Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

The Glycemic Index and Dieting


The field of nutrition is awash with charts, tables, diagrams, models, acronyms, and abbreviations; more than the average person can memorize. As such, one often comes across someone who has simply burnt out trying to keep track of how much to eat, when to eat it, how to find the calories from fat, the RDI, the DV, and so on. There is an overkill of useful information within the nutrition field, and it can ironically provoke one to grow weary and exhausted, tune out, and go grab a fast food burger.

Yet every once in a while, a concept within the nutrition field emerges that truly demands attention. Over a decade ago, the USDA's "Food Pyramid" was one such concept because it helped eaters discover how many gaps existed in their typical daily diet. Now, as the Food Pyramid begins to take a new shape, and as the nutrition field works to establishes itself as the most important branch of health care in the 21st century, an invention called the Glycemic Index is taking center stage.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is not new; it has been around for more than 2 decades. Yet until recently, its exposure beyond the world of diabetes has been limited [i].

The Glycemic Index indicates how "high" or "low" blood sugar levels change in response to carbohydrate intake. A "high" Glycemic Index indicates carbohydrates with a swift breakdown, whereas a "low" Glycemic Index indicates carbohydrates with slow, gradual breakdown. Both terms are of equal importance to diabetics, because there are times with high Glycemic Index foods are required, and times where low Glycemic Index foods are required.

Indeed, the Glycemic Index itself is not new, but its application far beyond the borders of a diabetic dialogue is notable; especially for dieters.

People striving to lose weight often face a nemesis much tougher than establishing an exercise regimen or introducing healthier foods into their diet. The problem is one of energy. Many dieters are surprised - and disturbed - to learn that their diet program is causing them to lose more than inches and pounds: they are losing energy.

This is often expressed as a complaint, as in "I'm feeling weak", or even "I can't stay awake". Many dieters and those advising them have erroneously chalked this up to a matter of attitude, or will power, or some non-biological cause.

The plain truth is that many dieters have been oblivious to the Glycemic Index, and hence, to the fact that many of the diet foods they have eaten - or are eating right now - score very high Glycemic Index levels. As such, these foods are providing a quick boost to blood sugar levels, and then setting up the dieter for the inevitable fall. This is because high GI foods typically increase blood sugar values, which in turn trigger the hormone insulin to clear sugar from the blood. Since blood sugar (a.k.a. glucose) largely dictates the body's energy levels, it stands to reason that this process manifests as an initial boost in energy, and then as a depletion of energy. This rise and fall of blood sugar - and energy - is often described by dieters using a "roller-coaster" analogy: one minute they feel confident and strong, and the next, they are about to pass out and require some kind of stimulant in order to make it through the day.

Regrettably for many dieters, that stimulant is usually more high Glycemic Index foods, such as sugary snacks or soft drinks. It is easy to see how this experience can lead an individual to stop dieting. After all, before the diet, the individual was merely gaining weight. On the diet, the individual is gaining weight and is exhausted for most of the day. It is better to quit the diet.

The above scenario only takes place, however, when a dieter unwittingly eats high Glycemic Index foods. Research has shown that low Glycemic Index foods, which raise blood sugar levels much more gradually than high Glycemic Index foods, are very helpful for dieters [ii]. This is because a dieter will experience less of a "roller-coaster" ride while on the diet, and furthermore, will be less inclined to snack because energy in the form of blood glucose is being released slowly and gradually. Low Glycemic Index foods are much more efficient sources of energy than high Glycemic Index foods, because the body needs less insulin to convert food into energy [iii].

Despite the growing awareness that low Glycemic Index foods are beneficial, the world of diet foods has not kept pace. This is because many manufacturers are searching frantically to find low Glycemic Index carbohydrates sources for their products, and overlooking a basic, simple fact: the lowest possibly Glycemic Index is no carbohydrates at all.

These zero-carbohydrate/zero sugar nutritional supplements - which are quite rare in the market - do not deliver any sugar to the bloodstream. As a result, dieters do not have to worry about riding the "roller coaster" of energy spikes and pitfalls.

Yet there is an even greater benefit for dieters who choose a 'zero sugar' nutritional supplement. If that low Glycemic Index nutritional supplement is rich in complete protein, then it will act as a sort of antidote to high GI foods by helping to combat their adverse consequences.

