It was always a mystery to me – a brain-twisting, utterly frustrating mystery that appeared to defy logic. How could I exercise so much yet never quite eliminate all of the chub around my belly ? It was disheartening, but thankfully never turned into an unhealthy obsession. It was all the more irritating because I had studied biochemistry and human physiology at university and believed that I should be capable of solving this ‘corporeal conundrum’. To this end I read several very highly regarded books that certainly improved my understanding of the dynamics involved, but never fully resonated with me as I was always left with a key unanswered question, or two. Of course it doesn’t help that we are all so unique in our design and function that one person’s resolution does not necessarily apply to another.
Some years ago, I was immersing myself in the teachings of the leading proponents of Orthomolecular Medicine (Linus Pauling, Abram Hoffer et al) when I was compelled to read ‘Mega-Nutrition’ by Richard Kunin. Published in 1980, it detailed the author’s program which was designed to utilize vitamins and minerals to optimize health. Within the over 300 pages, there are two very interesting chapters related to diet – the first implicating sugar intolerance in many disease states and the second a brief outline of Dr. Kunin’s recommended diet, the Orthocarbohydrate diet, that suggests reducing carbohydrate intake to improve health. I found the entire book fascinating, but in the context of weight-control those two chapters succeeded in tightly focusing my attention on the potential harmful effects of sugar (carbohydrates) on my body. There are even several paragraphs contrasting today’s ‘Standard American Diet’ with that of primitive man’s !
So now I had the first big piece of the puzzle, sugar/carbohydrates, but where, and how, did it fit in to the elaborate jigsaw puzzle known as life ?