Breaking News: Carbs and sugar are not “junk food”

Why are the words “carbs” and “sugar” synonymous with “junk food”?

I talk to people a lot about what they think about nutrition, to see what kinds views they have, but also to find if anything could be a roadblock or very limiting to progress. The belief  that “carbs/sugar = junk food” is one of those.

A lot of junk food has sugar. A lot of junk food has carbs. A lot of junk food has fat. A lot of junk food has mostly fat and sugar (which is a carb).Most “junk food” has a high combination of the two, along  with low nutritional value. That means very little vitamins, fiber, minerals etc etc.

That means you get calories, but calories that don’t mean much to building health and wealth. Bodily wealth that is (low fat, good muscle tone, good digestion, libido, alertness, focus, energy, little sickness, good joints…)

Calories do matter though. Very much so. More than nutrients in the hierarchy of what’s most important physiologically first. Calories are life. Nutrients are quality of life.

A high nutrient diet does not cancel out the need for adequate calorie intake. Adequate means not too low, not too high, not too sporadic, so that a healthy metabolism with enough body fat, but not too much, is maintained, and the demands on the body physically are supported. A low nutrient, high calorie diet is the biggest danger.

When I say diet, I’m not talking about “bulking” or “cutting” or “leaning out” , or keto or leangains, or IIYM, or Jenny Craig or Paleo or Primal or Fit for Life, or any other one.

I’m just talking about people eating on an everyday basis. Forget “how”. Just the act of eating, daily. Everyday you provide fuel for your body to live, and to maintain life till death. That’s “diet”. Your diet.
Here are some carb sources for you:

Jasmine rice, melons, grapes, squash, potatoes, sourdough bread, fresh squeezed orange juice, black beans, melba toast, kiwis, pineapples, figs, apricots, yuka, corn.

None of those are junk food. All have carbs in deliciously high quantities. All are high in nutrients.

Here are some sugar sources for you:

Peaches, maple syrup, apples, granulated sugar, honey, plantains, wine, watermelon, kumquats, sugar cane juice, apple cider.

None of those are “junk food”. All have sugar.
A diet high in processed food, with low nutritional value, and an excess of calorie intake, with little to no active physical exercise, is not healthy.

A diet high in nutrients, but low in calories, with little nutrient variety and with frequent low or high level “binges” or constant significant cravings for junk food, is not healthy.

A diet high in nutrients, but too low in calories, is not healthy and can lead to malnutrition, metabolic down regulation, and other issues.

A diet high in nutrients but too high in calories, will get you fat.

You need calories and you need nutrients and you need variety.

There is no good reason to fear sugar or carbs (sugar is a carb, again, but whatever).

There is reason to fear overeating, low nutrient intake, and excess caloric intake.

When was the last time fruit made someone fat? When was the last time eating bread and potatoes in reasonable amounts was wrong? Putting sugar in your coffee is bad?


Dieting culture is bad. Its bad for your health. Magazines, Tv shows, and books make a business of telling you things you don’t need to know to have a balanced diet, and confuse you with facts you are not in a position to evaluate properly. On the other hand, gurus galore make it exciting and a matter of pride to have stern beliefs about food whether in regards to the environment, history or “health”. Its not necessary to have them. You don’t have to. You can be healthy and perform brilliantly without them.

You don’t need anything special to have a good diet. What you need first is common sense and convenience. Convenient strategies work faster, and are easier to implement. Common sense allows for responsibility around what you do with your nutrition, and a safeguard against dramatic beliefs or unintended consequences (people have done some really stupid things with diets).

Allow for freedom. Mentally I mean. Suddenly all those “ways of eating” don’t have to be remembered, its easier to plan, implement and relax around food, while still respecting your body and it’s needs.

The first is what I help a lot of clients with. The second is more of a battle.

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