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Use the 'GI' for health and weight loss


For illustration purpose

Moderate GI carbohydrates
To make it happen naturally, the high GI carbs are off the menu. Not only do they stop you from losing weight, but they can also make you put on weight. This leaves us with the medium and the low GI carbs. When it comes to whether or not you will produce any insulin when you eat them, the medium GI carbs are typically close to the border-line. Because these carbohydrates generally will not produce enough glucose to create a surplus, then there is no concern about putting on weight when we use them, but having insulin around will give our bodies an opportunity to absorb any fats in a meal, so what we need to do is avoid adding any fats or oils, butter, meats and cheeses to this meal when we eat them. You can add the low GI foods adlibdum to this to eat a healthy meal.
 
Moderate carbs - Whole cereals, wheat, oats, bran, brown rice, pasta, wheat germ, dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, soy beans, fresh and dried fruits.
Low GI carbs - Alfalfa sprouts, celery, cucumber, tomato, radish, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, mushroom, cabbage, artichokes, peppers, spinach.
 
Protein meals
The second type of meals are found when we leave out moderate carbs and use only low GI carbs. When we do this, there is no risk of raising blood sugar levels because the GI of these types of carbohydrates are very low. We can now include some good quality and healthy protein sources, which will not affect blood sugar levels either and, as a result, no insulin and no fat gets stored.
 
Eating moderate carbs in moderation
Moderate carbs meals have more energy, as far as carbohydrates goes when compared to protein meals. When eating moderate carbohydrates meals, it has been observed that it is best to be moderate, because eating too much of moderate carbs can gradually restore the glycogen in the liver and hold up the process. Now this can vary from person to person and you will have to find your own perfect balance of the day, but the golden rule to eat moderate carbs is to eat them in moderation. So it's time for you to relax and embark on the great adventure and discover why the GI is making the biggest impact on the way we think about food in over fifty years.
 
Experiences of the Gi world:
Sugar withdrawals - In the first few days, after dropping sugar and high GI foods from the diet, a person can experience withdrawals. Usually this is nothing more than feeling the desire for something sweet and it usually passes after a day or three, but for those people who have made a career out of eating high GI foods, you can expect confusion, headaches, lethargy, sugar cravings and depression. But the good news is that these symptoms are only transient and normally take no longer than a week to pass; once it's over, it's over and you feel like a new person. Essentially this phase is a good learning experience.

Lack of food craving - Another pleasing experience that many people comment on is the fact that a lot of foods that you could not live without lose attraction. This can come as quite a surprise, especially to people whose whole lives revolved around certain foods. No longer being a slave to food makes you free at last and this can also be highly motivating for people.

Eating more if you like, but eventually eating less
Another thing that you may find is although you can eat protein meals as much as you like and carb meals in moderation, you may find that eventually, over time, the amount you eat starts to become more conservative because you feel full more quickly.

Increased energy and well being - A frequent observation by many people is the feeling of well being. This often occurs because they are not suffering the peaks and troughs in their blood sugar levels, which goes a long way towards improving their energy levels.

Not bloated after a meal - Another aspect to avoiding high GI foods is there is a distinct lack of bloating and distension in the stomach because surplus glucose found in high GI foods causes a fermentation to occur with bacteria in the gut. This, in turn, leads to gas building up in the intestines but, without glucose, this doesn't occur and one finds bloating is completely absent, even after you have had a big meal.

Getting constipated initially - This only happens to a few people, but is also a transient phase which passes, usually after the first week. The cure for this is to simply add more fibre to your breakfast to help things along. Your body's own peristaltic action strengthens over time and normality returns.

Get disappointed when you eat high GI carbs - Because you make the effort to avoid high GI carbs, there is a part of your mind that thinks you are missing out on something or being denied. So for one reason or another you will find an excuse to eat something you shouldn't, so be prepared for disappointment. It is a high energy food source, but you will be surprised to discover that it wasn't as good as you were expecting.   

Written by Monika Seth/Nutritionist and diet consultant specialising in weight loss at Al Raffah Hospital

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