What makes the slow carb diet different from the Atkins (or other low-carb) diet?
At its core, the slow carb diet consists of meat, vegetables, and legumes at each meal. There is no portion limiting or calorie counting, and the person following the diet is free to adjust the ratio of these three items to find a balance that works well for him or her individually. So where are the carbs? From the legumes, mostly.
So, what is the difference? The difference is the type of carbohydrates you are eating. The type of carbohydrates a person eats makes a big difference in terms of the body’s response. The following benefits are realized when eating slow carbs from legumes and vegetables rather than the fast digesting, simple carbs found in many typical dishes:
- Digesting the type of carbohydrates you are consuming in the slow carb diet requires more energy to process. This means that you are burning more calories simply by digesting the food you ate! The net caloric impact on your body, as a result, is lower than if you had eaten simpler, quicker digesting carbs.
- Because slow carbs take longer for your body to digest, the release of sugar into your bloodstream is slower as a result. This helps us achieve the steady blood sugar level that we are looking for.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to consuming slow digesting carbs rather than their simple, processed counterparts. Not only will you burn calories more quickly, but you will maintain a consistent energy level while you’re at it.
Why can’t I eat dairy?
The simple answer is: because drinking milk breaks the rule of not drinking calories and because other dairy products are calorically dense, adding a lot of calories to each meal they are included in. But there’s much more to it than that.
From an evolutionary perspective, the ability to digest dairy into adulthood is a relatively recent genetic acquisition. Simply put, many people just don’t tolerate dairy all that well, because evolutionarily speaking, we are only meant to consume it during childhood. Dairy consumption has been linked to gastritis, colitis, and allergies. For many people, the digestive issues caused by the consumption of dairy simply make it impossible (or nearly so) to lose weight.
The other part of the equation is related to the chemical composition of lactose. Lactose = galactose + glucose. Both galactose and glucose are simple sugars. As a result, your body breaks down lactose into simple sugars within the bloodstream when you consume it. This leads to a spike in blood sugar, the release of insulin, and energy (fat) storage. This is counterproductive.
No fruit either? You’re kidding, right?
This is consistent with the rest of the diet, in that fruit is restricted due to its high sugar content. Eating fruit = eating lots of sugar, which will result in the insulin spike we are trying to avoid. So, the fruit is out.
Fruit will have an impact on your blood sugar and fruit is full of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to one’s health. As a compromise, a piece of fruit each day should have minimal impact on the effectiveness of the diet.