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       Volume I - October 31, 2008, 2008

Ten Reasons for a Low Glycemic Lifestyle
by Patty Liston

1. Helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
When eating foods that don’t cause sudden surges in insulin, blood sugar will be more stable, acting as a preventive against certain lifestyle diseases.

2. Is a powerful aid in reducing insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is usually caused by repeated surges in insulin over a number of years. Those surges are caused by consuming high glycemic foods, which cause spikes in insulin, needed to clean up excess sugar in the bloodstream. Over time, the body needs larger portions of insulin to do the job, thus leading to insulin resistance and sometimes diabetes.

3. Prevents that afternoon energy slump.
Have you ever felt sleepy or tired shortly after eating high glycemic or starchy carbs? After the body receives the insulin surge to metabolize those carbs, it crashes after the insulin has done its job. Lower glycemic carbs don’t cause the dramatic insulin surges, so energy stays stable over time.

4. Helps to control triglycerides and cholesterol levels.
There is a proven relationship between high levels of insulin and high levels both triglycerides and cholesterol.

5. Low glycemic foods tend to be packed with more nutrients and fiber.
Carbs that are lower on the glycemic index provide the body with more nutrition than the high glycemic carbs, that are often low in nutrients and fiber.

6. Increasing fiber helps with weight control and the digestive system.
Increasing fiber intake has been shown to be an aid in weight loss and weight control, as well as an important prevention for diseases such as colon cancer.

7. Low glycemic carbs have been shown to protect against heart disease.
A high glycemic diet has been shown to increase both the bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglyceride levels both of which are related to heart disease. It is also believed that these "bad carbs" may lower the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

8. Changing to this healthier lifestyle may help to prevent.
Studies show that women who consume high glycemic carbs regularly are more likely to become diabetic. Those who incorporate more fiber into their diets actually lower their risk of diabetes.

9. JAMA reports: low glycemic weight loss lasts longer than other plans.

10. Better appetite control.
When choosing carbs high in nutrients and fiber, you simply will not be hungry thirty minutes later. It is also important to incorporate protein and healthy fat in your diet. Both digest slowly and will help to keep your metabolism on an even keel.

Low GI foods include most fruits and vegetables, legumes, cereals that are high in fibers but low on sugar, dairy products like low fat plain yogurt, whole, low fat or skimmed milk, and whole grain breads.

Add spices and herbs to food to reduce blood glucose!
When you add herbs and spices to food, you get more than great taste. Herbs and spices are rich in antioxidants and a new University of Georgia study suggests they are also potent inhibitors of tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood glucose. Researchers reporting in the current issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food, tested extracts from 24 common herbs and spices.

In addition to finding high levels of antioxidant-rich compounds known as phenols, they revealed a direct correlation between phenol content and the ability of the extracts to block the formation of AGE (advanced glycation end) compounds that contribute to damage caused by diabetes and aging. When blood glucose levels are high, a process known as protein glycation occurs in which the glucose bonds with proteins to form advanced glycation end products, also known as AGE compounds. The researchers found a strong and direct correlation between the phenol content of common herbs and spices and their ability to inhibit the formation of AGE compounds. Controlling blood glucose and the formation of AGE compounds can decrease the risk of cardiovascular damage associated with diabetes and aging.

TRY this low glycemic index smoothie. It has spices, and nothing but low glycemic fruits. Makes a great breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack drink!

Just Fruit Smoothie!
Courtesy Frederic Patenaude

5 persimmons, without skin and seeds
1 1/2 cups of apple juice
1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries
Dash of spice (ginger, or cinnamon, or nutmeg)

Blend all ingredients and serve.

  Download this recipe.

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