The Glycemic Index Alcohol Myths
Weight loss is a very serious thing. There are thousands of diets on the market to help anyone and their uncle lose weight. They all profess to have the answer to the all mighty question, how do you lose weight? Knowing the glycemic index in foods is one of the best ways to lose weight. Understanding how to put glycemic index foods together will definitely help you lose weight. The first thing all weight loss programs require is that you stop drinking alcohol. The glycemic index in alcohol is very low, but the calories in alcohol are the same per gram as fat. The lower the glycemic index number, the healthier it is for you. The glycemic index lists the relative speed at which different foods are digested and how they affect the body’s blood sugar levels. The closer the glycemic index is to 100 the more that food will resemble glucose. Glucose or sugar is the stuff we all need to stay away from if we want to avoid diabetes and obesity. So, the glycemic index of alcohol looks like it should be a very healthy food for us all to drink. In fact this is a myth we all need to be aware of.
The glycemic index of non-alcoholic beers is not less then regular brewed beers. Some of these beers double the carbohydrate content to its counterpart. Another myth is that the glycemic index of beer, wine and distilled products are zero. Diet books will say that the glycemic index of alcoholic beverages is high because it is not a healthy product for you to consume. In fact if you practice a lifestyle that monitors your glycemic index of alcohol and food, you will be able to enjoy a beverage or two. Another myth is that there are no carbohydrates in wine. The only alcoholic beverages that have a zero carb count are distilled products. The fermentation process of wine will always leave a small amount of sugar residual behind in the form of carbohydrates. A major myth is that alcohol goes straight through you and does not affect your body weight. Alcohol is processed in the body first before the proteins, fats and carbs. This slows down the fat burning process and can indeed add pounds to a body. Another myth is hard liquor is distilled and, therefore, the glycemic index of this alcohol is zero. This is a major mistake that most people make because all of the distilled liquors are made from a high carbohydrate product. You could equate this statement to, “candy bars are cholesterol free.”
What it all boils down to is that the glycemic index of alcohol is low, but it contains calories. Calories add up to pounds onto the body. Alcohol is fattening not because of the carbohydrates in it, but because of the calories. Alcohol tastes better when eaten with carbohydrates and, therefore, you have the double caloric hit. Drink and eat in moderation, stick to the glycemic index of foods and you should be able to live a healthy lifestyle.
On The Glycemic Index Wine Shows No Load Value
When considering the carbohydrate content in any diet plan, counting the carbs is not necessarily the right way to go. There are many carbohydrates that enter the blood stream us sugar much faster than others, and when too much is present making it difficult for the body’s insulin to help remove it, some of that sugar is going to be stored in fat cells and be measured by the person’s weight. Using the glycemic index for carbohydrate is more advantageous in that it indicates how fast a carbohydrate enters the system as sugar. One thing to consider though is that according to the glycemic index wine may appear high on the ranking, but its glycemic load is zero. Almost as important to its rating on the glycemic index wine has shown to rank considerably low on the glycemic load. The glycemic index rates how fast carbohydrates enter the flow of blood with pure sugar being the highest at 100. Other carbohydrates join the index at ratings from zero to 100 but just as important is the number of carbohydrates available to be converted into sugar, know as its glycemic load value. On the glycemic index wine shows an index of zero and with a glycemic load of zero would almost seem one of the perfect items for a glycemic index diet. However, the role of alcohol may make any type of spirit have the opposite effect when considering a diet for weight loss.
Alcohol Slows Production Of Insulin
Many alcoholic beverage, when consumed straight have very few calories and the a low glycemic index wine may seem good as it has no carbohydrate value, considering it is made with a considerable amount of sugar. However other foods low on the glycemic index may produce glucose in the blood and with alcohol slowing insulin production can cause weight gain.
Due to alcohol’s effect on the production of insulin, the type and amount of mixes used with making cocktails can raise the carbohydrate level turning it into sugar and with the body’s insulin production slowed, can quickly turn into fat. Which explains why some heavy drinkers acquire what is often referred to as a “beer belly” even though they may not eat fatty foods. When following a diet based on the glycemic index wine may be a small part of the plan, but should be tempered with other foods, such as proteins and good fats that can help spur the production of insulin.
