Should I avoid carb if I want to lose weight? Is paleo diet good for me? There are a lot of confusions around carbs. Some people find themselves thrive on a low carb diet, but some find it very difficult, a few weeks of low-carb diet might even result in insomnia, low-energy and mood swings. I believe quality carbs is an important part of a balanced diet. I tend not to restrict myself to a particular diet or label, because the most important thing is getting enough nutrients for my health. A key piece that I work on with my clients is making sure they are optimizing their blood sugar levels. Balanced blood sugar it’s not only important for good energy and reduced cravings, but it can also have long term impacts on health.
A glycemic index (GI) is given to every food to determine how a certain type of food affect blood sugar and insulin. To determine carb’s effect on the body, the amount of carb-rich food one consumes should also be taken into consideration.
Some examples of high-GI foods that are generally considered healthy: wheat-based bread and rolls, fruit juices, raisins, baked potatoes, whole-grain cereals
Here are some of the long-term effects of consuming high GI food on health:
Glycemic Index and Inflammation
Insulin resistance means glucose is not effectively cleared from the blood after eating. This extra glucose in the bloodstream causes inflammation.
High-GI diet appears to increase insulin resistance after a meal. British researchers compared the effects of a high-fat diet, a low-GI diet, a high-GI diet and a high sugar diet on insulin resistance in middle-aged men with heart disease risk factors. Despite containing the same number of calories, the high-GI diet caused greater fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels.
Inflammation & Heart Health
In a recent study, Harvard researchers found that eating more high-GI foods significantly increases the amount of blood inflammatory marker in healthy middle-aged women, regardless of whether they have other risk factors for heart disease.
Inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes
Another study from Harvard showed that diets high in low-GI whole grains and portion-controlled carbohydrates may have a protective effect against systemic inflammation in diabetic patients.
In this report, long-term, epidemiological studies were reviewed to reach the conclusion that low-GI diets reduce oxidative stress and guard against system-wide inflammation that may mark the beginnings of type 2 diabetes.
GI’s Effect on Gut Flora
One factor of a healthy gut flora is determined by the rate of colonic fermentation. In comparing a high-GI meal to a low-GI meal, researchers found that blood sugar levels peaked is linked to reduced growth rate of healthy gut bacteria.
In this study, those who ate more non-digestible, low-GI carbs reported increased feelings of fullness and showed higher rates of colon fermentation.
One important thing I pay attention to when making a healthy meal plan is to look at the glycemic index of the carbohydrate I use in a particular meal. Glycemic index helps me determine how a certain type of food affect the client’s energy level and mood throughout the day.
Fibre-rich foods generally have a low glycemic index (GI), some good options are beans and vegetables.
Healthy fat can also slow the spikes and dips in the blood sugar levels. If you are snacking on a piece of fruit, add a few of your favourite nuts/seeds is a good place to start.
Build your carb-smart plate with these new carb options:
boiled sweet potato
Where do I start? Add a healthy twist to your favourite comfort foods: get my 5 simple & delicious recipes here and stay tuned for more tips & recipes.
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