by Eva Martinez
(Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)
Since excess carbohydrate is deposited as fat, you might think it would be forbidden in a reducing diet. All foods, however, can be converted into body fat. And you need a certain amount of carbohydrate because fat is not properly consumed in its absence.
Fat is only half-burned unless there is carbohydrate present to fan it into a hot flame. Acid waste products accumulate with untoward results.
When you reduce you are going to burn up some of the fat that annoys you and you will require a reasonable number of carbohydrate calories to keep the home fires burning—your wicks trimmed to burn without smoking.
Take some of these calories in the form of sugar for your coffee, or a lollipop, or a chocolate cream if you want to. It’s better than an even money bet that you will want to.
You can still look a dessert in the face and you will be much happier about the whole thing if you wind up your meals with a modest sweet.
Modest, we said.
A second kind of calories is furnished by fats. No need to dwell long on these. You know them all too well. Outside of your personal economy, they are abundant in cream, butter, bacon, lard, egg yolk and other foods.
The reason fats are abundant in you (we are assuming that you are really entitled to reduce) is that they represent the body’s storage mechanism for surplus calories— about 250 of them to each ounce of fat.
Fats are essential to normal nutrition. In animal experiments, fat-free diets produce kidney diseases and an alarming disinterest in the opposite sex. Persons who are genuinely obese can cut fats completely out of their diets, however, since they have more than adequate reserves.
Practically, fats are not forbidden in a reducing diet since they make many foods more tolerable—how many baked potatoes would you eat without butter or gravy?— and they make a meal more satisfying by causing it to linger longer in the stomach.
In passing, it may help to know that it is quite impossible for a human being to be a fathead. The brain is the only organ of the body from which true fats are conspicuously absent.
Another kind of calorie comes from proteins. These are substances with some of the characteristics of glue— the white of egg is an example—distinguished also for their content of nitrogen. All meat, including your own, contains large amounts of protein, which is the characteristic building material of the soft tissues.
When the normal wear and tear of keeping alive breaks down your body cells, fats and carbohydrates turn a deaf ear to the cry for help. “Let George do it,” is their attitude, so along comes George Protein with a load of lath, plaster and rivets to shore up your sagging tissues.
In addition to running a building supply company, a fraction of the proteins can also be burned to yield heat.
They provide the raw stuff out of which certain of your glands manufacture some pretty fascinating secretions— hormones of the thyroid and adrenal glands, for instance. Vigor and virility just don’t exist without proteins.