For example, a dieter who eats a high Glycemic Index candy car can mitigate the roller-coaster spike in blood sugar levels by eating a nutritional supplement that has very low Glycemic Index and has a rich source of complete protein. This is because the protein in the nutritional supplement mixes with the high Glycemic Index of the candy bar, and effectively lowers the overall Glycemic Index. This is welcome news to dieters who would otherwise be seeing those extra carbohydrates transformed by insulin into triglycerides, and stored in adipose tissue; also known as body fat.

Currently, only a handful of nutritional supplements are designed to offer zero carbohydrates and thus score as low as possible on the Glycemic Index. And of these zero-carbohydrate products, even fewer offer a rich source of complete protein that effectively helps counter the blood sugar spike impact of high Glycemic Index foods.

It is inspiring to note that Glycemic Index is getting some well-deserved attention from outside the diabetic community, where it has helped millions of people eat wisely. Now, dieters and obese people can enjoy the wisdom that this index promotes.

ABOUT PROTICA

Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at http://www.protica.com

You can also learn about Profect at http://www.profect.com

REFERENCES

[i] Source: "The G.I. Diet: A Food Drill". CBS News. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/04/earlyshow/living/main604138.shtml

[ii] Source: "The Glycemic Index". The Healthy Weight Forum. http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/articles/glycemic-index/

[iii] Source "Glycemic Index". WebMD. http://my.webmd.com/hw/health_guide_atoz/uq2846.asp

Copyright 2004 - Protica Research - http://www.protica.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Childhood nutrition: key to the economy?
Santa Monica Daily Press
Childhood nutrition is a dietary issue with complex health consequences — but a growing body of medical experts, researchers and advocacy groups also see economic implications. They point out that children whose nutritional needs are not met are more ...



Huffington Post

A Nutrition Prescription for a Healthier America
Huffington Post
Good nutrition is an important protective factor against obesity and the preventable diseases associated with this condition. Proper nutrition is also essential for children's growth and development. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating right and ...
Nutrition scientist, registered dietitian urges Secretaries to reconsider ...Pork Magazine

all 18 news articles »


KPRC Houston

How nutrition plays into your fitness plan
KPRC Houston
MARCH IS NATIONAL NUTRITION MONTH THIS. MORNING WE WANT TO TALK ABOUT HOW NUTRITION PLAYS INTO A FITNESS PLAN. JOINING US ARE HEALTH AND WELLNESS EXPERT HAYDEN AND KRISTIN, REGISTERED DIETICIAN. THANK ...



Diet Detective: Nutrition and Fitness Studies Update
WBAY
Exercise may help seniors keep moving longer despite age-related brain decline, says a study appearing in the journal Neurology. “Many older people have small areas of damage in their brains seen on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as white matter ...



Detroit Free Press

A bite of good advice for National Nutrition Month
Detroit Free Press
While experts say you should eat a healthy diet year-round, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics designates March as National Nutrition month. The monthlong designation was launched in 1973 and each year has a theme. This year's theme, "Bite into a ...

and more »


USDA.gov (press release) (blog)

USDA Team Nutrition Grants Promote Healthier Meals for Our Nation's ...
USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
Schools are successfully serving more nutritious meals to America's students, and healthier meals mean healthier kids. USDA is constantly working to do everything we can to support school nutrition professionals as they work to provide kids the ...

and more »


U.S. Leadership on Global Food and Nutrition Security: We are Making Serious ...
Huffington Post
That is why InterAction, the largest coalition of U.S.-based nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), remains dedicated to supporting and building upon global food and nutrition security initiatives. In addition to educating people around the topic and ...



Marketplace.org

Soylent aims for maximum nutrition with minimum effort
Marketplace.org
It might seem surprising (or not, depending on your personal taste) that a life lived on instant ramen could lead to a breakthrough in nutrition. But that's exactly what led Robert Rhinehart to want a food product that provided all of the nutrients of ...



Oil City

Casper College students are making Nutrition fun at the Children's Nutrition ...
Oil City
(Casper, Wyo.) – Students enrolled in the “Principles of Nutrition” class at Casper College will be holding a Children's Nutrition Carnival on Tuesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 2 from 9-11 a.m. both days in Room 103 of the Myra Fox Skelton Energy ...



Indian Country Today Media Network

Shakopee Mdewakanton and National Partners Launch $5 Million Native ...
Indian Country Today Media Network
According to a press release, The Seeds of Native Health campaign will improve awareness of Native nutrition problems, promote the wider application of proven best practices, and encourage additional work related to food access, education and research.


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.