Are Carbohydrates Your Friend Or Foe?

Carbohydrates—the much maligned macronutrient of the 21st century. Are they really as bad as everyone has been saying? Well, yes and no. Demonizing an entire macronutrient is much easier than explaining the proper types of carbohydrates to consume and at which times that consumption would be beneficial. I’m going to explain the ins and outs of carbohydrate consumption, so you may use this type of fuel in an efficient manner.

 History and Science


Let’s begin with some history. Up until about 12,000 years ago, the elevated carb consumption that exists today didn’t happen. During the Neolithic Revolution we as a species began to transition from hunter gatherers to creating human settlements supported by agriculture. The protein in cultivated cereal grains allowed us to implement staple foods that kept societies fed, but unlike vegetables, and to a lesser degree fruits, grains are packed with a shitload of carbs. When a field worker woke up, they ate a ton of grains. They did this because they could go out and work all day without needing to replenish their fuel, aka food. Their bodies would choose to burn those carbs first, then tap into the fat, and eventually protein.

This worked in that paradigm, but it doesn’t for most people in the paradigm of modern society. Today, it’s not unusual for your average office worker to load up on cereal, hash browns, toast, pancakes, and sugary coffee drinks. The thing is, they don’t need a lot of fuel to sit on their ass all day, yet they consume it anyway. As a result, all of the fat that was consumed with the extra carbs gets stored away as reserve fuel. This typically continues, and the fat reserves continue to pile up, until the rate of overweight people in America has reached 73%; with 36% being obese.


Let’s talk a bit about the science of how carbs work. Our bodies need carbs. They are integral to our health. Your body will seek out the glucose from carb intake and refinement first to use for energy. Whatever carbs are not used for fuel will be converted to glycogen. When you have produced enough glycogen—about 2,000 calories or 500 grams—the rest will be converted to fat. There’s the kicker right there. Not only is your body storing all of the fat you ate along with the carbs, it’s converting the excess carbs into more reserve fat. As you can see, your body goes through a bit of a process to refine carbs. There is a cleaner, more efficient fuel for the body to burn, and it’s fat, but that’s another article.

 Carbohydrates To Avoid

Some of you may disagree with me, but… grains are bullshit. Our bodies just run a lot better on other things. Fossil records indicate a massive increase in tooth decay around the time of the Neolithic Revolution, this is because grains contain high amounts of phytic acid. Phytic acid contributes to mineral deficiencies, which in turn contributes to host of other issues including, but not limited to, tooth decay, rickets, and osteoporosis. I’m sure we’ve all heard enough about gluten already, and I’m not even going to get into lectins; you can research the ills of those for yourself. Obviously our bodies can digest grains for energy, they are just not very efficient at doing so. In addition, each serving contains a large amount of carbs, and one serving is not that big; most people eat quite a few in one sitting. This wouldn’t be so detrimental if the people eating all of these carbs were out doing manual labor or running around all day, but that is typically not the case.


It’s time to discuss the white devil; sugar. Not only is it terrible for you, it’s literally as addictive as cocaine. Sugar dulls the signal to your brain that you’re full, allowing you to eat more. When you finally feel full, your body experiences massive insulin spikes—refined grains do this too—clearing the sugar from your bloodstream, leaving you hungry and craving more sugar. This roller coaster really screws up your insulin system after a while, messing with your pancreas, and leading to diabetes. 8% of the population has diabetes already, and if that’s not bad enough, the percentage of people 65 and up who have it is 27%. As a bonus, un-burned sugar gets stored as fat around your organs too; awesome. If you really need to have something sweet and fruit won’t suffice, go for a dab of raw honey.

Desirable Carbohydrates

What does that leave for carb intake? Fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Fruits contain moderate amounts of fiber and sugar. One serving of fruit contains around 20 grams of carbs, which is mainly sugar. Two caveats about fruit; try to keep it to one or two portions a day, and steer clear of fruit juice. Juice is stripped of the fiber of fruit in its natural state, allowing the sugar—usually in higher amounts—to rush into your system, making it practically like soda. Vegetables contain varying levels of carbs. Root vegetables generally contain more, but usually have a higher glycemic index number too; use them sparingly. You should eat leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables to get a significant amount of your carbs. You’ll need to eat a lot of them, but that’s OK, they are packed with nutrients. You should also receive a modest amount of your carbs from nuts, an ounce or so a day. I wouldn’t have more than that because they contain phytic acid.


The Timing of Consumption

You also need to employ a bit of timing for your carb intake. If you decide to avoid grains and sugar, this should be fairly simple. However, there are root vegetables with high to moderate carbs such as carrots, beets, and potatoes; also non-root vegetables such as squash, peas, and corn, among others. Therefore, you need to have a sense about the macronutrients you’re consuming together. If you were to eat a lot of fat, with a bunch of carbs simultaneously, your body would primarily burn the carbs. If you don’t spend energy beyond the burning of the carbs, the fat stays with you, as does the excess carbs, as fat. That’s why something like ice cream is terrible for you. If you feel the need to carb out, try to make it a low fat meal. In summation, high carbs and protein: OK. High fat and protein: OK. High carbs and fat: not OK. High carb items should only be consumed in the absence of fat, or with only a trivial amount of it. Also, don’t eat a ton of carbs and then do nothing. It would behoove you not consume more than what you need for energy and glycogen storage.

Daily Carbohydrate Intake Ranges

0 – 50 grams

This range will bring on ketosis, this is when the body transitions to burning fatty acids instead of glucose. This range can be useful for short periods of time to accelerate fat loss, but too long and you will start to drag.

