Category: Nutrition

Benefits Of The Glycemic Index

gihead

What Is The Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Foods with a low GI (GI ≤ 55) release glucose into the bloodstream at a slow sustainable rate.  The scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of a healthy low GI diet is overwhelming.

Lowering the GI of your diet will help prevent and manage overweight and obesity, which are the major underlying causes of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. For people who have diabetes, low GI diets have been proven to improve blood glucose management and to reduce the risk of complications.

gi1

What Are Carbohydrates and Why Are They Important?

Carbohydrates are one of the most important sources of energy for our bodies and are mainly found in plants (fruits, vegetables, grains & legumes) or in foods made from plant sources.

Carbohydrates take two forms namely starches (such as potatoes, cereals, bread, and pasta) and sugars such as table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose), and fruit sugar (fructose).  All carbohydrates are eventually broken down by the body into glucose, which is:

– A universal fuel for most organs and tissues in our bodies
– The only fuel source for our brain, red blood cells and a growing fetus, and
– The main source of energy for our muscles during strenuous exercise

Why Do You Need To Worry About Your Blood Glucose/Sugar Levels?

When digested, the starches and sugars in carbohydrates are broken down into millions of glucose molecules which are released into the bloodstream. bloodsugarWhen blood glucose levels rise, your body releases a hormone called insulin, which allows glucose to enter cells where it can be used to provide fuel for our brains, muscles and other vital organs.

Insulin also plays a key role in fat storage: when insulin levels rise, our cells are forced to burn glucose rather than fat.  Unfortunately most of the carbohydrates we eat tend to be highly processed and high GI.

They break down quickly during digestion and cause blood glucose to rise fast and high for a short time. It’s like a roller-coaster ride on your insides – you spike then crash.

Low GI carbohydrates – those that are slowly digested and absorbed – cause a much lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore, insulin levels.

This will help sustain energy levels longer, improving mental and physical performance and helping weight loss and the risk of developing lifestyle related diseases.


What Are The Benefits Of Focusing On A Low Glycemic Index Diet?

A healthy low GI diet will help you to lose body fat by:

gi2Overcoming hunger: Because low GI foods take longer to digest, they make you feel satisfied for longer and trigger natural appetite suppressors.

Fat burning: Reducing insulin levels over the course of the day which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.

Maintaining your metabolic rate: a low GI diet does not result in the same steep fall in metabolic rate which is the body’s natural response to the large drop in food intake required by most quick-fix diets. You need to keep your engine revs high to lose weight and keep it off.

Below is a chart I have created listing low, middle, and high GI foods.  I adjusted some of the GI values based on data I found across multiple sites. My chart reflects only my recommendations based on my extensive internet research.

Click On The Chart To Enlarge!

GI

There are other factors you can explore such as the Insulin Index, as well as the Glycemic Load of each food.  However, it can get pretty dizzying studying all the different data.  You cannot go wrong using the Glycemic Index.  It is not a fad, it is scientific nutritional fact.  I can assure you that within a week you will find your energy stabilized, your mood improved, and your appetite under control if you eat according to the chart below.

One thing is for sure, if you follow the basic premises of the chart, you are well on your well to a healthier you!  Either way, you can once again rely upon my OCD put into use in building the chart on your behalf haha!  Used in conjunction with a sensible workout plan, and good sleep habits, I am confident that within two months your body will thank you for focusing on the Glycemic Index!

Stuff This In Your Face!

Nutrition is the cornerstone of wellness.  Forget the dinosaur that was the Food Pyramid, this chart from Harvard has got you covered!  If you’re not eating right, everything else is out of sync.  In the coming weeks, I want to embark on populating the wellness section of our blog that I began last year.

Well, here is a wonderful chart as a reminder of what to do nutritionally. Remember, in pursuit of enlightenment, it is  my belief that components of fitness and nutrition go a long way in assisting you in your overall wellness!  Click on the picture for an even larger view.  Start this practice TODAY, your body, mind, soul will begin to thank you immediately!

So Smooth

smoothie

Become a smoothie junkie!  There are a myriad of benefits for popping a meal into your blender.  Here’s what I recommend you start with, a few fundamental tools and essentials, and you’re off and running:

1.  Blender.  You don’t need a $500 blender!  I use the Osterizer.  I’ve burnt out a few cheaper models, this is the one that’s lasted  two years and counting.  It’s $60 and you can get it at any Walmart or Target.  It can handle the load!

blender

2.  Flavored Syrups!  The best is Torani.  They have a great flavor pack of 6 different flavors that will last you forever.  Ya gotta have flavors without the calories, sugars, and extremely low carbs!  These are the very best and dirt cheap.  Take my word for it, get them on Amazon.

torani

3.  Extracts.  Vanilla, Coconut, Hazlenut, Caramel, Rum, etc.  Flavor, flavor, flavor.  Need I say more?

extracts

4.  Coconut Water.  Make ice cubes out of it.  If you don’t like coconut water, don’t bother.  You can use oj, pineapple juice, etc.

coconut

5.  Juices, Milks, Yogurts.  SUGAR FREE juices, FAT FREE milks and FAT FREE and GREEK yogurts!  The flavor comes in the syrup and the extracts.

juicemilkyog

6.  Protein Powder.  YES, everyone needs protein powder.  Unless you are a professional bodybuilder, YOU are definitely not taking in enough protein to maintain your muscle mass.  Period.  For protein powders I only will use About Time.  

