Carbs: The Do's and Don'ts
Now that you've looked over the list of what foods to eliminate and what to replace them with (here), let's go into more detail about the foods on both of those lists, broken into their macronutrient categories: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
On this page I have divided the category of carbohydrates further into three sub-categories:
2) Grains and starches
While eating a low-carb diet is very beneficial for most healthy humans and especially for those with many kinds of inflammatory diseases, I don't necessarily think being on a low-carb diet is the way to go for CFers, since it's harder to keep weight on without carbs. I do, however, think that we must be very picky about the types of carbs we eat for two main reasons: 1) remediating carbohydrate malabsorption, dysbiosis, and grain protein allergies, 2) preventing hyperglycemia. It is completely possible to get enough calories and eat a good amount of carbs without eating grains or refined carbohydrates. It is true that eating too many carbs, even carbs from fruit and whole grains, can cause hyperglycemia and exacerbate our disease, so we must eat them in moderation and with great attention paid to our blood sugar and digestive symptoms. There are even certain techniques that we can use to make starchy vegetables like potatoes a lower-glycemic food. I will discuss these techniques in this section. I strongly believe that catching glucose intolerance early and treating it through dietary control and cinnamon or insulin supplementation can prevent or reduce lung exacerbations and systemic inflammation. If you've developed glucose intolerance, experience reactive hypoglycemia, or suspect your glucose tolerance is deteriorating, I would think about getting a glucometer and regularly testing your blood sugar, then go from there depending on what you find.
Our pre-industrial (and especially pre-agricultural) ancestors thrived on relatively low carb diets. All of the carbs that our ancestors ate were complex, contained lots of fiber, resistant starch, and phytonutrients. Wild honey was the only concentrated source of sugar for many hunter-gatherer groups, and was only available seasonally in limited amounts. The recent explosion in chronic disease in the Westernized world is due largely to a radical increase in the amount of carbohydrates (especially refined carbs) eaten on a daily basis. A very large part of disease in the US could be cured by restricting carb intake and going back to the low-carb diets of our ancestors. Even though CF is not caused by eating too many carbs, it can certainly be exacerbated by it, so it is important for CFers (and anyone else struggling with a health issue) to be very mindful of the quantity and quality of carbs they're eating. Let's look at that now.