What People Are Saying About Low To Moderate Glycemic Index Carbs
It really is such a hassle when you are trying to keep those unwanted pounds because not only it would require you from time and time again, to visit the gym or just have a regular workout but also it would entail you to watch your food intake. Right now, there is such a new craze when it comes to dieting and diabetes prevention which is the intake of foods that are said to have low to moderate glycemic index carbs. For those of you who are not familiar with the relationship of low to moderate glycemic index carbs, here are some facts that you need to know and you could see for yourself if this kind of diet can be the best for you. Also, here are some findings about low to moderate glycemic index carbs diet that many health professionals are concerned about for you to understand more about this diet plan.
Benefits Of The Diet
One of the many benefits that eating low to moderate glycemic index carbs could give you is that it initially could help you shed those unwanted weight because it has been found out that constant eating of high glycemic index foods is greatly related or could cause obesity. That is why right now, you get to watch different kinds of weight loss advertisement campaigns that are saying that they use the system of glycemic index in their program to entice people to buy their product or service. Another great benefit that you could derive from maintaining a diet that has low to moderate glycemic index carbs is that it could lower your risk of having type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. It is primarily because foods that are known to have low to moderate glycemic index carbs could maintain or lower the levels of your blood sugar but those that are high with glycemic index carbs could make it shoot up.
Though it is obvious that we could already have two major benefits from eating low to moderate glycemic index carbs, it did not stop other people from criticizing it. But on the other hand, it is good that they get to point out what factors are we missing like the glycemic index system does not take into consideration the person’s insulin response especially for diabetes patients. Another thing that they are saying about it is that a mixed meal could be very difficult to predict, the food varieties of glycemic index foods depend on their kind, ripeness, how it was cooked, length of time it was stored, and its variety. It is good that we get to know about these other factors that people fail to see when they are faced with a new kind of diet plan because, let us admit it, at first glance, the low to moderate glycemic index carbs diet make us think that it is our key to living a healthier lifestyle.
Our goal is to provide you with the best information possible on living better through a low glycemic index diet. Please check back often as new posts are always being added.
You Still Eat Real Food With Low Glycemic Index Recipes
Low glycemic index recipes are recipes we all should be eating more of anyway, whether we have problems with our blood sugar or not. Low glycemic index recipes are also often recommended by doctors for those who really need to loose weight, especially if they are prime candidates for heart disease. All the recipes have in common are the use mainly of foods low on the Glycemic Index, developed by the Human Nutrition Department of the University of Sydney and recommended by the American Diabetes Association and the World Health Association.
Mainly what low glycemic index recipes call for are substitutions to foods that make your blood sugar plummet or skyrocket. The substitutions for butter and lard are olive oil and other polyunsaturated fats like special low-fat margarine. They taste a little different, but a good kind of different. They are also widely available. Other common substations are brown rice or quinoa for white rice or potatoes.
A Typical Recipe
An abbreviated low glycemic index recipe follows for Pita Pizza:
- Instead of using refrigerated pizza dough, use whole wheat pita breads.
- Use low fat sauce, or even kinds without sugar.
- Use low fat cheese.
- Don’t use as much meat. Use mushrooms, garlic, broccoli, spinach and/or or peppers instead.
- Make as you would your usual pizza.
And that’s basically the philosophy behind low glycemic index recipes. You still cook the same dishes, but in slightly different ways. You do need to know how to cook, though. If you don’t, it’s no big deal to learn. Go easy on yourself. You will get better with practice. You will also not only save more money by cooking your own dinners, but you will know exactly what’s going into your mouth. This may give you a feeling of raised self-esteem, which may have taken a beating learning you have a condition which requires a more monitored diet. Have fun with it.
The Skinny on Low Glycemic Index Foods
If you’re interested in starting to eat foods low on the glycemic index and are looking for where to start, you have come to the right place. The beauty of the low glycemic index food diet is that you can eat almost anything you like but just make smarter choices so that your blood sugar levels are stabilized and you are not reaching for that candy bar minutes later. Any diet which would day you can eat humongous portions of French fries and chocolate cake and still lose weight is probably a scam. However the science behind low glycemic index foods make sense and many doctors even approve it for people with diabetes, other insulin issues, simple obesity as well as those suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome, more commonly known as PCOS.
