I am so passionate about making sure the public does not fool itself with diet fads and the ideas of eating cookies and cakes as “acceptable,” as long as the calories are counted. Don’t get me wrong – you don’t have to go your entire life never having another cookie or piece of chocolate cake, but in weight loss it is like making your body trudge uphill.
Here is an explanation: You may have heard the term “Glycemic Index,” as being very important to your goal. So just what does Glycemic Index (GI) mean? In the simplest of explanations, it is the measure (compared to white bread) of how quickly a food will raise the sugar levels of your blood after eating it. (See Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_Index). It is far better for foods to slowly provide your cells with the fuel it needs, rather than a big dump of sugar into the system.
Without going into great explanation and detail, keep in mind that the more your blood sugar is high, the more your body is trying to pump out insulin to manage your blood sugar and keep it at normal levels. What it can’t manage ends up as fat deposits. If this happens chronically over time eventually a person may develop type II diabetes.
In regard to weight loss, suffice it to say it won’t help you lose weight and keep it off if the foods you eat have a high GI.
Something equally important to keep in mind is the Glycemic Load (GL). It is calculated by multiplying the GI by the amount of carbohydrate grams in a particular food and then dividing by 100 (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_load). The GL tells us a bit more about how quickly and how much a food will raise blood sugar levels, and what is very important to keep in mind is that fiber assists in slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates – a higher fiber-containing food is a far better choice than one with little fiber.
How do we apply this? Take the raw carrot and the cooked potato. The carrot has a higher GI but a healthier GL because it has far more fiber than the potato. The potato goes right into your system and breaks down to raise blood sugar quickly – less fiber to get through.
This is a topic that truly bears note. If you are counting points or calories on a particular program for weight loss, you may think that a piece of chocolate cake can be okay, as long as you calculate the number of calories into your day, or the number of points on your daily point system.
However, it is not a great choice in the long run. Yes it can fit into your point system or calorie count for the day, but does that mean it will be the food that keeps your blood sugar levels healthy and normal? Absolutely not!
If you want to not only lose weight but learn how to keep it off and live a lifestyle of health, study this topic. It will make a world of difference.