging out of my mouth all day long everyday, I'd expose myself to some increased risk to be certain. Even I do have some elevated risk, should I stop smoking cigars even though they relax me and bring me a lot of pleasure. Some people would say yes.

I've said it before. I'd rather die at 65 happy and fulfilled than at 95 with a life of denial behind me. And yes, I have nothing better to do at the moment than express my opinion. I am retired after all.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:51 PM   #18
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Dumplings are wonderful. It must be 30 years since I've had them.

Shucks, now I want some dumplings.
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Old 12-06-2011, 10:58 PM   #19
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I'm cooking dinner now. It's a vegan dumpling stew, so I'm using white potatoes and flour. I try to use sweet potatoes as much as possible, but they wouldn't be right with this. And instead of enjoying it, I'm feeling guilty about it being a high glycemic dish.
You could use the "longevity wonder food", Okinawan sweet potatoes, and get a nice purple tinge to the stew...
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:21 AM   #20
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Under normal conditions, with the kind of foods that animals have evolved to consume, the organism's weight is regulated, without conscious input, to an extremely fine degree.

It's hard to imagine that this regulation can be thrown off to such an extent simply by more food on the plate or larger drinks that someone could grow to weigh 300 or 400 pounds.

I agree that portion control may play a role, but I can't see it causing the obesity epidemic.
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