51 – 100 grams

Encourages weight loss, insulin production is low, and fat burning is increased. This range is good for slow, healthy cutting.

101 – 150 grams

The maintenance zone. This should be where you’re at once you’re active and your body looks the way you want it to.

151 – 300 grams

Slow weight gain happens here, along with the development of chronic health problems. The analogy here would be a lobster slowly boiling in a pot of water.

301 +

This level of intake is out of bounds and no good for your health, even if excessive cardio and training will prevent weight gain.


As you may be starting to figure out, there is no one size fits all prescription here. We are all different weights, we have different activity levels, and we have different fitness goals. For example; I lift heavy weights 3 times a week, I also do HIIT, plyometrics, and yoga once a week, and I’m looking to cut a little body fat. For my diet, I cycle in and out of different states to sustain muscle and hormone production while burning fat. I eat high fat/protein, and 50 grams of net carbs on Monday and Tuesday. I fast on Wednesday. Then I switch to high protein, low fat, and 75 grams of net carbs on Thursday and Friday. On the weekend, I stay low fat, go medium on the protein, and jack up my carb intake to 300 grams to restore my glycogen levels. This is what works for me. It helps me achieve what I want and incidentally satisfies a craving for carbs on the weekends.

What will work for you? That’s up to you. There’s enough information here for you to get a general idea of how the body interacts with carbohydrates. And, there are certainly enough clues for you to go out and do your own research if you want to take this seriously.

Read More: The Downfall Of Every Diet

113 thoughts on “Are Carbohydrates Your Friend Or Foe?”

  1. “During the Neolithic Revolution we as a species began to transition from hunter gatherers to creating human settlements supported by agriculture.”
    This is according to the bogus modern theory of evolution. It also fails to take into account the thousands of pieces of suppressed archaeology which proves that intelligent human beings have existed on this planet for at least 20 million years.
    Google “The Gods of Eden PDF” or “The Hidden History of the Human Race PDF”.
    tl & dr? we did not evolve from monkeys, we were genetically engineered by “gods”.

      1. “Name one peer-reviewed scientific paper that refutes evolution.”
        Implying that the mainstream scientific establishment isn’t fully controlled by the same people suppressing all of this evidence.
        Damn, you are one fucking retarded idiot. It’s no wonder women don’t respect you, faggot.

        1. Enjoying the ranks of the scientifically illiterate? Feminists are one of the largest contributors to that group.

          Heil LUCIFER, the glorious Light Bringer!!!

      2. Save his time. There isn’t one. I’m religious and I believe in evolution. Much like with the “Religious Right,” some people simply don’t want to believe that there’s no conspiracy to hide evidence (i.e. Ron Wyatt found nothing).

      3. There are also no scientific papers that refute the Bible. You can’t refute that which is not falsifiable. That’s not to say that the dude’s not a troll, or that the Bible is therefore gods honest truth. No, he is a moronic Troll and the Bible is likely a history of men trying to make money on their shitty blogs from thousands of years ago. But… Lack of refutation is not proof of assertion.

        1. “There are also no scientific papers that refute the Bible.”
          Under the assumption that the Bible is the written word of the creator and to be interpreted literally, nearly all scientific papers have something that contradicts the Bible.

        2. There are no academic papers supporting the Bible either. That is a moot and irrelevant point. In the realm of practical sciences – The Holy Bible has no place. In the eyes of science, it is a fictional book of fairy tales that a number of people have built a belief system upon over the course of history. Try to reference a peer-reviewed, academic journal written about the content of the Bible in general: there are none, because in the world of science, religious doctrines are not worth theorizing about.

      4. I would tend to agree with John Doe that the peer review process is pretty shakey ground to stake ones claim on. I mean, for over 50 years lowfat/highcarb diets have been enforced from government down, as a result of the science profession waving peer review studies around “proving” that such diets were the solution to fatness and diabetes. And until relatively recently, peer reviewed studies to the contrary were rather hard to come by. And even when they did exist, the mainstream science community STILL (and still does!!) generally turn up its nose to it!
        So fuck the mainstream science community. If the science can’t be immediately confirmed by immediate results (e.g., building a rocket, a skyscraper, a smart phone, or repairing a hip joint, a damaged heart etc) – e.g. what we would call engineering – I reckon any other part is up for debate, peer reviewed or otherwise.
        Scientific history is absolutely riddled with the mainstream getting it wrong, and holding onto wrong theories for centuries – especially in the cases where having a wrong opinion doesn’t have an immediate obvious adverse affect (if you get the science wrong in say, a rocket, a smartphone, or heart surgery – you’ll know about
        it pretty f*ckin soon).

      5. “Peer-review” does not mean shit. Thousands of “peer reviewed” papers support a global warming tend yet the SCIENCE (and hundreds of other peer reviewed papers) show exactly the opposite. Politics is very much in play here.
        Human evolution is a political argument these days and if you step out of the NWO approved class room human evolution is easily debunked by lack of evidence.

      1. Read the comments on his profile and that’s all you’ll need to know.
        Granted I agree with him on subjects of game, femals and american women.

      2. ALL SHALL BE MADE WHOLE in the coming Luciferian soul harvest!
        Heil LUCIFER, the glorious Light Bringer!

      3. The trolling has picked up with the viral fat shaming. The trolls are very knowledgeable and patiently agreeing and then nudging or discrediting. Our John Doe and KalosLogos, for example. That’s a good sign. We are too big to ignore.

