What’s the secret?
The nutrition secret lies within something known as the “glycemic index.” The glycemic index (GI) is the relative rate that carbohydrates break down into sugar in the blood stream. The slower the rate of breakdown, the easier it is to lose weight. Many popular diets have gained tremendous popularity and success by using this GI secret!
How can the secret work for you?
It works by knowing how to use the GI to your advantage. Foods with a relative high glycemic index are good for short-term energy boosts. High glycemic Index foods include most sodas, refined cereals, white bread, sweets, white rice, cookies, etc. High GI foods release sugar into the bloodstream quickly, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. This rise in blood sugar signals the pancreas to produce insulin, a storage hormone. Insulin removes excess sugar from the bloodstream and stores it in the muscle and liver tissues. When the muscle and liver stores are full, yet insulin levels stay high, excess bloodstream sugar goes to fat storage—creating the dreaded unwanted excess body fat. Yikes!
Fat storage cannot happen without insulin. Many diet plans, such as those provided in Y.E.S. – Your Eating Solution utilize this GI knowledge to help folks stabilize blood sugar and manage weight. Some diets, however, take it to the extreme. The Atkins diet, for example, provides foods that have little to no effect on raising insulin, thus minimizing fat storage.
Over time, however, strictly adhering to such extreme diets with high animal protein content like the Atkins may have negative effects on your overall health. There’s now a good amount of supporting research indicating that there may be a link between animal protein and various cancers. Since research findings can sometimes be controversial, a sensible approach is to work with your natural system and varied food sources such as using the GI secret to get healthful results is to focus on low GI foods while limiting high glycemic foods.
Low glycemic index foods release sugar into the bloodstream slowly, which affects insulin slower than high glycemic index foods. Low glycemic index foods support the mind and body with longer lasting energy for hours. Low glycemic foods are easier on your (endocrine) hormone system, especially if you want weight control, sustained energy, and health improvement.
The chart below shows the different effects low GI and high GI foods have on blood sugar over a two hour period.
From the chart, you can see how high GI foods spike the blood sugar (blood glucose) levels much higher and quicker than low GI foods. Also, you can see that by the second hour (120 minutes), low GI foods have not caused the blood sugar level to crash like the high GI foods.
Now here’s a look at some High Glycemic Index foods –
instant white rice, waffles, doughnuts, jelly beans, most refined cereals, white bread, soda, corn chips, cookies, sweetened oatmeal, shortbread, raisins, maple syrup. etc.
Here’s how you can use the nutrition secret of low GI to optimize your health –
The basic technique for eating the low GI way is simply an “exchange” approach or “substitution” method – i.e., exchange a high GI food for a low GI food. Here are some examples.
- Try breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran instead of sweet cereals
- Consider breads with whole grains & stone-ground flour, over white bread
- Substitute an apple, pear, or plumb for sweets
- Use Basmati or Doongara rice instead of white rice
- Mix plenty of vegetables in salads over croutons