[Post by Cliff Harvey ND]
In a recent nutrition lecture I presented I was reminded of a few posts I read by a leading internet 'health guru' advising people to: Avoid eating carrots because they are high on the glycaemic index.
My initial thought was to do what has become my usual response to posts like this: 1) click the close button, 2) Yawn, 3) Think; "How freakin' boring"..
But when I considered that one of the sites spouting this drivel is one of the most well read health sites on the internet...AND one that many of my clients read, I figured that I could at least throw my 2 cents into the ring...
When did we become SCARED by food?!
Don't eat carrots because of a high GI rating!?
Give me a break!
YES carrots have a high GI rating. But as I have lectured on numerous times at conferences around the world and at several prominent universities we cannot get hung up on just one indicator of food quality. It is the total quality of what we eat that is important - not just picking and choosing indices (such as GI, GL, ID or leptin effect) that denote a complete and healthy diet.
Take an average large carrot containing around 7 grams of carbohydrates. As a carbohydrate/vegetable option ANYONE who is moderately active and eating a healthy diet on the whole is going to more than adequately be able to deal with that load. Especially when you consider that it does take a little time to eat a carrot! This is even true of people following ketogenic diets - this small amount of carbohydrate is unlikely to push them out of the highly fat-adapted state for any appreciable amount of time.
But therein lies one of the problems - people aren't active and they aren't active in the way they need to be (lifting, pulling and pushing a variety of heavy things; moving in different directions; walking long distances; sprinting intermittently...)
A carrot is extremely nutritionally robust; high in antioxidants (including vitamin C and beta-carotene) and to my mind provides a great additional to a meal, a post-workout snack option or even just a sweet treat that has many, many nutritional and health benefits.
I feel again that people are missing the point. A carrot is real food....as are most natural, whole and unprocessed foods - particularly the ones that can be eaten in their raw state. It is not carrots (or dates, or bananas for that matter) that are making our population fatter and less healthy; it is all the highly processed, refined and denatured CRAP that people fill themselves with every day....I think they'd be better off eating a carrot...
I will continue to run barefoot, lift extremely heavy things - and throw them around! I'll use my body as a viable means of transport over long distances, AND I'll keep on eating carrots, bananas and dates when eating carbohydrates (which I don't always do...but more on that another time...)
7 grams of high GI carbs....as I said before: boring. Next topic.