    1. as an alternative theory i have to agree… the differences between Asians, Negroes, Caucasians and (what’s left of pure) Arians… seems to point at 4 separate origins that were most likely seeded…
      it was the height of arrogance for the old Christians to assume the world was flat and at the centre of the universe…. and we laugh at it now… just as future generations will laugh at the height of arrogance and egoism that assumes the humans are ‘all alone’ in the universe, that has billions of stars and planets…
      we evolved purely from apes…. give me a break – that is voodoo science and myth only apemen could come up with…
      of course there are all sorts of off world races… and there is plenty of evidence of off world visitors….. the real question is why it is all suppressed… rather than IF it exists or not…. the nature of the universe demands the existence of aliens…. just as the nature of solar systems demands orbits and spherical planets……

      1. and its possibly near the height of ignorance to assume that the old Christians assumed the world was flat. The scientific community – including all Christian led science during the medieval period and renaissance – has not considered the world to be flat since, well, the ancient greeks at least. I even understand parts of the old testament refer to a spherical earth believe it or not.
        The idea that the earth was the centre of the solar system was actually mainstream scientific thought for many many centuries and had nothing to do with any particular religion – it was backed up by pretty solid (at the time) evidence and research. Aristotle somewhat predates Christianity.

    2. “Fingerprints of the Gods” offers up plenty of evidence against the current model of archaeology. I imagine mankind has seen many cycles, with some far greater than our own. Nature is cyclic, coherence, entropy, coherence, entropy…

  2. I eat pretty clean only sprouted breads & sweet potatoes. I eat a shit ton of spinach & sweet potatoes. Also lean ground chicken breast along with salmon.
    However, i’ve been struggling with carbs & bulking, there is alot of “bro science” out there. It’s frustrating to find a proper way to eat/use carbs while lifting 5 days a week and bulking.
    Anyone have references/links/advice ?
    ROK should do a bulking article (granted this isn’t

    1. Avoid highly processed foods but aside from that if you are working out enough, consume as many calories as you can when you are trying to bulk up.

      1. I stopped eating process foods 5 years ago so that’s no problem. As far as calorie intake its tough being a hard gainer.

        1. Yeah, no question eating clean makes high caloric intake more challenging. Dairy is a fairly healthy method of getting in quality calories.

        2. If trying to gain, and you’re a hard gainer (I was), just eat and keep eating. And eat. Worry about stripping out the fat once you’ve put on the muscle. You can try and keep it clean, but that will mean eating heaps of fruit, because you need to keep your glycogen levels up, especially around the time you train.
          Protein consumption needs to be high – and consistent throughout the day. You need protein in your system at least every 3 hours. Too inconvenient for you? Then you don’t want results bad enough.
          And train hard – but smart (don’t over train either). Do way more leg work out (squats and deadlifts) than you’d prefer – as smashing these large muscle groups will drastically increase testosterone out put, speeding up general muscle growth all over.
          And sleep heaps. You won’t get anywhere without sufficient sleep.

    2. Use intermittent fasting. It’ll allow you to put on positive weight, but doesn’t really allow the negative weight to hang on as easily. You don’t get as fat when you bulk and you can cut a lot quicker too.

    3. You want to really bulk up? Just eat 1.5 grams of protein for every pound of lean mass you have. Do it every day. Make sure you eat enough carbs and fat to prevent your body from burning muscle and to keep glycogen levels healthy. But like I explained above, don’t go overboard. Just eating a ton of everything and having to cut later isn’t a very refined or efficient method. Triggering hormonal releases of testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF-1 through lifting your maxes in compound exercises and proper sleep doesn’t hurt either.

  3. I don’t eat much carbs, but when I do it’s just after a workout, that way I’m sure it will be fully used and not stored.

  4. Lower carb with higher fat and protein works well for most of the population that live a sedentary lifestyle. But you’re going to have a hard time recovering if the goal is to build muscle and strength optimally.

  5. To take in my leafy greens, I use the Nutribullet (vitamix can work well, too)…it leaves the fiber in…it makes consuming such vegetables easy and hassle free.

  6. Fixation on particular nutrient sources as being “good” or “bad” is a function of a society with far too much time on its hands. Ask any old person who has lived past 90-100 years, and they will tell you that the secret of their long life and health has been…
    Never too much food.
    Never too much of any one kind of food
    Never too much smoking
    Never too much drinking
    Never too much sorrow
    Never too much happiness.

    1. To each his own. I don’t want to live old. I want to live well. I want to have a six pack and see what that does for living well.

    2. Nope, fuck off. You’re retarded.
      “moderation in all things” disguises the fact that different foods and lifestyles are good for you. People get fat and suffer chronic metabolic diseases from living a “moderate” life.

  7. Use this stuff with Intermittent Fasting or something similar. It sends fat/negative weight loss into hyperdrive. Mix things up often too. What works best for me to lose fat is to shorten my eating window and cutting down my carb intake.

  8. Complete bullshit. Calories in v. calories out. The only people who believe carbs matter in the slightest is people selling you Paleo diet. Carbs ARE bad for being easy to overeat, however, but that’s simply because 800 calories of chicken breast and broccoli are a chore to finish or impossible for some, while 800 calories of pasta is just a couple plates worth.

    1. incorrect. Read my comment below – you can be skinny by starving yourself (hellooo concentration camp survivors), but not healthy, and its a useless approach if trying to maintain or build muscle. There is so much more to it – and so much easier processes of achieving a good body – than calories in vs calories out.

    2. Carbs ARE bad for being easy to overeat
      You just admitted right here that the article isn’t “complete bullshit”.

