April 2, 2011
A key component of the “Triangle of Disease” is our blood sugar system. With diabetes incidence increasing at a downright scary pace [http://www.gallup.com/poll/123887/u.s.-diabetes-rate-climbs-above-11-could-hit-15-2015.aspx], many people are becoming aware of the amount of carbohydrates that they’re eating. And while that’s certainly a step in the right direction, according to a study from the University of Sydney in Australia, counting just the number of carbohydrate calories might not be the right strategy.
The authors of the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12081851], found that it’s more about the type of carbohydrate calorie than just the calorie itself. You see, some carbohydrates burn faster than others and it’s this burning speed that seem to be most significant.
Think of a how charcoal burns vs. how a marshmallow burns and you have a graphic example of what I’m talking about. Charcoal burns long and slow while a marshmallow burns quick and fast. The body does not like quick and fast and if you’re doing carbohydrates you want to select ones that burn long and slow, like charcoal.
Scientists measure this burning speed by using something called the glycemic index [http://www.glycemicindex.com/], which grades foods on a scale of 1 to 100, where one hundred is fast burning and zero is slow. The study’s researchers say that their findings also suggest that eating foods with a high glycemic index could be linked to heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes.
A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Eating low on the glycemic index is more appropriate for human health because this is how our bodies are designed to eat. The human body and digestive system, as well as the blood sugar system “2011 edition” is really not much different than it was 200,000 years ago. Yet, the high glycemic foods that many of us are eating are largely a product of food processing and refining methods that have only been in place for at most a few hundred years. That’s why studies done on diets based on slow burning low GI foods show that people lose weight, lower cholesterol, reduce hunger and improve endurance – in addition to improving all the markers of heart disease and diabetes.
Foods on the high end of the glycemic index, which should be minimized, include fruit juices and sodas, cookies, cakes and refined flour-based cereals and breads, chips and snacks. French fries and cooked carrots are especially sneaky high glycemic index foods. Fiber and high fiber-containing foods are low on the glycemic index and they can also lower the total glycemic index when they’re eaten in combination with foods that are high GI.
Always be sure to mix in veggies, especially the green leafy ones, and nuts and seeds which are high fiber foods with every meal, for Glycemic index benefits.
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