ARE CARBS MORE ADDICTIVE THAN COCAINE?

Workout of the Day for Wednesday Jan 23, 2013

For quality:
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Strict Pull-ups
20 Double Unders between each round of pull-ups

Some highlights from a good article below, but the whole article is good. You should read it (click on the title).

carbs_skull_crossbones_varticle

A Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine?

Your body is virtually defenseless against a dependency on carbohydrates—the substances that really make you fat—and it’s time for an intervention.

The answer is that fast-burning carbohydrates—just like cocaine—give you a rush. As with blow, this rush can lead to cravings in your brain and intrusive thoughts when you go too long without a fix. But unlike cocaine, this stuff does more than rewire your neurological system. It will short-circuit your body. Your metabolism normally stockpiles energy so you can use it as fuel later. A diet flush with carbohydrates will reprogram your metabolism, locking your food away as unburnable fat. When you get hungry again you won’t crave anything but more of the same food that started you down the path to dependency. Think of this stuff as more than a drug—it’s like a metabolic parasite, taking over your body and feeding itself.

Carbs, which are classified as starches and sugars, make up the essence of bread, cereal, corn, potatoes, cookies, pasta, fruit, juice, candy, beer, and sweetened drinks—basically anything that isn’t protein or fat. Our government’s recommendations were established in the 1970s and have since been accompanied by an explosion of obesity and diabetes. The advice came about as early nutrition scientists rallied around a misguided maxim that remains embedded in the fabric of our attitudes toward food to this day: Eating too much fat makes you fat. But science never bore out this pre-Galilean view of nutrition. What is now clear is this: At the center of the obesity universe lie carbohydrates, not fat.

“You could live your whole life and never eat a single carbohydrate—other than what you get from mother’s milk and the tiny amount that comes naturally in meat—and probably be just fine,” says Gary Taubes, the award-winning author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, which is helping to reshape the conversation about what makes the American diet so fattening.

“The brain does indeed need carbohydrates for fuel,” Taubes says, “but the body is perfectly happy to make those out of protein, leafy green vegetables, and the animal fat you’re burning.”

carbohydrates are “a nutrient for which humans have no absolute requirement.”

You wouldn’t know it from reading the latest dietary headlines, but all of the popular diets—from Atkins to Dean Ornish (Bill Clinton’s weight-loss plan) to the diet-of-the-moment, Paleo—are successful because the most important change they advise is the same: stop eating refined carbohydrates. This only reminds us of what had been the conventional wisdom in medicine for hundreds of years before the USDA stepped in: that sugar, flour, potatoes, and rice are what make a person fat, not meat and milk.

Forty years into the low-fat, high-carbohydrate way of eating—we can thank it for “diabesity,” shorthand for the societal prevalence of type II diabetes paired with obesity—it seems clearer than ever that our problem lies not simply in carbohydrates, but in their fundamental addictiveness. They sidestep our defenses against overeating, activate brain pathways for pleasure, and make us simultaneously fat and malnourished. They keep us coming back for more, even as they induce physical decline and social rejection. They achieve this more effectively than the controlled substances that can get a guy thrown into jail. Maybe the question isn’t whether carbohydrates are addictive, but whether they are the most addictive substance of all.

In 2007, researchers at the University of Bordeaux, France, reported that when rats were allowed to choose between a calorie-free sweetener and intravenous cocaine, 94 percent preferred the sugar substitute. ..feeding on sugar can, like snorting coke, lead to bingeing, withdrawal, and craving. It does this by lighting up the same circuitry within the brain triggered by cocaine and amphetamines, the dopamine center.

You get fatter and fatter and your body craves more carbs to feed your increasing girth. This destructive cycle is why Americans are so overweight (the process doesn’t happen overnight).

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