  9. Very good article. Only thing I’ll criticize is the insinuation that fat is bad – more-or-less.
    It isn’t – except for particular types (e.g. heated vegetable oils – or over consumption of vegetable oils).
    In terms of fat gain/loss, consuming fat is actually usually a contributor in fat loss. This is where people who are new to the low/slow carb approach get confused – because they are still holding onto the old (and failed) approach of “calories in vs calories out”. There is so much more going on than that.
    Without getting too involved in the science (read the relevant sections of the much maligned 4 Hour body for an excellent easy-to-read explanation – regardless of your opinion on Tim Ferris in general) consider these points:
    – fat consumed cannot be stored as fat by your body. The body has to break it down into glycogen first, and then reconvert it back into fat. This is actually quite a lengthy and energy consuming process
    – if you eat a block of butter or a bag of nuts, you will not absorb it all! You will shit a bunch (feel free to measure your own shit if you’d like to quantify it more accurately) of it out.
    – other chemical processes are involved. For example, the article alludes to the fast absorbtion of refined/sugarbased carbohydrates; the real issue here is the effect that this absorbtion has on insulin levels, not the fact that calories are now available for use in the body – not just from a diabetes point of view, but on a fat gain point of view. Excessively large insulin spikes trigger your body into “fat gain” mode – once you’ve spike your insulin levels, you will struggle to lose/use fat stores for the following 24 hours, regardless of what you eat. But eating fat with your refined carbs (if you must eat refined carbs) slows down the absorbtion of the carbs, delaying or reducing the insulin spike. Just as fibre helps to reduce the absorbtion also.
    I could go on. But the proof is in the pudding really – I pay no attention to calorific intake, I add cream to my spinach protein shake each morning (which also includes 4 eggs – including the yolks), slather my spinach+brocolli+cabbage+tuna lunch with olive oil (the only vege fat I eat all day) and ensure any meat I eat has all its fat on it. (I do sip on a carb drink during my high intensity workouts, 4 – 5 times a week). I’d wager that infact my calorific intake on cheat days probably drops – because of higher carb and lower fat intake – and yet I will always put on fat weight on cheat days, and lean up on normal days (so long as I have at least 7 – 8 hours sleep).
    In doing so I live pretty consistently at a 10 – 12% body fat ratio (could go lower but my cheat days extend over the entire weekend period each week), weighing in at around 96kgs, at 186cm.
    And I can tell you as a result – life is pretty f*cking awesome.

    1. Thank you for the compliment.
      “- fat consumed cannot be stored as fat by your body. The body has to break it down into glycogen first, and then reconvert it back into fat. This is actually quite a lengthy and energy consuming process”
      The body has to be in a certain state for that to occur. And, fat is first converted into glucose (Gluconeogenesis), then once the fat has been converted to glucose, it can be converted to glycogen. If there’s a glycogen surplus, that glycogen will be converted to fat; as I stated above. Now, for gluconeogenesis to take place, the body would have to be in a state like ketosis, which takes about 48 hours to occur after carbohydrate consumption has dropped below 50 grams of carbs or so. This is not a typical state for a very large majority of people, making it an unlikely scenario.
      I also didn’t want to insinuate that fat is bad. I agree with your opinions on it. It’s great. So great, I have girls rub it all over my naked body. But really, I love fat, on some days I eat over 170 grams of it.
      And yes, insulin spikes are bad, and fat can slow that down. But, if you’re still eating a major caloric surplus relative to your bodies energy demands, does it really matter if the process of excess carbs being converted into glucose, then glycogen, and then fat, is happening at a slower or faster pace?

      1. Seems we are in agreement. Yes gluconeogenesis is the process of converting fat stores (already part of the body) into glucose, for the use of energy. I agree with you that at least some degree of ketosis is required to get this process going (I said at least 24hrs, you said 48 – which is certainly more ideal) – hence the advantage of a low carb diet; incidentally people also forget that you need adequate oxygen in the blood for this (use of fat stores) to happen. Which means short sharp intense exercise (weight training or HIIT) is more effective for fat loss than a typical cardio program, where a long term anearobic (oxygen deficient) state is too often the result.
        Not sure if perhaps I’m reading you incorrectly (I probably am) but just to clarify, your body doesn’t need to be in a state of ketosis for it to break down consumed fat into glucose, and then into glycogen and then subsequently into fat if there is surplus.
        However this conversion is a much more taxing process to the digestive system, than just eating carbs which are instantly accessable for energy use, or fat storage as the case may be. And further to this inefficiency, much of the fat is likely to be shat out undigested, rather than fully absorbed as carbs generally are.
        So I guess my point is – and to address your last paragraph – yes you can overconsume any form of nutrient, and as a result get fat. But fat is certainly not fattening in the same way that eating refined carbs certainly is fattening (even though fat has 4 times the calories carbs to for an equivalent mass). I.e. its not a case of calories in vs calories out, and therefore people unnecessarily tend to cut out fat.
        Its more like: calories ABSORBED vs calories expended, further complicated by a variety of other chemical effects of such things as insulin and cortisol levels.

        1. Yep, we’re in agreement for the most part.
          And yes, I was saying that ketosis is not a requirement of gluconeogenesis, just a good example of when it can occur.
          As for the last point, I think fat is a better fuel for the body over carbs. There is some seriously good stuff in fat, a lot of important building blocks. Unfortunately, a lot of people avoid some great fats due to their saturated nature and cholesterol contents. Then they likely sub for those fats with thing like canola oil and soybean oil, which I personally don’t think are that great for you.

    2. yes i am reading this article 2 years later.
      But what im trying to put on mass? What would u suggest calorie or macronutrient wise??

