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Controlling Carbohydrates

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  • Find low Glycemic Index (GI) foods to replace High GI foods.
  • Decrease refined sugars, replacing them with complex carbohydrates (of low GI)
  • Excess carbohydrates increase Bad Cholesterol, Triglycerides, and produce more Fatty Acids.
  • Think about incorporating lemon juice, vinegar or something a bit more acidic when you do eat high GI foods in order to lower the glycemic index.


Not all carbohydrates are created equally.  Some carbohydrates spike your insulin levels very quickly (Which can cause quick drops, leaving you in fact more hungry!), while others more gradually bring it up, to a lower peak, and gradually bring it down back to baseline.  While insulin is not a bad hormone, it can have some negative effects on your health if present in uncontrollably low or high quantities.

This or That?

Here are some low and high GI foods(4):

Good Low GI foods


  • Legumes (beans, chick pea, lentils)
  • Whole grains (oat, barley, bulgur wheat, cracked wheat, semolina, basmati rice, all bran)
  • Temperate fruits (apples, berries, pears, apricot, peach, plums
  • etc.)
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, tangerine, pine apple)
  • “Above the ground” vegetables (squash, mixed vegetables, green
  • beans, broccoli, tomato juice, tomato sauce, vegetable soups, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach, cabbage and onions, leafy greens, all above ground growing vegetables and carrots
  • Breads (pumpernickel, whole grain, whole wheat is NOT whole GRAIN)
  • Cereals: muesli with whole grain flakes, raw bran

Worse High GI foods

  • Things with high fructose corn syrup, or refined granulated sugar
  • Potatoes (Mostly fried), millet, refined rice and rice products which have been, refined corn cereal
  • Breads and pastry made of white, and refined flour

When eating High GI foods, acidic liquids have been shown to decrease the Glycemic Index of the food, consider drinking lemon water, or substituting some vinegar for flavor. I want to stress that all carbohydrates are not bad, and that they are certainly a part of our diet, and a necessary one.  What I do want to stress, is that as you take a look at what you are eating, you remain conscious of the above.  There are also a number of charts online that will show you how to prepare meals that have a low glycemic index, and we will endeavor to have good options for you on this site to take with you for grocery shopping!  Remember, small changes over the long term will make large changes in your life.


How does this affect my body?

In animal modeling of High GI vs. Low GI foods, it was found that the differing diets don’t necessarily change the weight of the animals, but what they do effectively, is change the body composition.  In  one particular study, the animals fed a high GI diet had 71% more fat, 8% less lean body mass, and fibrotic islets that did not function as well as a normal pancreas would (5).  Taking these ideas into account physicians currently prescribe a drug known as Acarbose to Type II diabetic patients that cause high GI foods to mimic low GI foods by making it take longer to absorb all the carbohydrates.  While this is a stopgap measure that can help, we can take the same effective notion that this drug provides, and monitor our foods.  This has shown to actually reverse some cases of Type II diabetes, and delay the onset in some circumstances (2).


What does a high GI vs. low GI diet do for me?

According to a number of studies, an increase in glycemic index is related to an increase in Cardiovascular Disease, incidence of Type II Diabetes, and Macular Degeneration over the long term (1).  In other studies that have done a review of the clinical literature, a low GI diet has trended toward a loss of BMI, while another 6-week study of obese children has shown a significant decrease in body fat percentage, waist to hip ratio, and a drop in the fasting blood glucose levels (a good thing) (3,4).  When we consider the results of these studies, the importance becomes more clear to start looking for alternatives that not only make us healthier, but in turn make us less hungry (Which insulin spikes generally do) and thus happier!

Please visit our diets section and take a look at some meals, shopping lists, and diets that might help you become a little more healthy.  As always, best of luck as you move forward toward your goals, we’re rooting for you.


Works Cited:


  1. Chung-Jung Chiu, Simin Liu, Walter C Willett, Thomas MS Wolever, Jennie C Brand-Miller, Alan W Barclay, and Allen Taylor. “Informing food choices and health outcomes by use of the dietary glycemic index.” Nutr Rev. 2011 Apr;69(4):231-42
  2. Chiasson JL, Josse RG, Gomis R, Hanefeld M, Karasik A, Laakso M; STOP-NIDDM Trail Research Group. “Acarbose for prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus: the STOP-NIDDM randomised trial.” Lancet. 2002 Jun 15;359(9323):2072-7.
  3. Esfahani A, Wong JM, Mirrahimi A, Villa CR, Kendall CW. “The application of the glycemic index and glycemic load in weight loss: A review of the clinical evidence.” IUBMB Life. 2011 Jan;63(1):7-13.
  4. Fajcsak Z, Gabor A, Kovacs V, Martos E. “The effects of 6-week low glycemic load diet based on low glycemic index foods in overweight/obese children–pilot study.” J Am Coll Nutr. 2008 Feb;27(1):12-21.
  5. Pawlak DB, Kushner JA, Ludwig DS. “Effects of dietary glycaemic index on adiposity, glucose homoeostasis, and plasma lipids in animals.” Lancet. 2004 Aug 28-Sep 3;364(9436):778-85.


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