Carbohydrates are the most important nutrients, “coals” for our body, helping it to stay active and vigorous. However, for many decades, they have been considered the cause of excess weight. With improper consumption, a significant proportion of “bad” carbohydrates, body weight increases, and health suffers, but our body can not do without the “good”. Let’s consider how to distinguish some nutrients from others, what is a glycemic index, why it is needed and how it all works.
Carbohydrates are bad or good for weight loss
The common classification divides “coals” into simple and complex ones. In the first case, we mean separate sugars (fructose, grape starch), and in the second case, their associated chains. Products from a complex group are usually classified as healthy, but the situation is more complicated in reality.
How does insulin relate to diabetes and healthy weight?
When carbohydrates enter the gastrointestinal tract, the body begins to “disassemble” them into separate molecules so that cells can use the glucose released. Next:
When sugar enters the bloodstream, its level/index increases throughout the body;
pancreas produces insulin, a hormone regulator responsible for the transmission of sugar to cells;
insulin regulates energy replenishment and the processing of “leftovers” into fat deposits;
the pancreas changes the production of insulin to produce the hormone glucagon;
glucagon sends a signal to the liver, and it starts to produce the stored energy.
Hormones help generate energy from carbohydrate products. However, sometimes the body’s functioning is impaired and it is unable to produce insulin. The first type of diabetes develops – cells do not absorb sugar. There is another pathology – resistance. Sugar is not absorbed, after meals its level remains high for a long time. Nutrition has to be tightly controlled.
Carbohydrate products have different effects on sugar levels – complex potato starch breaks down as quickly as glucose with a maximum glycemic index, and simple fructose is long processed by the body. The more high-carbohydrate food a person eats and the less he moves, the higher his insulin resistance is. It is the cause of weight gain, hypertension, reduction in the index of “good” PAP cholesterol.
This effect is called metabolic syndrome. It provokes a wide range of diseases – up to diabetes of the second type and cancer neoplasms.
What is a glycemic index?
A glycemic index (GI) is a conventional indicator that describes how fast sugar levels rise after the processing of a carbohydrate product. It is calculated by comparing it with glucose – it is taken as 100. So:
low index value – 55 and less;
the average index value is 55-70;
high index – 70 and more.
The less GI, the slower the body digests the substance and the “softer” changes the blood sugar index. However, it is impossible to estimate the harm or benefit of the products by the glycemic index alone.
What is glycemic load?
A glycemic index alone does not provide information about the carbohydrate volume in food. A more complex load index shows how much nutrient is contained in the products, considering the concentration. A well-known example is a watermelon whose glycemic index itself is very high, but taking into account 60% of water, the total content of “coals” in 100 g is small. This is the load. To measure it, we have developed a separate indicator – a glycemic index for one bread unit. The food that has it is small can be eaten along with healthy food, but in moderate amounts (so it is good that you do not eat much watermelon).
Is a low-carbohydrate diet useful?
Populist low-carbohydrate diets do not take into account the difference in glycemic indexes in the food and minimize the necessary nutrient content, provoking irritability and loss of strength. A competent diet eliminates “bad” components – refined, isolated, industrially processed. If a low-carbohydrate diet does not contain them, it is certainly useful.
Carbohydrates: what, how much, why
What kind of carbohydrate-containing products can be eaten and what should they have an index? It is useful to eat food that breaks down slowly in the body, gradually raising sugar levels. Their glycemic index and load are low, they have preserved vitamins, do not remove fiber (as with white flour, polished rice), and their consumption does not provoke insulin bursts.
Division into good and bad: table and rating of products by index
In the rating of products with a reduced index, containing starch, the leader is raw rice, bread from whole grains, oats, wheat with minimum processing. For convenience, let us present the list of healthy and harmful food in tabular form:
Which products to consume
The healthiest carbohydrate food is fresh fruits and vegetables. Seasonal, local products are rich in vitamins and fiber, they have a normal glycemic index. The best option is to cook food on your own, controlling the FOOD and adding dairy products, protein sources and healthy oils to your diet. The ratio of nutrients is selected for their goals, weight, health.
Ketogenic and insulin diet for weight loss
Low carbohydrate diets remain in fashion for a long time. One of them is ketogenic, in which carbohydrate products are basically excluded. It is shown if a meal with a high glycemic index is prohibited by a doctor (for example, in diabetes) and, according to supporters, helps to lose weight through the consumption of fat stock. The diet eliminates fruits (only berries are allowed), cereals, legumes – they are replaced by protein, butter, nuts, vegetables and cheese. The reverse side of weight loss – digestive disorders, bad breath.
Insulin diet – how to sleep and lose weight
The diet assumes the consumption of products with different glycemic indexes, but strictly by schedule. Then the level of insulin will not increase dramatically, in sleep the body will process the fat reserves and lose weight. The mode is as follows:
6-10 o’clock in the morning – physical activity, breakfast from dishes with a high glycemic index;
10-14 hours – average loads, lunch from dishes with average and low glycemic index;
14-18 hours – light activity, carbohydrate free dinner;
night – food processing.
How to tune in to lose weight and maintain a diet without disruptions and hunger strikes
The only possibility to endure the diet for a long time and not to break down is not to endure it. It is necessary to change the approach to nutrition, replace bad food with high glycemic index healthy and tasty, fundamentally transform nutritional habits. Then the mood will remain for a long time, and the diet will be beneficial and joyful.
Balanced diet with glycemic index – the basis for healthy weight loss
Don’t forget about fibre
Soluble and insoluble fiber is not a nutrient (its index is not important), but it reduces the level of nicolatinous harmful cholesterol, prevents constipation and regulates hunger.
Do not forget about the protein in your diet
It “builds” muscles, without it the body suffers from anemia, weakens and becomes vulnerable to disease. In plant and animal protein there are many vitamins that we can not get from other sources.
Minimize the consumption of harmful fats
Fats are the most important part of the diet, regulating the work of the brain, hormones and body systems. However, this applies only to “healthy”, unsaturated species. Harmful products should be kept to a minimum, and ideally – excluded altogether.