      1. Just keep eating until the weight starts to come on. Wouldn’t be too picky if you’re struggling to put on weight – just eat and eat and eat, and ensure there’s plenty of protein throughout the day. Especially around your work out, and when you wake up. Sleep is also key.

    1. I agree – speculation on why it works is completely irrelevant – and can lead to erroneous conclusions if the speculation on how things were are incorrect.
      What matters is: does it work? Paleo is certainly much more effective than the old school – and shit useless – low fat approach.
      However I tend to stay away from fruit – a banana for example, is paleo approved, but will still give you a very decent insulin spike, inhibiting fat loss.

  10. I’ll add a few more tips:
    1) Protein rather than carbs for breakfast. My brain wakes up far better that way. Two eggs with coffee should be enough, but having sausage with isn’t bad either. I gave up cereal years ago and have never gone back. Pancakes with maple-flavored HFCS? Fugettaboutit.
    2) Eating more at lunchtime and having a small snack for dinner is better than the reverse. When I was in Ukraine for a month and a half, I did just that and lost ten pounds over a month and a half, despite indulging in ice cream in the middle of the day. The American custom of having large dinners seems to keep us fat.
    3) If you do eat a big dinner — say, from a night out or hanging with relatives — you should be able to skip lunch the next day. (But don’t skip having a small breakfast, it stokes your fire and helps you burn energy more quickly.)

    1. Agreed. My breakfast is 2 eggs, 2 strips bacon, a pile of vegetables sauteed in the bacon fat, a piece of fruit, and some version of a stimulant; be it coffee, cacao, or tea.

        1. I always include about a cup of dark leafy greens such as spinach, arugula, etc.; a cup of a cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, etc. Then I’ll just add in whatever random stuff I buy that looks good, like peppers, onions, fennel, mushrooms, radishes, etc.

    2. Nope, the breakfast thing is a complete myth. I’ve cut out breakfast and I’ve never felt better, and there’s a wealth of evidence to explain this. Search for ‘intermittent fasting’.

  11. All the carb hate is a ridiculous fad. I’m in great shape, visible abs, and the amount of rice and potatoes I eat would make most people faint. Starchy vegetables are great for you.

    1. Lucky you – and me until I turned, say 25 or so. Youth is a great disguisor of poor diet.
      However I’ll agree that there are certain genetic make ups that appear to allow the holders of those genes to eat fast-carbs without any significant fat gain.
      However, this doesn’t make the carb hate a ridiculous fad for the majority of the western European (and many other ethnic groupings) however.

      1. you can make good gains on a low fat moderate protein and high carb diet if you lift and get your calories right.
        everyone did it in the 90s and people still had gains
        I’m more concerned with price and palatability so I end up eating something of a 1:1:1 calorie of the big macros

    2. You are not proof of anything. You could be even better on a low-carb diet. Search ‘stanford ATOZ study’. Also, being in good shape doesn’t mean you’re healthy on the inside, long-term.

  12. People need to get their heads out of the paleo diet its just another fad diet that has been around for some time…anyone remember the atkins diet…people have evolved and research has shown that the bacteria in our stomachs change after 24hours of eating different food. Meat is a great source of iron, zinc and protein and I’m all for people eating a variety of different meats. The part I certainly support is that the less processed i believe to be better for you but that’s not to say that you still can’t have pasta or bread.

    1. Sure, you can have pasta and bread. I have it 2 – 3 times a week myself. It’s when people make it the majority of their diet -and many do- that it becomes a problem.

  13. Another paleotard with his head up Mark Sisson’s ass, who would benefit significantly more if he read Alan Aragon’s and Lyle McDonald’s blogs instead of that jackass’ who hawks more powdered protein crap than you will find at GNC. At least Lyle and Aragon mostly stick to selling their knowledge.

    1. Nice to meet you too.
      Would you care to point out where I advocated a paleo diet? I’m confused. I’m pretty sure I never advocated the implementation of a paleo diet, nor do I follow one personally. I would never want to follow Sisson’s paleo diet, that shit is too strict.
      Do you read or do you merely skim?

  14. Eat whatever you want, as long as you do the 5×5 strength program. Carbs are necessary for squats, mili press, bench, and deadlifts, and rows. all other exercises are for show.

  15. Glycemic load is the measure that estimates the amount a person’s blood sugar will rise after eating a particular food.
    Also eating fat with carbs slows down digestion, and so lowers the blood sugar spike. Eg a good dollop of butter on a baked potato is the right way to go
    There are some really good sources of dietary info. out there.
    I recommend looking up Anthony Colpo, Chris Masterjohn and Catherine Minger (she isn’t a minger btw).
    Mark Sisson is ok and Gary Taubes looks to be a bit if a fraud.
    For issues of weight gain google up Leptin resistance.

    1. Agreed. Insulin spikes are bad, and fat can slow that down. But, if you’re still eating a major caloric surplus relative to your bodies energy demands, does it really matter if the process of excess carbs being converted into glucose, then glycogen, and then fat, is happening at a slower or faster pace?

