This was the title of a segment on the Dr. Oz show on 2.14.12. After this segment, I was bombarded by email from patients, readers, concerned folks who wanted to know the “real deal” regarding the products (brand names were given) promoted on today’s show. The following is an objective critique of the products as they relate to carb cravings and weight loss.
In the past week, I have been asked to comment on the notion that consuming 4 spoons of vinegar/day might prevent and treat type 2 diabetes, the use of a raspberry ketone supplement as a “miracle fat burner,” and supplementing with modified DHEA to slow aging and promote weight loss. All of these topics/products have been promoted by Dr. Mehmet Oz. None of these products have scientific validity, and some can actually be harmful. Please see previous blogs for critiques of these supplements.
As I’ve mentioned before, reviewing these “concoctions” is time consuming. I would much rather spend my time pro-actively spreading valid information that can and will make a difference in people’s health and well-being. But when my readers and the public directly ask for my critique, I will gladly respond in truth, accuracy, and honesty. Knowledge is power.
Let’s begin by talking about carbohydrate cravings. For those who aren’t sure, carbohydrates consist of many foods including all forms of bread and bread products, chips, cookies, chocolate, potatoes, pasta, pizza, milk, ice cream, fruit, soda, juice, fries, etc.
Many people describe themselves as Carb Addicts, powerless once they “give in” and eat certain carbohydrate foods. Certain carbs trigger the craving/binge. For some people it’s potato chips, others are crazy for ice cream, some adore chocolate, others pasta…. These people assume that they lack self control and are emotionally or psychologically weak because they are drawn to these foods and once they start eating them, they can’t stop. “Craving and Caving” can be a source of shame and embarrassment. It can lead to closet eating, binge eating, and might be responsible for triggering certain eating disorders.
I’m here to tell you the truth. Carb cravings are very real, a physical manifestation, and have a physiological basis.
The majority of people who struggle with weight and carb cravings have a genetic predisposition to over-production/release of the fat- gain hormone, insulin.
Insulin’s job is the following. When carbohydrate foods are consumed, they cause blood sugar to rise. (This is a good thing because carbs are the preferred energy source for the human body!). When blood sugar rises, the brain sends a signal to the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin works like a key. It travels in the blood, attaches to receptors (like keyholes) on fat and muscle cells, and allows the sugar created from the carbohydrate food to exit the blood stream and enter the cells for energy or storage for future use.
In normal metabolism, the exact correct amount of insulin is produced/released and opens exactly the right number of fat and muscle cells to allow the exact amount of blood sugar created from the intake of carbs to enter the muscles and fat. The person’s circulating blood sugar then returns to normal. The person feels satiated, full, content…there is equilibrium and peace in the body. All is well.
In the body with excess insulin production/release, excess insulin is released. (I call this metabolism; Metabolism B). As a result of excess insulin release, excess fat cells get opened. These opened fat cells fill -up with the sugar circulating in the blood…but because an excess number were opened, the blood sugar left in the circulating blood stream drops to a LOWER level than it should. The blood sugar is not normal. The person feels empty, hungry, and not content….there is imbalance and cravings result. All is not well.
When blood sugar drops, the person gets an overwhelming urge to consume the one type of food that will bring the blood sugar back up to normal…..CARBOHYDRATE. If the person grabs another cookie, it will convert to blood sugar, he/she will almost immediately feel good. But inside, excess insulin will once again release, excess fat cells will open, and the entire vicious cycle will repeat. So…another cookie, or two, or ten is consumed.
In the body of a person who is not wired to over-release insulin (I call this Metabolism A)….none of this metabolic mayhem occurs. In the person with “Metabolism B”….blood sugar rises, crashes, cravings occur over and over. The person gradually becomes “fatter” on the outside in the form of belly fat, back fat, love handles, and on the inside with rising cholesterol and triglycerides. All this is caused by over-reaction of the pancreas to a normal rise in blood sugar. You have to realize that Carbs are not the bad guy, the person with Met B’s metabolism requires a tune up.
For much more on Metabolism B (over production/release of insulin that leads to metabolic syndrome, pre diabetes, and type 2 diabetes) please see www.themetabolismmiracle.com or www.thediabetesmiracle.com.
Now…what should be clear is that not everyone gets carb cravings, carb cravings are physical manifestations of excess insulin release, carb cravings are linked to the intake of carbohydrate. Not a particular type of carbohydrate…but all carbs cause insulin to be released. Some allow for a slower spike in blood sugar, but ultimately, a person with Met B needs to give his/her metabolism a rest and then reprogram with carbs of low glycemic index, low glycemic load, and proper timing. (I say this because there is a solution and correction for over production/release of insulin…but it is not in the products Dr. Oz promoted today.
Whew…okay. So, Dr. Oz gave brand names of brown rice and flax-seed pasta to replace pasta, baked lentil chips to replace chips, and German Volkornbrot (dense rye bread) to replace your bread. He claimed that by eating this bread every day, you will lose 5# by the end of the year. By eating the lentil chips daily, you will lose 4.5# by the end of the year. And his rice pasta will “Change your Life” if you substitute it for your regular pasta.
Here are the facts. And these are facts. Nutrition Facts.
2 oz of Dr. Oz’s recommended brown rice and flax seed type pasta contains 44 grams of carb, 2 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein (Net Carb grams = 42 grams!)
2 oz of Barilla Plus pasta contains 38 grams of carb, 4 grams of fiber, and 10 grams of protein.( Net carb grams =34 grams….with more fiber and protein!)
2 oz of Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta contains 41 grams of carb, 6 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of protein. (Net carb grams = 35 grams …with more fiber and protein!).
The better choices for insulin imbalance and carb cravings would be Barilla and Ronzoni WW. The highest carb, lowest fiber choice would be this brown rice and flax seed type pasta.
Why would we change regular pasta for this?
42 gram serving of Volkornbrot bread contains 20 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 3 grams protein (Net carb grams = 18 grams)
42 gram serving of whole wheat bread contains 17 grams carb, 3 grams fiber, 5 grams protein. (Net carb grams = 14 grams…with more fiber and protein!)
The better choice for insulin imbalance and carb cravings would be whole wheat bread. It has lower carb, higher fiber, and higher protein. How is changing to Volkornbrot going to cause a 5 pound weight loss?
Carb Craving Chips
1 ounce baked lentil chips contains 19 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams protein (Net Carb grams = 16 grams)
1 ounce oil popped popcorn contains 20 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 3.6 grams protein (Net Carb grams = 16 grams)
1 ounce Terra Blue Potato Chips contains 19 grams carb, 3 grams fiber, 2 grams protein (Net carb grams = 16 grams)
All choices are equal in carb grams, the popcorn has more fiber and fiber is the same in the baked lentil chips and Terra Blue Potato Chips.
I conclude my comparison of Dr. Oz’s All Natural Weight Loss Solutions that Will Wipe Out Your Worst Carb Cravings to regular whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, popcorn, etc. Most of the healthy regular products are actually better in terms of carb cravings. Knowledge is power. Truth in Diet, Nutrition, Health, Well-being. Until next time….I’m here when you need objective clarification.
***If you have a diagnosis of gluten enteropathy or Celiac disease, you cannot process wheat, oats, barley, rye, or triticale.