When I think back at how I used to eat I wonder sometimes how I survived. We’ve covered a lot of ground on the blog here already such as There’s No Starch in March, How Junk Foods Resemble Baby Milk Formula various other topics.
I wanted to clarify that Don’t Eat for Winter, or The DEFoW Diet is not a low-carb diet. It is a precise carb diet based on human body energy requirements. Compared to the modern diet we have been subjected to by very many parties it is comparatively low, because I would now consider today’s diet to be EXTREME carb.
As stated in previous blogs, the premise behind Don’t Eat for Winter is that carbs spike in autumn time, for the rest of the year they simply do not exist or are difficult to get in nature, especially where there are pronounced seasons. We, however, have managed to become the ultimate squirrels and have developed every little nicety that causes us to get weak at the knees at the thoughts of it. WHY? Because they invoke instinct. Survival instincts that make us want to put on fat to survive an oncoming famine of winter.
Just look at our diets, and I think you’ll agree I’m not over-exaggerating about the fact they are extremely carby:
- Breakfast baguette
- Tea & Toast
- Fruit Juice
ALL AUTUMNAL CARBS!!!
- Carvery with potatoes etc.
- Sandwich / Baguette / Wrap / Panini
- Fries & Burger
- Pasta Salad
ALL AUTUMNAL CARBS
- Spaghetti Bolognese
- Slice of Pizza
- Potatoes and 2 Veg
- Pasta something or other
ALL AUTUMNAL CARBS
- Snacks in-between / Supper
- Bar (including protein bar)
- Soft Drinks
- Smoothie drinks (I bought one today and was horrified to read there was 9 spoons of sugar in it after I drank it, because I was wondering why I slumped in the afternoon!!!)
ALL AUTUMNAL CARBS OR SOME REFINED VERSION
As you can see, it is extreme carbohydrate… to find this stuff in nature even in autumn would be tough, but we love to invoke our autumnal instincts, it feels good… it feels like I’m being cuddled by my mother, but it’s a sirens call and it was once good to do this on a temporary basis in order to put on a little weight to survive winter back in the stoneage, but nowadays we have food all year around, and modern heating systems so we don’t really need to put on that fat layer anymore, and certainly not indefinitely.
Look, I don’t want to be a party pooper and choosing to eat an item from the lists above a day is probably OK in the right amounts (though I’d avoid the junky stuff), but having them 4-6 times a day, all the days of your life means you can’t be the optimal version of yourself.
But wait, weren’t we told it’s safe?
Well, the role of sugar in coronary heart disease (an obesity related disease) was downplayed in the 60s by experts, the result of which encouraged low-fat diets (which were high carb) over low-carb diets. If you Google the sugar scandal you can see for yourself. Until recently, autumnal carbs were on the bottom rung of the food pyramid (these are essentially sugars, it doesn’t have to be sweet to be a saccharide), that’s been shifted up now, so something has changed in the minds of the experts finally, however, there are still problems with it (such as bananas being moved to the bottom rung, which are high enough gi carbs), which I will discuss in another article .
In my article Soda vs Spud, I highlight the fact that starch is every bit as much a sugar as sweet sugars, but it will take time to get that message out to society, but we can do it together through social media sharing and so on. It’s worth it to save a the lives of our friends, families and children in the long term. To prevent unnecessary suffering and to reduce our long term health bill.
We now also have a sugar tax looming, a positive step perhaps to tackle the obesity crisis, but in a perfect world, I would prefer a free market for an educated society, where education promotes more healthy purchases forcing manufacturers to produce more healthy foods, based on demand. It would save millions of lives across the globe if we were all educated about foods and how they impact our sugar levels and what that does to the body, especially given the awful fact that so many of our children are now obese. Only through a combination of activity and diet can we solve this issue, with 80% focus on diet, which essentially is what the DEFoW diet is… a paleolithic prescription, just as S. Boyd Eaton and co. outlined in their excellent book with that name in the 80s.
Sugar (including starch), in and of itself is not the enemy, it is an energy source for our brain and bodies and used precisely, and obtained from the correct foods, is a great source of fuel for our minds and our bodies. It is also a brilliant tool to get the most out of our bodies for the certain activities such as weight training and higher intensity cardio exercise. It is an excess of this energy source, which causes problems for us, and an excess… even an extreme, is easy to come by today.
I am a firm believer that sugar spikes encourage fat storage through many processes which affect both our brains and our bodies (instincts, fat storage mode, lethargy, lower metabolism, all of which is discussed fully in the book Don’t Eat for Winter.
The DEFoW Diet is not low carb, it’s not like the atkins diet or ketogenic diets, I encourage people to eat carbs as they are a valuable source of many nutrients in natural forms such as wholegrain, fruits, veg and so on, however, the really high gi and gl carbs should be kept to a minimum.
I will be writing a blog soon called ‘The Carb Pyramid’ soon to help people understand how to chose the right carbs for the right meal.