      1. I think so, as the insulin spikes are what ends up causes insulin resistance and from there, diabetes. So anything to mitigate that over the long term is a good thing. It will also help us feel satiated longer, so our calorific input will reduce despite eating more calories in that particular meal or snack.
        A high fat diet with moderate carbs (unless you are do you do hard manual work all day or are into heavy training 1-3 hours a day) sounds like the way to go for most people.
        I am pretty sure I was leptin resistant last year. Despite regular exercise; squash and jiu jitsu; my fitness was declining, I was tired all the time, ill on a regular basis, and my weight was going up. I was on the classic low fat diet loaded with whole grains.
        Now I make sure I eat plenty of ‘good’ fat (not margarines or veg oil) with every meal and I feel and look much better for it. My weight is going down by itself as I am just not so hungry anymore.
        Once you look up leptin resistance, Chris Masterjohn has a particularly good write up on it, you will recognise some patterns and suddenly it all makes so much sense. well it was like that for me anyway.

        1. Now that I’m looking at my initial reply I’m seeing that i worded that wrong. Of course it matters, and for the exact reason you stated.
          What I was trying to get across is that a lot of people consume a surplus of carbs, and whether they’re processed slowly or quickly they’re still turning into fat.
          You’re absolutely right about eating ‘good’ fat. I still can’t believe how many people refuse to accept that the consumption of high quality fats is vitally important.

        2. RV, insulin spikes do not cause insulin resistance. Insulin resistance and diabetes are primarily the result of obesity. Fact is that all foods spike insulin.
          You need to distinguish between glycemic response and insulin response, they are not the same thing. Both carbs and protein are highly insulinogenic after a meal is consumed.
          As for the “no grains” and “sugar is evil” memes, they simply are not true. The perpetrators of these lines of thoughts are using heavily distorted “science” to support their views (ie they completely ignore contrary lines of evidence). The reason that I suggest people avoid added sugars and refined carb food is that it is easy to overeat. Its the energy density, nothing more or less. The “addiction” of sugars is little more than strong habit.
          If you wish to know more about insulin and insulin response this series of articles is a good place to start:

          Who Is Mark Minter?

          The everything-in-moderation idea is the correct one. Eat the right amount of calories, macro and micronutrients, get your ass off the couch and you will be in good shape and in good health.

        3. I should add, when i say that obesity causes diabetes i of course do not include individuals that are genetically predisposed to Type 1 diabetes.

        4. Thx for the link. The day I know everything will be one sad day, however I take heart in knowing people who should know far more than me get things wrong too.
          However I got to disagree with with you about some issues. You say that all foods spike insulin, but your link only talks about protein and carbs. The insulin repsonse from protein is via a different mechanism than the carb. related insulin response. Is this important? I thinks so. As one is related to elevated blood sugars and the other is not. Your link does not mention fats at all.
          Its fair enough that the physiological processes that lead to insulin resistance may not be that straightforward, but your link does demonstrate that high protein meals lead to greater satiety. Whereas with high carb meal you are will spike your insulin levels far more often. Perhaps its not the degree of insulin response but the frequency which is damaging.
          I dont think I said anywhere that insulin is a villain. You need to also examine the role of leptin resistance in weight control.
          Yes as a chemical sugar is not harmful, what is harmful is how the body handles large doses of refined sugars on a regular basis, There has been study after study that shows that fructose in the form of fruit does no harm to the body, refined sugars especially high fructose corn syrup induces significant damage to the organs eg liver and AFAIK play a significant role in diabetes/insulin resistance.
          Grains too need to be treated with caution, especially whole grains. Outside of the gluten allergies, there is phytic acid and whole leaky gut thing, while its great to be able to rip off loud farts on cue in some situations, its acutely painful and embarrassing in others.

    2. Minger is a fraud and was debunked a million times. She’s also not a nutrition scientist but an english major. Crazy how people don’t do their homework.

  16. I like this article. We need more informative posts like this on ROK and less bitching about women.
    As for the content of this article, fruit is the way to go if you are craving something sweet. What fiber does is that it slows down the absorption of sugar into your blood stream.
    Like Rolling Stone says, turning fruit into juice refines the sugar by separating it from the fiber. If you want something liquid, use a blender, and not a juicer. You can also throw your fruit salad into a food processor, minus the seeds to make a sweet soup with the consistency of apple sauce.
    Home style juice can also be made with fruits that are a little past their ripeness. What I do it take left over apples, cut them to remove the seeds, and cook them in boiling water to pasteurize them (the juice will go bad the next day if you don’t). I then mix them in the blender, add brown sugar to taste and water for consistency.

  17. You guys are forgetting one important thing. There are guys like me with high metabolisms. I naturally burn fat quick which makes it hard to put on muscle.
    I maintain 7-8% body fat and I eat in excess of 250gm of carbs with protein. I work out 3 times a week aswell. I think the carb thing should not be avoided by tailored to certain body types. I do not do cardio.
    I consume a 60:40 ratio carbs to protein ratio. But I only consume good carbs.

    1. Well, I’m not sure I understand exactly what you’re saying here. So, you’re either saying you eat 250g of carbs and 165g of protein, or you’re saying you eat 150g of carbs and 100g of protein.
      If you are consuming 165g of protein, then you’d have to weigh about 145 or less with your 8% body fat in order to be bulking. So if you weigh more and/or are only eating 100g of protein a day, that is probably your issue.
      Otherwise, you may not be lifting weights heavy enough and in compound movements to trigger important hormonal response to spur growth,

      1. My bad, I worded it wrongly. I meant 250gm separate and protein separate. So around 170gm -200gm protein . I do more compound exercises for now with heavy weights to the point where 8 reps is the max I can reach.

        1. If you weigh more than 150 lbs, I would up the protein intake. If you’re not doing these exercises where you’re putting everything you possibly have into it, just to complete 5 reps on your last set or two, add more weight. You need to push yourself to the limit. Deep squats and deadlifts are very effective for this.
          You may want to lower your carb intake a bit, and raise the levels of quality saturated fats you take in. Those fats contain building blocks that help to develop muscle.

