The fuss about Carbohydrate
Flick through a newspaper and it isn’t surprising to see the latest trend in carbohydrate – “avoid wheat”, “starchy foods are fattening”, or “pasta is the best food ever invented”. How do you know what’s best? Is this conflicting advice or do the experts agree? Well, let’s review some of the issues here.
When you eat carbohydrate foods (such as bread, potatoes, pasta, cereals and sugary foods), the body digests it and converts it to glucose (sugar); this can then be used for energy. As the carbohydrate gets digested to glucose, the glucose level in your blood rises. In other words, each time you eat a carbohydrate food, the blood glucose level in your body rises.
We know different foods cause the blood glucose to rise at different speeds. Some carbs (carbohydrate foods) cause quick and sharp rises in your blood glucose levels and these are best kept to a minimum. Other foods cause a slow and gradual rise in blood glucose level; these can help you lose weight. So the speed at which carbohydrate foods are digested plays an important part in losing weight and to our overall health, as we will now see.
The Glycaemic Index
The Glycaemic Index (GI) is simply a ranking of foods based on the speed at which they raise blood glucose levels. Each food is given a number:
- Foods that break down quickly are given high values – they raise blood glucose quickly, and are said to have a high glycaemic index
- Foods that break down slowly are given low values – they raise blood glucose more slowly, and have a low glycaemic index
The main thing to remember is that a low GI food is digested more slowly and causes a slower and steady rise (and fall) in blood glucose. Slower digestion can help to make you feel full for longer and delay hunger pangs.
So, is it simply a matter of knowing your GIs?
The GI only tells you how quickly or slowly a food raises blood glucose when it’s eaten. But foods with a high GI are not bad foods. Compare potato crisps, which have a medium GI to a baked potato, which has been shown to have a high GI. Interestingly, white pitta bread has a lower GI than wholemeal bread – could you ever have guessed that? And some biscuits and cakes have a lower GI than bread – does this mean we should fill up on these?
The key to using GI successfully in weight loss is to get the right mix of foods. This will not only ensure more stable blood glucose levels, it will also take into account the calorie value of the foods and help you obtain the wide variety of nutrients needed for overall good health. And this is the uniqueness of the GiP System. The revolutionary way to choose the right carbs and stay in shape forever. And this diet programme has another plus – it boasts the support of some of the best-kept motivation secrets and willpower boosters.
Read more about the Gi Plan…