Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Reset, five tips to keep glycemic index down

Have you noticed that growing tire around the middle of your waistline? Or are you having a hard time trying to lose that last five pounds? Or maybe even suffer from memory lapses? Liz Pascual (left), a New York-based holistic food expert, dietary therapist and a low glycemic index practitioner said in a lecture last week, that the leading cause of weight gain, low energy, mood swings and hormone imbalance is sugar which comes from carbohydrates.

First some definitions. Glycemic index is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion are referred to as high glycemic index foods and those that break down slowly are low glycemic. All carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars. These sugars are absorbed into the bloodstream. As the sugar level rises, the pancreas release a hormone called insulin, which is needed to move sugar from the blood into the cells, where the sugar can be used as a source of energy.

A high glycemic diet may increase a person's risk of developing health problems. Liz described four stages: Stage one is if you are experiencing fatigue, headaches, insomnia and daytime sleepiness. Stage two is if you are suffering from aches and pains, PMS, migraines and weight gain. Stage three is when you are having trouble loosing weight, waistline bulge, high blood pressure, memory loss, high triglycerides, mood swings and even nervousness. And lastly, stage four may lead to heart disease, breast cancer, uterine cancer, diabetes, kidney stones, hypertension, arthritis, incontinence, polycystic ovary disease, gallstones and stroke.

Sharing with you some five tips (she actually has eight!!) to keep your blood sugar down:

1. Eat five small meals a day consisting of good carbs, protein, fat and fiber. The good carbs are the low glycemic foods such as wholegrain bread and non-white rice. As a general rule, try to avoid anything white, that goes for white rice, white bread, white pasta, white cakes etc. There is a variety of non-white rice available and if you are to choose, the healthiest would be black rice over red, red over brown. The good grains are Quinoa seeds and barley. For vegetables, avoid potatoes and corn and choose kamote instead. For fruits, oranges contain the most sugar and also kiwi, mango, pineapple and papaya. The best would be fruits with no seeds like berries and even Yakon. And if you will eat bananas, go for the local “saba”. The best source for protein would be organic, hormone-free meats, or smoke salmon from Norway.

Animal fats help metabolize sugar, for essential fatty acids take olive oil and fish oil which are rich in omega 3. For cooking, she recommend using seed oil such as grapeseed,sunflower and even coconut. Olive oils should not be used for cooking and best for salads and dressings. Good fiber sources would be raw vegetables (romaine lettuce over iceberg), celery and ampalaya.

2. Add water, fats and fiber to your diet to bring down the glycemic index. Drink at least two glasses of water regularly especially as soon as you wake up. If you eat bread, spread butter or cheese.

3. Add micronutrition by taking a high quality multivitamin and Omerga 3, an essential fatty acid which acts as an anticoagulant to prevent blood from clotting and help lower high blood pressure.

4. Sweat and move your body. Exercise gets rid of excess hormones. The more muscles mass you have, the more heat is generated from the muscles, the more efficiently you'll burn carbohydrates and body fat plus you'll be strengthening your bones and heart. Exercise at least 30 minutes five times a week.

5. And lastly, stress management. Stress causes changes in our body chemistry which slows down metabolism. When you are under stress, your brain sets off an alarm system in your body and releases a surge of hormones which increases sugar in the bloodstream. So, even if you are seated, not eating but under stress, you will unfortunately gain weight. To avoid stress, for instance, try to say "no", refuse to accept added responsibilities than taking more than you can handle; limit your time with people who stress you out; and during traffic, listen to music or schedule trips to avoid traffic; and if every thing else fails, focus on the positive and reflect on the things you appreciate in life, count your blessings.

Honestly I think I'm on stage three, I can't seem to lose weight that I want to still lose and suffering some memory gaps. After listening to Liz's talk and the testimonial of her mom-in-law who lost weight and stopped taking medications as well as Steve Bonz who lost 40 pounds, I ordered Liz recommended product called "RESET". It's a five-day sugar cleanse program consisting of shakes and vitamins to reset insulin and metabolism levels. Since its not yet available in Manila, I ordered the product from the States (thru Ying) and it will hopefully arrive next week. Will keep you posted if I do lose weight or curb or successfully eliminate my sugar cravings. Wait and see.

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