        2. Try red palm oil, coconut oil, pastured butter, fatty red meat, eggs, walnuts, olive oil; and good quality too. Whey isolate post workout is good. Sugars don’t help. Adequate daily sunlight helps. 8 hours of sleep helps. 220g of protein should really help.

    1. Nah brah, it’s not brosicence.
      Only eat maximum 10g carbs per day, but u must wear Vibram FiveFingers while eating em…
      Source: Mark Sisson/Dave Asprey/

  18. Very legit post as far as I can tell. I have been working on my body for a six pack and a modest increase in muscle for a year or so. I have failed to get the six pack, but from what I know this article is right on the money. I gave up sugar last year. I tried ketosis and the muscle recovery for me was non-existent, felt sore and crappy perpetually. Oatmeal fixes that but then puts on fat. Turns out to be low in fiber. The big realization I’ve had lately, that this article addresses, is that veggies are a source of carbs! Who knew? lol I went to If It Fits Your Macros dot com and set the inputs and go a macro target set. What surprised me was the amount of carbs and the amount of fiber in those carbs. If fiber does not get me to a six pack, I’m running out of practical ideas.
    I am experimenting with high fiber only carbs. You can rip on beans/legumes, but I am not sure I can get by with only fibrous veggies. I notice that carrots are less sugary than celery and iceberg lettuce in terms of carb percentages, reaching about half fiber and half sugar. I don’t know that sugar with equal parts of fiber is bad or not. I am staying away from it though for now. Haven’t found the recipe yet. The all day fast like Rolling Stone does, not sure I could do that. However, the body changes over time. Bottom line: Don’t try to force your body into something, evolve it. Think how Fabian Marxists do things and that’s how you win at life in lots of ways. Funny how Rules For Radicals and fitness go together. Play to win.

    1. The one day a week fasting can be tricky for some.
      First, like you said, get used to it, you need to get your body used to consuming quality fats. Then I use my two high fat/protein, ultra low carb days to trigger ketosis. That leads into a 24 hour fast where my body efficiently using my fat reserves for fuel, I end it with an intense workout, and have dinner. Honestly, I only get slightly hungry for a few minutes once, maybe twice during the day.
      I think the main problem for some -because it seems half the people I poll get very irritable when they’re hungry- would be irritability. I’m sure they could still push themselves to do it, but they will probably be pissed off and have a shitty day. I’m glad I don’t have that issue.

  19. I don’t know how exactly to call out the guys who cry out “MODERATION!!!!” after every nutrition article on here, but I badly want to. Maybe the best way to put it is ok, go ahead and drink your soda “in moderation”, eat your bread “in moderation”, and your candy bars “in moderation”. Consume 250 g of carbs, which is a whole 50 g per day lower than the average American–that’s ok because “it’s in moderation”.
    See you in 30 years, I can promise I’ll be fit and you’ll be fat.

    1. Bang on! “Everything in moderation” is as meaningless and as escape-clause-esque as the phrase “be true to yourself”. Who defines moderation? There is no definitive definition for each food item so the adherent decides for himself!
      It’s been claimed above that low/slow carb is based on faulty science. Well I put it to test every week – strictly low carb high fat and protein during the week and not so on the weekend. My calorific intake during the weekdays is significantly higher during the week – because I make myself eat regularly and with high fat food content during the week. My gym work outs are also during the week so energy expenditure is higher also.
      And yet I consistently lose 2 or more kgs between sunday and friday evenings, putting it back on over two days of carb eating.
      As I’ve said before, the proof is in the pudding and I am that pudding.

      1. Do you actually consistently count your calories throughout the week? I would be willing to bet that you are unwittingly consuming more calories on your high carb days than you are on your low carb days.

        1. In short yes.
          Do you really think your body absorbs even bit of fat you eat? No. Fat is hard to break down, and a lot is shat out – even the fat that you do absorb takes a lot more energy to actually convert into usable energy than a sugar or other processed carb. You clearly haven’t read the rest of my comments,
          And regardless, there are other chemical processes at play – insulin responses etc which make your body more or less likely to burn existing fat as fuel. But why am I repeating myself.

    2. But that’s wrong. As long as we don’t eat more calories than we burn we will not get fat, regardless of the source of those calories. Candy bars, soda pop, and potato chips are bad for your long term health for a number of reasons, none of which are ‘They’re carbs’. A high carbohydrate diet is not incompatible with health. Lots of skinny, healthy people eat high carb diets and some fat people eat low carb diets (like Jimmy Moore).

      1. Sure you can starve yourself – but you will be skinny. I don’t want to be skinny. Men look weak and average, skinny. I’m fine with girls starving themselves skinny – they don’t need much muscle.
        I want a low fat/muscle ration. Merely reducing energy absorption (note I use the term “energy absorption” rarther than “calories consumed” – because there is a difference) to below energy burned will make you weigh lighter – but there’s just as much chance you’re burning up muscle as you are fat.
        Its not a smart way to look good. My way is much smarter.
        And yes, the primary reason I consider sugar products (candy bars, fizzy drinks) bad is because they are pure refined sugar – guaranteed to make it hard for you to stay lean (for a variety of reasons). Same with potatoes, another fast absorbing carb .Thats right, people have always known that potato chips make you fat – but they’ve assumed the wrong cause. Its the potato, not the fat.
        Are you kidding? Jimmy Moore – from the brief research I’ve done on him – has lost all his weight on a high fat (and calorie) diet – completely proving my point. The fact that his dress style and/or gym regime means he looks a bit shapeless post weightloss does nothing to disprove my point.
        Some genetically blessed people can get away with consuming high carb diets while appearing to remain slim. In the western population, they are the minority.

