4 ways eating low glycemic foods can keep you healthy
A few weeks ago I showed a video to my nutrition class that was made by a Swedish physician who calls himself the Diet Doctor. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSeSTq-N4U4. He advocates a low carb, high fat diet to treat diabetes and heart disease. After watching the video, we talked about how his diet plan made sense biochemically speaking and talked about how eating low glycemic foods can keep you slim AND healthy!
High glycemic foods make you eat more – A study in The Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics published the results of a study where they took three groups of overweight teenage boys. The high glycemic group were fed instant oatmeal with 2% milk and half and half, and sugar. The medium glycemic had roughly the same thing only the oats were steel cut. The low glycemic group had a vegetable omelet, a grapefruit and apple slices.
The boys could eat at will for the rest of the day but the researchers kept track of what they ate. When all the data was tallied, they found that the boys that at the high glycemic breakfast of instant oatmeal at 81% more calories during the rest of the day than their low glycemic, omelet eating counterparts.
High Glycemic foods contribute to insulin resistance – It’s no secret that high glycemic foods spike insulin. Over time, the body compensates by keeping insulin at high levels and we become acclimated, that is resistant to it in the same way that we block out the hum of the refrigerator or the TV when it becomes merely background noise. When we become resistant to our own insulin, not only does sugar stays in our blood stream wreaking havoc but, since it’s difficult to get the glucose into the cell, we can’t make the energy we need to be the vibrant and active people we want to be.
Insulin resistance contributes to stubborn weight loss – Another aspect of insulin resistance is stubborn weight loss. Insulin as many of us know is secreted by the pancreas in response to rising blood sugar. Insulin stores sugar in cells as fat. Because the body is the smartest, most amazing thing on the planet, it also has another hormone that does the opposite of insulin called glucagon. Glucagon is also released by the pancreas but this time in response to low insulin (low insulin usually means that glucose is low as well). Glucagon detects that insulin is low and tells the body to release fat from the cell so they can be converted to ATP...our energy molecule. If insulin is constantly high, glucagon cannot be released and you physiologically cannot lose weight.
High glycemic foods contribute to heart disease – A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2009 reviewed studies of diet and cardiovascular disease. They found two types of foods that were associated with an increased risk: intake of trans-fatty acids and foods with a high glycemic index. Processed foods that are quickly digested – Rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, breakfast cereals – contribute not only to cardiovascular disease but to a whole host of other chronic ailments.
If you absolutely can’t resist that crusty French bread or Grandma DeVito’s homemade pasta, do this. Eat a protein or fat first. This slows the digestion of high glycemic carbohydrates and doesn’t spike blood sugar. In addition, watch your portions. A portion of rice, pasta etc. is ½ cup. That’s about the size of a computer mouse. Lastly, don’t do it all of the time. It’s not what you do every once in a while, it’s what you do every day that counts. Eating veggies, quality proteins and good fats keep you slim, trim, healthy and out of the doctor’s office.
Dr. Cheri King ND
Dr. Cheri King is a licensed naturopathic physician in the State of Oregon. She attended National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR where she graduated with honors in research for her work investigating detoxification diets.
She is a cofounder of the Naturopathic Medical Student Association, and received the Jim Lemkin World in Balance award for achievement in applying holistic healing principles in her own life as well as the lives of others. She also received the David Family Award scholarship and the Founders merit scholarship for outstanding performance.
She teaches nutrition and wellness at the Community College of Denver and sees patients at her private practice, Colorado Natural Health Center, in Louisville, CO.
For more information about Dr. King go to www.coloradonaturalhealthcenter.com