By SUSAN CALLAHAN, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
Remember when the way to lose way was to avoid eating carbohydrates? Well, that was so "2017". The new and surprisingly good news for those of us who secretly love or cars is that starch --- yes, starch! --- may soon become the new next thing.
How can this be? How can the enemy become the savior?
It happens because, the truth is, that the entire message about carbohydrates ruining your health was too general a message. Not all starches are bad for your health.
Here is the evidence. Almost every single civilization on Earth that has a disproportionate percentage of long-living people include starch as a major component of their diets.
Take the Japanese. The Japanese currently are the longest living race of people on Earth, when you include both men and women. They currently live to the ripe old age of 85 on average, according to the World Heath Organization.
Rice is a staple of the Japanese diet. Typically, the Japanese eat vegetables and starch as the main part of their plate. Protein is a side dish, taking up less than 20% of their calories consumed. Remember that 20% figure.
Take the Chinese. Again, rice is the staple of their diets, with fish as a side dish. Their have rates of cancer and heart disease that are half those in the US.
In Africa, starches make up the majority of the calories eaten, and meat is a side dish. They too have rates of cancer and heart disease that are half those of the US.
Within the US, Seventh Day Adventists have been studied extensively by researchers because they have very low rates of heart disease and cancer. They follow a vegetarian diet, with potatoes, pasta, vegetables taking center stage and meat non-existent.
Most people who tout starch as a central part of the diet trace their beliefs to Dr. Robert McDougall. McDougall suffered a massive stroke at age 18 after eating a diet high in animal fats. he then changed his diet to emphasize plants and starches such as potatoes. He has been in excellent health since then and today is a lean, athletic 70 year old.
Rabbit Starvation Helps to Explain Why Starches Can Get You Healthy
When we eat a diet that is rich in starches and low in fat, we lose weight. If fat is lowered to 10% of the diet, we lose weight rapidly, a phenomenon known as "rabbit starvation." The name comes from the experiences of trappers and hunters in the woods of Canada and North America who in centuries past, learned that people who ran out of wild game t hunt and who were left with only rabbits to eat through the winter, withered away to near death. Unlike deer, pigs, cows and other animals, rabbits have very little fat, and eating them will not give your body enough fat to live on.
We can simulate rabbit starvation by simply lowering the amount of fat in our diet. Cut the proportion of meat down and increase the amount of potatoes, vegetables of all types and whole grains such as oats, rye and barley.
Add soups made from butternut squash, pumpkin and celery to round out or replace your evening meals. You will find, surprisingly, that you wake up feeling more refreshed. You will fall to sleep more easily and ,yes, you will lose weight.
Starches to Continue to Avoid
White flour is a starch that you should continue to avoid. It has little nutritional value and it raises your blood sugar levels rapidly. Avoid breads and pancakes made from white wheat flour as well as flour-based desserts.