Food, one of the most essential needs of life, can either nourish us or break us. If you ask me about my eating habits growing up, I’d tell you: noodles for breakfast (and most of it instant), rice for lunch and dinner, and various types of baked goods or fruits for snacks. In fact, it will not be too different across the board in South East Asia. There’s also no denying that we all love to eat and food brings people together, etc etc. But what if I tell you the current way of eating may actually be harmful in the long run?
For decades, we have been led to believe that cholesterol is bad for health and that we should avoid consuming too much fat. But we now know that this research is flawed and is not a full representation of our population. And in fact, Cholesterol is essential in our diet. And fat is what satiates and nourishes us.
几十年来，我们一直认为胆固醇对健康有害，所有应该避免摄入过多的脂肪。 但我们现在知道这项研究是有缺陷的。 事实上，胆固醇在我们的饮食中是必不可少的， 而脂肪是富有营养也可以增加饱足感的。
Let’s talk about Carbohydrates. It’s in almost everything we eat. Apart from the obvious pasta, bread, rice etc, it’s also in our vegetables, fruits, sweet drinks. Doesn’t matter if it’s complex carbs or simple carbs, they all break down to the same thing = Sugar. The excess carbs get converted to fat to be stored. And when we adopt a low-fat lifestyle, we inevitably consume a higher amount of carbs to compensate. It’s no wonder obesity is on the rise.
碳水化合物如今已是我们的主食。 除了较明显的面，面包，米饭等外，还有我们的蔬菜，水果和饮料。其实无论是所谓的复杂碳水化合物还是简单碳水化合物，它们都会分解成同样的东西=糖。 我们身体多余的碳水化合物会转化为脂肪储存。 而且当我们在吃低脂肪时，我们不可避免地会摄入更多的碳水化合物来补偿。 难怪我们是越吃越胖啊!
“But I was fine what growing up on a carby diet?” You might say. Yes, some of us tolerate carbs very well, and perhaps blessed with a superb metabolism to burn off everything all the time. Some of us start to feel it deep into our adulthood when everything seems to slow down and we just couldn’t shake off the excess weight. Personally, the high carb diet doesn’t only reflect on my weight but also my general well-being and my allergy issues. And that is precisely what ticked us over to converting into a Low Carb, High Fat lifestyle. We are now reaping the benefits and our health has improved since.
“可是我一直这样吃也没事嘛？” 你可能会这样说。 是的，有些人是天生有极好的新陈代谢，所以能够很快的燃烧掉所有的糖分。可是随着年龄的增长，这是会慢下来的。于是人到中年就会慢慢发福，脂肪是越来越难甩掉了。我个人会想改变饮食习惯不止是为了减肥，也想藉此改善烦了我已久的过敏的问题。刚好家人也想试试，没想到一试成主顾 ，我们的健康都有了改善。
Let’s backtrack a few months to February this year. Kevin and I had been together for almost 3 years then. Diet seemed pretty normal then, as I normally cook at home. However, carbs were everywhere. In the rice we eat daily, the bubble tea he likes to drink, the Hokkien mee supper that we indulged in during a late working night, the sweet treat we get occasionally while walking in a mall, even the fruits his mother prepared and kept in the fridge. Looking back, it’s no wonder our weight slowly crept up. So after Chinese New Year this year, we finally decided enough is enough and it was time to change our habits. Kevin’s mom lives with us and since I’m the cook at home, she also agreed to eliminate carbs.
回到今年的二月间， 那时Kevin和我在一起已经差不多3年了。 因为我通常在家做饭，所以饮食看起来似乎很正常。 然而，碳水化合物无处不在， 我们每天吃的米饭，他喜欢喝的泡沫奶茶，工作晚了来个福建面，在商场里散步时买的甜点，甚至是他母亲准备的水果，都有相当高的碳。也难怪我们的体重慢慢上升，直到我们俩都受不了了，才决定是时候改变我们的习惯了。
To paint you a clearer picture, our meal features meat and fat predominently, accompanied by some vegetables. We got rid of all carbs, sugars, and other cooking condiments that contains wheat and sugar (out of sight, out of mind). When we eat out, we ask to skip rice and noodles, and sugar in our drinks. Needless to say, pizzas, sandwiches, cakes are no longer in the menu. Sure enough, our weight started to shed really quickly.
为了让你更了解我们怎么执行，我们的餐点以肉类和脂肪为主，配以一些蔬菜。 家里所有含有碳水化合物和糖份的食品和烹饪调味品我们都捐出去，眼不见为净。 外食时，我们要求省略米饭和面条以及饮料中的糖。 比萨饼，三明治，蛋糕这些高碳的更不用说了，完全没有碰。很快的，我们的体重开始迅速往下掉。
Fast forward a few months, lets take a look at our results.
- Weight loss 体重 70kg to 61kg. Size M – Size S, waist 31inch – 28inch
- Blood test all normal 体检一切正常
- Mental clarity. 精神好了很多。
- Weight loss 体重 78kg to 63kg
- Blood pressure normalised, off medication. 之前血压高的问题已改善，不需吃药了。
- Previously mildly high cholesterol and taking statins. Cholesterol has now normalised and now off medication. 胆固醇的问题也已不需吃药了。
- Improved Gout symptoms. 痛风的症状也没有了。
- Weight loss 体重 60kg to 53kg
- Ezcema improved. 湿疹好了很多。
- Allergy Rhinitis improved. 鼻子敏感有些改善。
- Previously moderately high cholesterol. Total Cholesterol Increased (increased HDL and LDL) but Triglycerides decreased. 胆固醇的比例有改善 *I will get to why that’s not a bad thing in a separate post. 我会另外解释这个课题。
Is it a sustainable lifestyle? Well, we never have to starve ourselves, in fact we don’t even feel that hungry anymore. And we still get to eat all the yummy things. So it’s not difficult to stay this way.
A lot of people find the idea of cutting out carbs completely very daunting. And the truth is, yes you do need a bit of determination and patience to get used to this way of eating. The temptations are everywhere, and you might be surrounded by people who are still on a high carb diet. We hear this every day: “How to live without rice, no energy leh!” “Eat so much meat, not scared of high cholesterol ah?” “Cannot ler, I got no time to cook!” Well go up again and read about benefits, and do more research on your own to keep yourself armed with knowledge. The benefits are there, but the choice is yours.
大多数人都觉得要完全不吃碳水化合物是非常困难的。是的，你确实需要一点决心和耐心来适应这种饮食方式。这诱惑无处不在啊！而且身旁的人也许不明白为什么我们要这样吃。“不吃饭哪里有力气啊？” “吃这么多肥肉不怕高胆固醇啊？” “我没有时间每天煮呢!” 那就请你再读读以上所写的好处，并自己做更多的研究，以增加自己对这方面的了解。 记得，选择权在你手中。
Next I will post a guide on starting a ketogenic diet. Stay tuned!