When it Comes to Calories, is it Quantity or Quality?

Exploring Intensity

When it Comes to Calories, is it Quantity or Quality?

Hunger. It’s been a part of us since before we even started walking on land, but it has created a whole mess of problems. The biggest issue nowadays is the expanding waistlines of people, with a thousand different solutions on how to fix our weight without going to bed at night hungry.

A new book, “Always Hungry?” is by obesity expert David Ludwig, and while we haven’t read the book ourselves, there is a pretty persuasive interview with the doctor over at the NY Times where he says that it’s not as simple as “calories in, calories out.”

It is not the quantity of our food, but the quality.

There is a ton of interesting info in the interview, but essentially Ludwig is promoting the idea that cutting down on calories isn’t the way to lose weight, at least not exactly. Instead, “It’s the low fat, very high carbohydrate diet that we’ve been eating for the last 40 years, which raises levels of the hormone insulin and programs fat cells to go into calorie storage overdrive. I like to think of insulin as the ultimate fat cell fertilizer.”

Ludwig is adamant that he does not endorse the Atkins Diet. He is hoping people will focus on reducing processed carbs. This is a bit of a bummer – because it means we need to cut down on the high-sugar foods that we know and love. Ludwig’s program recommends replacing the processed carbs with healthy unprocessed options. He then recommends reintroducing carbs by adding in fruits and beans and non-starchy vegetables. Ludwig also mentions that he likes certain fats like olive oil, nuts and avocado.

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking - that we need to eat better. The difference here? Ludwig says we need to take the emphasis off of eating fewer calories – and focus on eating better calories.