Keep a food diary of what you normally eat for a week so that you get started on the right foot. If you graze all day instead of having three square meals, then jot each and every snack down. Once you’re done, that look up the glycemic index or GI value of the food on websites or books that you may have. In this article we have included some sample GI values to help you chose low glycemic index foods. Once you have the GI values figure out, try to cut back on 70+ foods and incorporate more under 50 point value foods into your diet. If there is something that you are really craving, try to offset it by adding lime juice or vinaigrette dressing that lowers the GI value and could make a medium value food in to a low glycemic index food.
Some Examples of Low Glycemic Index Foods
In the fruits and vegetables category, cherries are known to be the lowest on the fruit glycemic index of foods with just 22 points. Other good choices are grapefruits, prunes and pears. Household staples like apples, bananas and oranges range in the middle and high GI value fruits that should be cut down on include dates (103), watermelon and fresh pineapple.
Mushrooms, broccoli cabbage and carrots are a mere 10 points on the GI index and therefore easily qualify as low glycemic index foods. Apart from a few high point values like pumpkins and parsnips, most other veggies are good for you – just like your mother always told you. In the dairy aisle, try to stick to yogurt and skim milk as they qualify as low glycemic index foods as compare to ice creams and whole milk varieties.
Using Glycemic Index White Bread May Be Acceptable
Persons with diabetes have long held the theory that eating sweets and foods with lots of carbohydrates was not good for them. Maintaining a health blood glucose level was more important than eating things that tasted good and many completely eliminated carbohydrates from their diet as a means of controlling that level. However, new research has shown that when following the glycemic index white bread is not a forbidden menu item. The glycemic index has been established for many foods to show how fast the carbohydrates in the food enter the blood stream as glucose. As an additional piece to the carbohydrate puzzle, the glycemic load shows the amount of carbohydrate is available to be processed into sugar. Based on using numbers, the glycemic load and glycemic index white bread may be an acceptable part of a healthy diet. A serving of 100 grams of white bread made in the United States by a leading bakery shows on the glycemic index, a rating of 70, which is considered high keeping it off of many diets. However, in that serving the size the glycemic load is listed as 10, which is low in comparison to many other foods, making in eligible for inclusion in many diets. Simply looking at the glycemic index white bread may be discounted, but when all things are considered, there may not be enough carbohydrates to eliminate it as a choice.
Diets Must Consider Overall Nutritional Value
Some nutritionists advocate eliminating most carbohydrates in diets for those with diabetes. They are especially concerned with those that are high on the glycemic index, meaning the sugar from those foods get into the blood stream quickly. Considering the amount of carbohydrates available for conversion to sugar, items high on the glycemic index white bread for example, may convert quickly but there is not a lot available to be converted.
In addition to the glycemic index, a proper diet should also include good fats and protein and many of the foods containing these items will help negate some of the carbohydrates consumed in the diet. While high on the glycemic index white bread alone is not nearly as bad as when it is topped with sugary products such as jellies and jams. It is not enough to simply eliminate carbohydrates from the diet as doing so may rob the body of needed vitamins and minerals. A good glycemic-considered diet should also consider the load value of the food and how it interacts with other food items.
Glycemic Index Fruit Recommendations
Even though fruit contains a sugar known as fructose, most fruits do not affect a persons glycemic response and are not harmful to a person. This is because glycemic index fruit is low, most of it coming from water weight and also because most fruits have fibers that help to slow down digestion. Glycemic index fruit also has acid which slows the emptying of the stomach and as a result slows the absorption of sugar into your blood. Fruits as well as vegetables are an excellent source of nutrition. Fruits contain a lot of vitamins, especially Vitamin C, and a lot of minerals, fiber and other micronutrients such as phytochemicals. These phytochemicals are compounds which are biologically active and have health giving properties that can help fight against diseases such as cancer. A few examples of these phytochemicals would be bioflavonoids found in citrus fruits, bromelain found in pineapples, resveratol found in red grape juice, ellagic acid found in raspberries or blueberries and d-limonene found in citrus peel. You should eat more fruit if you want a lower glycemic response and healthy nutrition, especially fresh or frozen fruit and try to get organic if possible.