        1. If you want to put on muscle a) eat around a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight and b) eat at a slight calorie surplus. You can easily do both those things without eating low carb.

        2. And thats broscience for you.
          I wish it were that simple. It’s not, and you clearly have not read the entire thread, otherwise you wouldn’t be spouting the same crap already dealt with.
          In saying that, if it works for you, hooray. My way is easier and more effective for the majority though.

      2. All the low carbs gurus like Moore, Weill or Cordaine are fat as fuck.

  20. “301 +
    This level of intake is out of bounds and no good for your health, even if excessive cardio and training will prevent weight gain.”
    Were this true, every elite tennis player/cyclist/soccer player/runner/swimmer on the planet would by ‘unhealthy’.
    When Roger Federer starts eating butter mid-match, rather than glucose/fruit drinks, I’ll believe this article.

  21. I don’t know if booze is considered carbs, but I’m slimming down noticeably since quitting drinking, and that wasn’t so long ago.

    1. Spirits have no carbs. That’s why I usually just drink straight bourbon. Liqueurs have carbs, as do wine and beer, along with the majority of mixed drinks.

      1. Yes but the issue with alcohol – apart from its severe retardation of muscle repair/growth – is that it’s effect on insulin is also extreme – regardless if carbs have been added. Fat loss and muscle gain is made very difficult with any alcohol consumption.
        So best to drink it all at once once every few weeks rather than a little bit everyday. And yes I’d agree straight spirits are the least worst – pity about the taste.

        1. True. The alcohol in itself does affect muscle gains and fat loss. However, I do think that the phrases ‘severe’ and ‘very difficult’ may be a bit heavy handed.
          Alcohol may be one of those things that moderation applies too.
          I drink moderately and experience easy fat loss and muscle gain. I think this may be one of those things that varies from person to person.

  22. its the calories , not the carbs/fat/protein, silly.
    (though this can be overcome with drugs but something must give, if you are pissing calories out of gaining fat on a deficit the health effects will be dramatic)

      1. I also recommend intermittent fasting + some form of keeping tabs on what you eat, can be frequent weight logging, portion control etc, it depends on what works and is handy but persistence is key. (logging calories when you eat out is harder, but more accurate and easier when you cook and measure your ingredients anyway, don’t use an app for that, use a spreadsheet)
        better comfort zone = long lasting changes + more room to experiment but you need to find it and prove it first.
        its a godsend for busy people:
        1. you don’t think about food
        2. stimulants have a better effect
        3. more time
        4. larger portions
        4.1 : actually not spend a lot when eating out due to economies of scale
        5. proven dental health benefits (think : good breath) and some supposed longevity benefits.
        but it has its limitations:
        1. no appetite at all after lifting
        2. needs adaptation and requires habituation
        3. if you don’t eat and are physically hungry you get edgy as f*** and loose your appetite altogether but feel like shit and eating won’t solve it for a good few hours so you need to avoid that protectively
        4. just plain doesn’t work for some people, it works best for people who get hungry after eating a bit, and on a diet this phenomena is replaced by constant hunger though this is a red flag on its own if you aren’t very lean already and going for shredded mode.
        you can also bulk with this, but with building muscle its mostly about having more adaptive reserve against stress, building muscle when you aren’t a newb without getting noticeable fat gains is rather inefficient, even on juice. but being adapted to fasting doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of bulking a lot, and makes it easier to switch. (think : carb cycling)
        like all its a balance game, you need to find something stable to support changes and minimize the backlash.
        and experimenting is very easy on IF and thus you find that comfort zone I was talking about.
        overall a powerful tool that was explored a lot this decade by many lifters, takes a lot of anxiety, need for diligence and bulls*** off the table

  23. “He looks at the world from a different angle than most”
    That’s what all narcissists think about themselves when in reality their ideas are quite common. 😉
    I think America’s obesity epidemic can be chalked up to bad oils, high fructose corn syrup and gmo corn and soy which is in most if not all the non-organic processed packaged foods here.
    Follow Ayurvedic protocols and you’ll be just fine.

  24. I’ve cut out nearly all refined sugars from my diet in the past two months or so, and I feel great. If nothing else, do that. It’s the #1 thing you can do. If you eat grains, eat them whole, and avoid the doughy refined crap.
    Noted about the fruit juice. I drink OJ at times though. It’s perhaps a bit of a vice.
    Of course, I have good genetics, so I can eat practically anything and not get fat, but I have noticed a good improvement in how I feel overall since I started cutting sugars out of my diet.

  25. Shit article. Full of misinformation and basically copies the Carbohydrate Curve from Mark Sisson’s book.

  26. Eating more calories than you burn causes weight gain. Period. Whether those calories are carbs is irrelevant. The insulin hypothesis of obesity has been thoroughly tested and debunked. You can test this on yourself, eat a diet composed of primarily carbs (even sugar) and carefully count the calories so you are at a deficit, and you will lose weight. Look at all the Asian countries where they eat tons of rice and have nowhere near the obesity found in the west. Look at the Kitavans who eat like 70% carbs like root vegetables, fruit, etc. and are healthy with no insulin resistance.

    1. Amen ! People think carbs = refined sugar which is obviously bad (for teeth essentially). Even on roK, guys are brainwashed by the latest ketogenic or low carb fad diet. Bollocks. Incas, Aztecs thrived on potatoes and corn. No obesity there.

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