About Time is the perfect combination for us because it is only ONE product:  Whey Protein!  Not one other ingredient!  Most other powders are chock full of everything else.  And they offer a nice selection of unique flavors as well.

protein2

7.  Shaker Cup.  Have Smoothie, will travel.  Take that smoothie to go!  Made two servings and it’s only you?  Want to make two save one?  Shaker cups are indispensable.  Buy one, on second thought, buy two!

shaker

But, if you want to shop around, try to find one that is as close as possible to this nutritional content:  1 scoop–>100cal–>0grFat–>1grCarb–>25grProt. Go to your nutrition store to find the one that fits your needs the best.  A privately owned one is better than a large chain store (sorry Vitamin Store, GNC).

You are all set to go!  You now have the essentials to build fantastic tasting smoothies.There are endless possibilities and can be used as healthy meal replacements in sensible weight management programs.  They are also fantastic as pre-workout and post-workout options.

I HATE the billion dollar industry marketing all the quick fix garbage products espousing the latest and greatest protein shakes, bars, meal programs.  Wellness is grounded in sensible meal planning with good wholesome food and safe regular exercise.  Period!

Here’s to your wellness!

The Hawaiian:  A Perfect Balance of Carbs::Protein

hawaiin

2 Servings

8oz Tropicana 50% OJ
1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
2 cups fresh strawberries
2 tbsp flaxseeds
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp Torani Vanilla syrup
1tsp coconut extract
Blend all ingredients together BEFORE you add ice cubes!
Add 5 coconut ice cubes
Enjoy!

Nutritional Info:

Calories–237
Fat–3.5
Sat Fat–.4
Carb–25.5
Prot–27.2

Nutrition Wise

nutritionClick on pic to enlarge

BREAK your FAST!

breakfast

Eat Your Breakfast!  At the end of this article I have a very special, easy to make killer cereal bar recipe you are going to love!

Why You Should Eat a Healthy Breakfast

  1. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that help you face the day.
  2. Breakfast helps increased concentration.  Studies show that breakfast can be important in maintaining a healthy body weight.
  3. Hunger sets in long before it’s time for lunch, but because it’s not convenient to eat properly, many people who have not eaten breakfast snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar.
  4. People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a simple breakfast would have provided.
  5. Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.

Tips on Eating a Quick and Healthy Breakfast

Healthy-tip1.  Pick 2-3 foods, including at least one from each of the following food groups:

  • bread and grain (i.e.cereal, toast, muffin)
  • milk and milk product (i.e. low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk)
  • fruit or vegetable group (i.e bananas, apples, carrots)

Healthy-tip2.  Pick up portable breakfast items when at the grocery store. You should buy foods like fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole grain breakfast bars, or granola bars for those mornings when you have to eat breakfast on the go.

Healthy-tip3.  Replace or accompany that morning cup of coffee with a glass of orange juice or milk.

Healthy-tip4.  Make an omelette! You can shorten preparation time by chopping up your vegetables ahead of time.

Healthy-tip5.  Get up 15 minutes earlier. You can fix and consume a healthy breakfast in 15 minutes or less.

Healthy-tip6.  Plan ahead to eat breakfast. This means you should decide what you are going to eat for breakfast before the next morning. You can save time by putting out the box of cereal or cutting up some fruit the night before.

Killa Cereal Bar

Makes 8 Servings

1 1/2 cups Oatmeal

2 tbsp Flax Seeds

1/2 cup Peanut Butter (we use Nuts N’ More, but you can use natural pb)

2 Scoops Protein Powder (we use  About Time Plain Flavor Calories per scoop)

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup nonfat dry milk (we use Carnation, just be sure to get the 0 fat kind!)

6 packets equal or splenda

1 tsp coconut extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup water

MIX all dry ingredients separately

MIX all liquid ingredients separately

COMBINE all ingredients (this is a THICK batter, so sturdy large serving fork and wet with warm water often, it’s worth the work!)

Making sure your hands are greased with non-stick oil, or water, (because the dough is VERY sticky) , spread batter into a square 9 X 9 baking pan or dish sprayed with non-stick coating.

Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, cut into 8 squares and enjoy!

 

Nutritional Info: Per Bar

Calories: 254

Fat: 10.4g ( all good fats! don’t panic)

Sat Fat: 1.9g

Carb: 27.7g

Pro: 15.5g

Now go out and kill it!  Rob