Glycemic Index Fruit Examples
Consider a few examples of glycemic index fruit and see how low their numbers are. Apples range between 28 to 44 with an average of 38. Raw apricots are 57, while canned in light syrup they are 64, dried they are 31 and as a fruit spread they are 55. Under ripe bananas are 30 while over ripe are 52, most bananas range from 46 to 70. Cantaloupe is 65, grapefruit is 25, raisins are 64, strawberries are 40 and watermelon is 72. Grapes range between 46 and 49. Kiwi fruit ranges from 47 to 58. Mango averages 51 but can range from 41 to 60. Oranges have an average of 42 but can be from 31 to 51. Peaches are between 28 and 56. Pineapple has a range of 51 to 66. Plums are between 24 and 53.
When it comes to the most desirable glycemic index fruit options most fruit and natural fruit juices are in this category include apples, berries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, oranges, pears, grapes, peaches, applesauce. The lowest fruit in the glycemic index are cherries, plums and grapefruit. The moderately desirable glycemic index fruit include banana, kiwi, mango, papaya and orange juice. The fruit with the highest glycemic index include pineapple, raisins, watermelon and any fruit juice that has been sweetened with sugar.
Why You Might Need A Glycemic Index Table Chart
Glycemic index table charts for food are easily available online, through diabetes and hypoglycemia support groups and even your doctor might have a ready made food table for you. Although we all should pay attention to what is in the food we put in our mouths, we often don’t pay any attention until we have to. It’s taken about twenty years for the present glycemic index table chart of foods to be developed, so you can rely on tried and true testing. But when would you need these glycemic index table charts?
Diabetes comes in two types, both of which deal with the body’s inability to make or cope with glucose — their blood sugar levels. It’s not sugar that causes the more common Type II Diabetes (or “sugar diabetes”), but too rich of a diet. All foods affect your blood sugar levels, regardless of how much sugar is in it. You will still need to monitor your blood sugar levels and follow your doctor’s orders, but having a glycemic index table chart can help you easily select more foods on the lower end of the scale.
Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar levels plummet to rock bottom. This is bad news as blood sugar is what gives you energy. You can have hypoglycemia and not have diabetes – or you can have both. Just like with a diabetic, a glycemic needs to carefully monitor their food intake, eat more of a variety of foods and follow their doctor’s advice. Often, glycemics are encouraged to go on what’s called “a low G.I diet”. This doesn’t mean you eat like an Army recruit, but choose to eat more foods on the low end of the glycemic index table chart for food.
A low G.I. diet does not condemn you to eat rice cakes and celery stalks for the rest of your life. You can combine many tasty foods and may discover new favorites. Foods low on the glycemic index table chart just happens to be the ingredients for a healthy diet for anyone. If your doctor thinks you are a likely candidate for heart disease, he or she might recommend you a low G.I. diet. This will not only help you loose weight, but help your heart work easier and more efficiently. You will also have to exercise regularly and drink plenty of water and not alcoholic beverages in order to get the full benefits.
The Effects Of A High Glycemic Index Diet
A few years ago people didn’t easily know what the glycemic index was and now it is one of the most popular diet trends available. The glycemic index is basically a measure of how much food will increase someone’s blood sugar level based on carbohydrates. Food is worse for you if there is a higher measure. With a high glycemic index food gives people a quicker, higher rise in blood sugar. A high glycemic index on a food item means that they are quickly broken down in the digestive system. Rather the lower index foods are broken down slower in the digestive tract which causes a slow rise in blood sugar. If you eat too many foods with a high glycemic index you can have obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes.
Information For Diabetes
So how does a high glycemic index work for those with diabetes? By eating foods with a low glycemic index, diabetics can have help controlling their blood sugar and keep it on a more even level. In addition eating lower index foods will reduce the chances of individuals getting diabetes in the first place in addition to the reduced risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer.
If diabetes eat high glycemic index foods then it will trigger a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. For normal individuals the pancreas will quickly produce a large amount of insulin in order to cover the rapid rise in glucose. The excess glucose is cleaned up by the insulin and the blood sugar levels will often drop back to normal. After this many will feel hungry again which causes the cycle that leads to obesity and diabetes. By eating low glycemic index foods you stomach will stay fuller since they break down slower.
