Integrative Health Blog

Carbs, Belly Fat and Processed Foods: A Link to Diabetes?

Posted by NIHA Staff on Mon, Aug 18, 2014

In my last blog, “ Is Low Carb for Everyone?”, I spoke about low carb diets and why I believe that everyone can benefit from reducing the amount of carbohydrates in their diet.

As a recap, I said that from my unofficial research, it seems as though Americans eating the Standard American Diet take in anywhere from 250-400+ grams of carbs/day which would be roughly 50% or more of the total food intake/day.

The SAD Diet

The SAD, or standard American diet, is full of flour products like bread, sweets, cookies and pasta, sugar_carbssugar from low fat processed foods and beverages, and starchy grains and vegetables like rice and potatoes - all of which are carbohydrates.

Beware of the Grocery Stores

The food industry, in their quest for sales, finds the “bliss point” in those chips, cookies and ice cream which keeps us coming back for more. In his book, “Salt, Sugar, Fat -How the Food Giants Hooked Us”, Michael Moss writes that we should "think of the grocery store as a battlefield, dotted with landmines itching to go off."

Those “landmines” contribute to the high levels of obesity and chronic disease we see in this country.

Although our food supply has increased dramatically over the course of time our genes really haven’t changed much at all. Our bodies are still accumulating fat in case of famine - which of course never comes.

We accumulate fat from overeating those carbohydrates and processed foods which line the shelves of our grocery stores.  Unfortunately, the food industry isn’t here to help us to be or to get healthy. Couple that with inactivity and you have a recipe for disaster.

More About Carbs, Pre-diabetes and Belly Fat

The cause for concern is the effect that all those carbs have on the body. With more than 79 million Americans walking around with pre-diabetes, most of whom don’t even know it, it’s crucial that we all become aware of the dangers of over consumption of processed foods.

The first effect that you can see is weight gain, most often around the waist.

What’s the Most Dangerous Kind of Weight Gain?

Belly fat or visceral fat. By the time that you can see extra weight on your waistline, it has already accumulated deep in the visceral layer around organs like the liver, pancreas and intestines which can be dangerous. A big belly increases the risk for pre-diabetes, Type II diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Measure Your Belly to see Your Risk for Diabetes

Use a tape measure at the height of your belly button to see if you are at risk! Women should measure < 35 inches and men < 40 inches. If you measure more than that, it’s time to get educated about what you can do to reverse the trend!!


Topics: belly fat, pre-diabetes, blood sugar