T Nation

Do We Need Simple Carbs?

I am a newbie to both nutrition and to T-Nation (having only jumped on the wagon about 2.5 months ago)

I have been searching unsuccessfully to discover whether or not there is actually any need to consume simple carbs?

Amoung other changes to my diet I’ve cut out any products containing sugar completely for 2.5 months and thinking about not eating fruit (fructose) for a month or so to see if it helps the slimming process…

I take a pretty good multivit so think that’ll keep me on the level more less micronutrients wise.

Also recently discovered that Vinegar lowers GI and have been adding this to salads with a little vegetable oil. So don’t know if this might cause problems with GI levels if I cut out fruits too.

My goal is to lose some weight, but not in a radical and unsustainable way. I’m now a student of nutrion for the long haul! Would very much appreciate your help :slight_smile:

of the macronutrients, the human body needs only proteins and fats. no carbs are needed whatsoever. plenty of people have died from protein and fat deficiencies, but it is just as impossible to die from carb deficiency as it is to die from alcohol deficiency.

there are many good reasons to increase fruit intake, rather than decrease it, even when your goal is to lose fat. the whole “fruit is bad” mindset started because some uninformed people who wanted to cut out all carbs to lose fat thought that the fructose in fruit was a major roadblock in there quest to lose weight. for many reasons, that is just not the case. do a search on fructose, fruit, apples, raspberries, grapefruit, and bananas as these are the fruits that seem to be most often cited to be good for fat-loss.

i just re-read the part of your post about glycemic index. i don’t really understand why you would think that, so it would be helpful if you would expound.

You may not need carbs to breathe,but carbs are essential.
Look at it this way.

Fat and protein we can easily live with.But,a diet with nothing but fat and protein isn’t very healthy either.
A diet without vegetables and fruits is a sure good way to increase your risks of cancer and other health problems(along with trans fat filled junk food and all the synthetic growth hormones they shoot into our meat and dairy).

Fruits are SO important to good health.
Whats the point of living a life if you’re always sick?

So,yes,we could live without carbs,but that means living a life full of sickness and disease without healthy carbs such as fruits and vegetables.
So in the long run,no,we couldn’t really live a healthy without carbohydrates,such as fresh produce.

Cthulhu

[quote]rawda wrote:
i just re-read the part of your post about glycemic index. i don’t really understand why you would think that, so it would be helpful if you would expound.[/quote]

TC posted in his “Food Magic x 5” article that vinegar reduces the GI of foods.

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-research/summaries/ostman-vinegar.jsp

Carbs are utilized, but aren’t necessary for survival. If you are trying to gain a decent amount of strength and mass, consume carbs.

Good posts, Cthulu. Even on a short-term low-carb diet, you should be eating low-calorie green vegetables. A greens supplement would be a good diet to. And I think fruits and a certain amount of grains such as oats should be a part of everyone’s diet in the longterm.

It is better to have carbs than not, but there are cultures who have low carb diets e.g eskimos who eat mainly whale/seal, very high fat/high protein.

Humans are tough and can get by on pretty much anything but protein and fat are essential in the long run.

We are not talking “get by” here though, but optimal.

Simple carbs post workout, very good.

I don’t mean to hi-jack, but when I first read your post I interpreted it a bit differently than the others here: how will a diet where the only carbs are complex / low GI compare to a similar one with simple carbs post-workout.

My guess is that they would both be good. The one with the simple sugars would likely be more anabolic, but as long as you get enough carbs both will refill your glycogen. You won’t be able to fully realize the “anabolic window” without simple carbs, but at least you’ll avoid the carb crash (well at least that happens to me - all that sugar pwo makes me sleepy).

I’m not just talking about living,I’m talking about OPTMAL health.
Yes,eskimos do,but they’re not the healthiest race either.
Eskimos get plenty of Omega 3’s and not too many omega 6’s too.

Also,eskimos don’t live in a country that has poluted air,soda in every school,everyone on drugs,and fast food restaurants at every corner too,so they’re naturally much healtheir.

[quote]Magarhe wrote:
It is better to have carbs than not, but there are cultures who have low carb diets e.g eskimos who eat mainly whale/seal, very high fat/high protein.

Humans are tough and can get by on pretty much anything but protein and fat are essential in the long run.

We are not talking “get by” here though, but optimal.

Simple carbs post workout, very good.

[/quote]

thanks for your reponses…

Big Dan you hit the nail on the head.

I was fishing for whether or not simple sugars are “essential” as well as what might be bad about not having any for a month or so…

The likelihood that not having my regular apple/orange after training is probably less anabolic is reason enough for me to include at least one bit of fruit in my diet a day (A good point regarding post-workout nutrion; a topic that seems to be very thoroughly documented in this forum and something I am very keen to learn more about!)

The key to success of the low carb life is fish… It must be your staple meat, particularly salmon and higher fat fish as they provide the good fats.

I had a mate at work observing the way that I tend to eat and I explained to him that my life of green veges, nuts, limited fruit, and heaps of steak, fish, cheese is what helps me stay lean and that an all meat diet is actually not as bad as someone would have you believe.

He said he’d get right on it, and then started bringing in chicken/steak/chicken/steak/pork/cheese etc etc… despite the fact i mentioned fish must be a staple.

No consideration whatsoever to fat balance… It’s no wonder the atkins and very low carb diets have been denounced as failures. Skip the spinach as well? no way…

Nothing shits me more than people saying they are following a certain diet when they arent, and have no clue what they are eating.

Use your brains people… living off loads of red meat, bacon, bunless Macdonalds burgers, cheese WILL fuck you up in about a year or two… I have no doubt about this.

Anyway, back to the point.
Perpetual low carb? No way in my opinion. Zero carb? I’m pretty sure that will starve you to death, and whack you into a worse form of ketosis, which is known as ketoacidosis, thats gonna FUCK your kidneys and send you to hell.

Dont drop below 20 grams a day of complex carbs, i think that is good advice.

No, you dont need sugar.