Get Fresh with Brian Malarkey

Brian Malarkey explains why carbs aren't so bad after all.

on Sep 3, 2009

In the Atkins-fueled society we live in, especially here on the West coast, the “evil” carbs have been given an unfair shake! I know it's hopefully not like that out in the Midwest where the wheat grows like gold, in Idaho where potatoes are king, or New England where the mighty lobster roll is all they know.  

Old man Atkins died an untimely death at a young age, although he may have been skinny and looking good. He may have been lean and mean but he didn’t make it the distance. The Japanese have the longest life expectancy and they eat rice at almost every sitting; they are also one of the healthiest, if not the healthiest races on the planet. The Italians live on pasta and bread, but also take long walks after meals and naps in the afternoon, and they are a beautiful people. The Irish, for the love of St. Patrick, have been potato heads for centuries and they are as strong as oxen, and handsome creatures that could probably rule the world if not for there insatiable love of beer!  

Carbs are our friends, as they supply us with our brain fuel that gets us through the marathon of life. Our pastas, rice, grains, root vegetables, these are the essence of life, the colors to paint our canvases as chefs. To me, every great dish starts with a carb and builds from there. It's all part of a balanced meal. As Americans we focus too much on the meat, the center of the plate. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE game, fish, beef, pork, fowl, etc., but we are not built to eat as much meat as we consume. We become overweight from filling our bellies with so much protein that the body cannot digest it quick enough. So the next time you see a really large person walking down the street, think of all that undigested meat just sitting in there … Gross! 

Now by cutting down on your proteins and balancing your meals with carbs, you are not just living healthier and stronger, you are actually doing your part to be a “Green” citizen of the planet. With less demand for fish we save the oceans for future generations, with less demand for beef we have more corn and grains to feed the planet, and so on and so on.  

Do you ever think to yourself “I really need to exercise more” but you just don’t have the energy? Maybe because you are eating too many sugar-laced foods and you are constantly riding the yo-yo existence of peaks and valleys, or you have been eating too much protein that is giving you a huge burst of energy but not for a long period of time. Carbs will give you the balanced energy you need so that you actually may take a walk, or a jog, or go to the gym. So let's get this straight: if we eat a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, we can actually save the planet, feel compelled to exercise, live as long as the Japanese, dress and live stylishly like the Italians, and drink beer like the Irish! As we are in Vegas I BET you never knew it could all be so easy.

I’m a potato head; you’re a potato head! Thank you Top Chefs, for showing us so many great dishes with my favorite carb — the mighty Potato!

Until next week – Stay FRESH!