(By the way, if all this talk about blood sugar and insulin reminds you of a certain health problem-diabetes-then you were obviously paying attention in health class. Continuing to flood your bloodstream with high levels of sugar, followed by high levels of insulin, eventually trains your body to become less efficient at processing these blood sugars. That’s called insulin resistance, which is another term for diabetes. It is a terrible, terrible disease-and it is also highly preventable. In a Harvard study, men who ate foods with the lowest GIs, like whole-wheat bread, were 37 percent less likely to develop diabetes than those who ate highGI foods, such as white rice.
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For more information on battling diabetes, see our Health Bulletin on page 50. ) It’s hard to generalize about which carbs are high on the GI list and which are low, because glycemic index is simply a measure of time-that is, how long it takes 50 grams of the food’s carbohydrates to turn into blood sugar, regardless of serving size. It’s a measure, for instance, of the carb-to-sugar conversion time for a whole apple or watermelon, but it doesn’t tell you how much carb is in one serving of the food. Nobody eats a whole watermelon, anyway.
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That’s why the latest advancement in food science is to look at a meal’s glycemic load (GL). The GL considers both the GI of a food and the amount of carbs in one serving of that food. It helps you gauge the glycemic effect, or the projected elevation of blood glucose, that food will cause.
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The higher a food’s GL, the more it will cause your blood sugar to spike, and the less control you’ll have over your energy levels and your appetite. But considering the GL is only one aspect of creating a balanced diet. “It’s better to have a high-GL
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diet than one full of saturated fat, ” says Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph. D., professor of human nutrition at the University of Sydney and author of the International Table of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load.
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move because that means you’ll be eating too little carbohydrate and too much fat-probably saturated fat. ” Instead, to maintain you’re body’s best glycemic response, center your meals around foods with GLs of 19 or less and shoot for a GL of less than 120
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for the whole day.
Sound confusing? It doesn’t need to be. The Abs Diet Powerfoods and the Abs Diet recipes all have low to moderate glycemic loads. All you have to do is follow the plan. And on those occasions when you are stuck and need to choose between two or more foods, refer to the chart on page 276.
Calcium: The Future of Fat Fighting
Yup, the subjects lost weight-about 1 pound of fat a week. But when researchers put another set of subjects on the same diet but added dairy to their meals, their fat loss doubled, to 2 pounds a week. Same calorie intake, double the fat loss. Calcium seems to limit the amount of new fat your body can make, according to the University of Tennessee research team. In another study conducted at the same lab, men who added three servings of yogurt a day to their diets lost 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more stomach fat over 12 weeks.