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Continued (my post was cut off): Click on the video about halfway down the page, titled "Driving Kills", and originally made by Copenhagenize.com as a visual What-if-car-companies-were-required-to-practice-truth-in-advertising spot.
On the other hand, if your question is really whether long distance touring is healthier than day rides or commuting, the correct answer might be "it depends".
It is my experience that if you don't manage your resources properly, both in and outside of your body, you won't be a long distance tourer for long. On the other hand, long distance touring teaches you a lot about your body (if you care to listen) and so you may start out doing many of the wrong things and end up managing your resources just fine. You probably want to use the same common sense though regarding the kind of food you consume that you try to use when you're home. I eat much as I do at home for all but one and sample the local fare during the one meal. I do carry some food bars with me for emergency rations but I really don't need them often.
Long distance touring also doesn't necessarily mean that you're riding from sun-up to sun-down, though if this is what floats your boat and you feel good doing it, by all means, go for it. When I tour, I'm not in a hurry. I prefer to ride for 5 hours or so and use the rest of my waking hours securing food and a shower, doing laundry, pitching my tent, visiting the library or local museum to charge my gadgets and learn about the local area and people, socializing (when possible), reading and so forth. So long-distance touring may look completely different for you than it looks for me (aside from that it keeps going for weeks or months on end). But just the fact that it keeps going doesn't in itself make it extreme or unhealthy.
I couldn't agree with hyegeek more. Carbohydrates are unnecessary, unlike fats and protein. My experience is similar as well... 50 years old, lost 100lbs by eliminating sugar, grains (most starches) and seed and vegetable oils and lots of biking of course. My protocol is to eat real food... sounds strange but I always eat at home. Meaning I never eat at restaurants or fast food joints. A long distance tour would present some special challenges for me.
Um, I think you must have been absent that day...
I do low carb for medical reasons. It is how I'm controlling my blood sugars.
I agree with your statement on what a good diet is. I also believe I've settled on a good one. I get most of my carbs from veggies and the rest from some fruit. In fact, I eat a lot more veggies then I ever did when I was eating a "balanced" diet. What I don't eat are the highly processed carbs (starches and sugar) that make up so much of the food I see around me. Most of my calories come from fat and my body is tuned to burn fat. Now at 49, I have better health and more energy then I did when I was in my 20s.
When I'm out someplace and can't get my preferred foods, I will settle for whatever keeps me going without dumping starches/sugars or other processed carbs into my system. Those will not only raise my blood sugar into a dangerous range, but will have me feeling terrible for several days after eating them. Given the choice, I'd drink a cup of olive oil before I even considered a Twinkie.
Never a problem riding many miles and I feel that it actually enhances my athletic performance (fat burning as opposed to sugar burning).
What are many miles for you?
My standard pace is 125 mi/day. Anything 125-200 mi/day is many miles for me. I would consider it amazing doing 125 mi/day for 30 days without any single rest day on low carb food.
I have toured while eating a partly low carb diet in SE Asia simply because there was little high carb food available in rural Laos and Vietnam. I lost what little fat I had and more, I felt apathetic and I was told that I looked dreadful and unhealthy which I certainly felt, it is not an experience or diet I would wish to repeat.
Maybe just coincidence, but I cannot help but suspect that the steady diet of pizza, ice cream, peanut butter, cheese, cookies, hash browns, bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy may have aggravated an existing condition and contributed to the attacks. When traveling with a group it's easy to chow down with everybody else thinking your normal again for the duration of the trip when you still have CAD. It' easy to say "I worked hard today and I deserve this pint of ice cream!" Yes, I think one needs and burns off the extra calories but in my case the cholesterol kept rising despite the exercise.