The sales pitch happened to be for The Carb Lovers Diet Cook book. Interesting concept. Eat Pasta, Pizza, Cupcakes, and lose weight (...Please tell me more!).
It is definitely possible to eat these things and lose weight, mainly because you can make healthier versions of these foods. (I teach people how to healthify these foods and lose weight all the time.) However, what really made me cringe was her comment about how we need digestive resistant starch to lose weight and feel full. It amazes me how people will play with words, change terminology, and even redesign product labels to sell their cookbooks, supplements, or other garbage products even after they have been exposed as less than optimal.
First, let me clear some things up:
Digestive Resistant Starch = Fiber
Calling a type of fiber digestive resistant starch when virtually all laypeople know "fiber" is just flat out confusing. This terminology tricks people into thinking there is something new that is going to help them lose weight (DRS is a subclass of fiber that has been studied for a good while now).
I picture parents bringing their kids out to CiCi''s "all-you-can-eat" pizza buffet and pumping them full of "digestive resistant starch" as a weight loss plan. (I am joking, but I have seen crazier situations.) Sadly, many people who are overweight do not cook their own food to begin with.
Eating fiber makes you feel full (bloated would be a more accurate term). Fiber in normal (adequate) amounts can be useful as it can act like a broom to prevent constipation. Additionally, bacteria ferment a small portion of it into B vitamins and short chain fatty acids in the digestive track which aid metabolism and digestion, and can ultimately help with weight loss. However, when people start claiming we should all start eating high resistant starch pizza, pasta, and cupcakes to lose weight, I find that a little ridiculous for a few reasons.
- Fiber is useful because it slows down the absorption of calories in general. This is one reason whole foods are much better for weight loss. The calories trickle in rather than come in all at once. The best fiber comes from fruits and vegetables, and fruits and vegetables gram for gram are significantly more nutrient dense.
- Grains are not the best food to eat. As stated above vegetables and fruits are better options. Grains, such as wheat, have been bred/hybridized to contain more gluten so that they have a longer shelf life. Gluten is toxic and prevents nutrient absorption and destroys cells in the digestive tract that absorb nutrients. Gluten means glue! Grains are also high in phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors, and can prevent minerals from being absorbed into the body (iron, calcium, zinc specifically).
- You can lose or maintain weight on ANY diet; even a high carbohydrate diet. A diet simply refers to WHAT you eat. You can eat virtually anything and gain or lose weight; calories play a huge role. If you eat too much you have to put it somewhere. What we really should be asking is how does this food affect nutritional status and metabolism over time.
- If you eat foods that deplete nutrition from your body, your metabolism will ultimately suffer and your cells will not function optimally. When your metabolism fails and your hormones are out of whack, weight loss is extremely difficult. (This happens in people with thyroid disorders.) Calories are a huge factor. But if your body is burning 300 less calories a day because your cells don't have the vitamins and minerals they need to function properly, you will gain weight regardless of how many calories you cut. Cutting calories might even worsen the situation because people tend to cut out the wrong foods in the process.
- Rarely does anyone eat just ONE slice of pizza and that little slice is 400 calories! Most people eat too much in general because they eat too fast and their hormones are jacked up from years of bad food (especially refined fructose and toxic fats); but, the reality is people will eat until they are full and satisfied. The best way to feel full and satisfied is by getting enough healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from real food in general; not just fiber from grains. Grains have been a staple calorie source for many cultures for thousands of years; however, they are not the optimal food for most people. I have helped numerous people lose weight by eliminating grains from their diet. Many people have problems with wheat specifically, because of how it has been altered over the years.
I have not had a chance to look at this cookbook in depth; it might have some excellent recipes. Wolfgang Puck is a fabulous chef, and ultimately, I am a fan of anyone promoting real food. Just make sure you understand your terminology so you can navigate through the marketing nonsense.
Your health will come from the quality and nutritional content of the ingredients in the foods that you eat. Recently, I had a pizza made with cauliflower and almond flower crust with a pesto sauce and vegetables on top. It was great! These foods can be healthy and delicious if done right! Recipes coming soon.