Are you afraid of carbs?
Are you afraid that you’ll pack on the pounds if a slice of bread passes your lips?
What does a gooey cinnamon roll covered in icing sugar have in common with a serving of carrots?
They are both carbs! But clearly, there is a difference between the sugar-loaded bun and its healthier alternative.
The Glycemic Index in the above foods is the difference.
The Glycemic Index is a scale that ranks a carbohydrate-rich food by how much they raise blood glucose (sugar) levels. When eating a healthy, low-glycemic diet, food is slowly absorbed into the bloodstream therefore avoiding the health risks of excess sugar and insulin levels.
Glycemic Index is important to understand because it helps you determine whether or not the foods you are eating are contributing to a healthy diet and fat loss, or hindering your progress.
Low-Glycemic foods such as cabbage, broccoli, chickpeas, berries, peaches, apples and pears, take longer to breakdown, contain more energy-boosting nutrients, and keep you satiated longer than their chips and candy-bar equivalent.
The cinnamon roll is loaded with simple “quick” carbs that spike your blood sugar. This creates high levels of insulin in your body. High levels of insulin turn off your fat burning switch and turn on your fat storing switch. After eating the cinnamon bun you will be hungry in a short time and you will be looking for more of the same quick carbs to keep your energy up.
On the other hand, the “slow” release carbs in carrots have a different digestion and absorption rate and are released into the bloodstream at a slower rate. Therefore you will not experience the high levels of insulin that you would experience with a simple, processed carb.
You have more stable energy levels, fewer cravings and you avoid storing extra fat when you eat low Glycemic foods, “slow” release carbs such as carrots. Carrots also provide extra fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Glucose fuels your body as one of the main sources of energy powering your day-to-day life.
Ever find yourself plagued by mental clouds or exhaustion mid-day? Ever find yourself totally lost for motivation or energy for exercise? That's a sign your brain doesn’t have enough energy! Those on diets who believe that limiting their carb-intake is the solution to fat-loss may find themselves exhausted both physically and mentally as a consequence of not eating the right carbs.
In my healthy eating and fat loss coaching practice, I define two different types of carbs:
Quick Carbs, meaning all of those sugary, syrupy, sweet, processed foods you find in brightly coloured packages and fast-food restaurants.
Slow Carbs meaning most fruits, vegetables and whole grains that contain minerals, vitamins, fibre, and other life sustaining, life improving nutrients that fill you up without filling you out!
Simple Tips for Lowering the Glycemic Index
If you want to lower the rate at which the sugars from carbs are absorbed, it is best to eat them along with adequate protein, fat and fiber. You can quickly and easily integrate these ideas into a healthy lifestyle.
Coach Cheryl’s Health Tip: Instead of drinking either diet or regular pop/soda (high glycemic beverages), try fizzy water with fresh fruit or lemon. Lemon water is a great source of vitamin C, helping to cleanse the body, and also aids digestion
- Add protein such as fish or lean meats and beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, or TruPlenish* protein shake.
- Add fat such as avocado, olive or unrefined coconut oil, nuts and seeds - all healthy oils that you can add to your salads, sauces, soups and stews to stabilize your blood sugar and help keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Add fiber such as ground flax seeds or chia or hemp seeds in a beverage or on a salad.
- Lightly steam your veggies or eat them raw to maintain the fiber content. If you choose to have a potato, leave the skin on.
- Choose whole grain pasta and cook it al dente (firm) to maintain a moderate glycemic load.
- Add cinnamon to steel cut oats, almond milk or smoothies.
*TruPlenish is my go-to protein powder. TruPlenish is a plant-based, complete meal replacement full of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, Glyconutrients and over 20 grams of protein. Its high-fiber content keeps you feeling fuller longer and it comes in delicious chocolate and vanilla flavours. If you’re interested in adding TruPlenish to your diet, email, text or call me for more information.
Are you struggling with making healthy choices? Are you skeptical that eating the right carbs can help you lose weight?
Click the button below to book your free 30-minute health coaching session with me, Health Coach Cheryl.
I will teach you the simple ways to swap foods for a healthier lifestyle. Join me and I’ll teach you about the low-glycemic foods to replace them with the best approach to help you lose fat, and keep it off for good!