In addition, by avoiding high glycemic index foods you can lose weight and improve your bodies sensitivity to insulin. The only advantage of high glycemic index foods is that they refuel your carbohydrates after exercising. However, for diabetics this still won’t apply since the blood glucose levels don’t go down in the first place. The glycemic index shows the rate at which glucose is released into the blood. A lower rate of release is better for your body. So eating a low glycemic index is a good idea especially if you have diabetes. For more information on how to follow a low glycemic index diet you can find many resources on the internet or you can talk with your doctor about the best course of action.
High Glycemic Index Foods Do Not Cause Obesity
There are several popular diet books that have been printed recently that claim that diets too high in carbohydrates will lead to high insulin levels which will cause less fat from burning off and lead to obesity. These diets have been all around the networks on TV and are everywhere on the Internet and, of course; both authors have been on Oprah. They have also both been listed as #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List, but what they claim about high glycemic index foods is very questionable. They profess that high glycemic index foods such as parsnips, potatoes and carrots are the most dangerous because they seem to produce the largest insulin response. But a study of the Pima Indians in Northern Mexico proves their theory is wrong.
The Pima Indians
The Pima Indians in Mexico weigh 60-65 pounds less then the Pima Indians who live in Arizona. This is interesting because the Pimas of Mexico eat high glycemic index foods consisting mainly of corn tortillas and potatoes. The Pimas of Arizona eat a Westernized diet with more protein and fat in their diet. Diabetes is very prevalent in the Arizona Pimas by age 50, whereas the Mexican Pimas are very rarely afflicted. So, if a high glycemic index food diet raises insulin levels and promotes weight gain, then why aren’t the Mexican Pimas becoming obese and developing diabetes? One theory is that the Mexican Pimas are much more active then the Arizona Pimas. One daily exercise routine will improve the insulin resistance for one day or more. Exercise depletes the glycogen in the liver and muscle so these tissues will quickly take up blood sugar after an exercise in order to replenish their glycogen storage area. When people are inactive the muscle glycogen storage area is full and they resist the action of insulin. They no longer have any use for the blood sugar when their glycogen stores are completely full and they are not moving.
A genetic difference in the two groups is not an answer either, since both Pima groups come from the same genetic stock. It is generally the consumption of excess calories in any form and inactivity that will lead to excessive obesity. So, the general thought that high glycemic index food is a leading cause of diabetes and obesity is just not true. It is really more relevant to say that obesity leads to insulin resistance and high insulin levels.
A Diet With Low GI Food Will Help You Lose Weight
The glycemic index (GI) is a form of measurement that can tell you how fast a food will raise your blood sugar level. This is particularly helpful for people who suffer from diabetes. It is easier for them to manage their strict diets if they are aware of the glycemic index in the food they eat. Low GI food will also help you to lose weight or maintain your weight. Many diets that have been developed for children are based on low GI foods. Sugar does nothing but add fat and weight onto people and with the packaged foods and fast food industry as it is today, most of our children cannot help but to be overweight. With a little help and understanding of low GI foods and exercise, the battle of the bulge with our children can be won.
The Lower The Better
The lower the GI food, the sooner you will see results in your waistline. Obesity is sweeping the world and if we all understood what we are eating, then maybe we can live our lives in a healthier way. Cherries are one of the lowest GI foods and a perfect treat for kids. Fresh, ripe cherries are a delicious snack and can quench the taste for something sweet, without adding fat to the body. Beans are another low GI food which could be consumed daily. Whatever beans are your favorites; black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, green beans, pinto beans, lima beans, red lentil beans, baked beans, butter beans, soy beans, navy beans or cannellini beans, this low GI food will help to balance out your day’s nutrition. They can be prepared in any way you prefer and can be added to your lunch or dinner or afternoon snack. Pasta noodles are another low GI food. Grapefruit, prunes, barley, yogurt and soy milk are other low GI foods that should be incorporated in your diet to help rid yourself of unwanted pounds. It might be hard to introduce prunes and soymilk into a child’s diet, but being creative in your recipes and cooking will help to reduce their disinterest. This same rule applies to adults trying to lose weight, as well. The more creative we are in our recipes, the easier it is to eat healthier. If adults try and manage their lifestyles in a healthier manner, then our children will have no choice but to live their lives with low GI food. The glycemic index tool is a good way for all of us to help control what we are eating.