I SWITCHED to eating slow carbs more than a year ago and I never gained back the weight I’ve lost.
What are slow carbs? Slow carbs are “slow energy release foods” that are either low or medium on the glycemic index. People on the low glycemic index diet choose carbohydrates that are low or medium on the glycemic index to contain weight gain.
My slow carb habit is a far cry from the time when I grew up on high carbs and fast foods for breakfast.
My childhood breakfasts were mostly white breads buttered and layered with thick coconut egg jam; fried noodles; fried carrot cake with eggs (a popular Southeast Asian dish made of white rice flour and radish); or roti prata, an Indian pancake made of dough composed of ghee, egg, white flour and water. Sometimes, I had corn flakes and Cheerios drowned in cold full cream milk or pancakes and hashbrowns.
These were all highly processed carbohydrates high on the glycemic index.
My breakfasts today are mostly slow carbs – a whole oats porridge, a steamed corn-on-the-cob, a vegetable and miso soup with or without wholemeal bread.
Glycemic Index Of Carbohydrates
The glycemic index is a numerical system that measures how fast carbohydrate foods break down into glucose and enter the bloodstream.
The faster the carbs are digested and broken down into glucose, the higher our blood sugar levels rise. The faster the carbs are digested, the hungrier we get! The result? We continue to eat to satisfy our hunger and if we continue to eat high glycemic foods, the cycle of blood sugar spikes and eating continues.
What happens when we overeat the amount of high glycemic foods?
Our pancreas are forced to work overtime to produce insulin, a hormone neccessary to transport blood sugar to our cells.
Over a period of time, our pancreas weaken and fail to produce enough insulin and diabetes develops.
What about the excess fuel in the body? It’s stored in limited amounts in the liver and muscles and the rest as fats. Weight gain is the result of excessive fats stored in our body.
In a nutshell, this is how the body processes high glycemic foods and how blood sugar spikes cause diabetes and weight gain.
Glycemic Index Food Chart
I keep a chart of the glycemic index of carbohydrate foods and eat mostly low to medium glycemic foods.
High glycemic foods such as my childhood breakfast favorite – toasted white bread layered with coconut egg jam – is now a once weekly or once fortnightly indulgence. But I always make sure I have a glass of fresh lemon juice or lemon water (no sugar added) to slow the body’s digestion of high carbs. Lemon water is a healthy beverage for weight watchers.
If you’re serious about losing weight permanently, start cultivating a habit of eating only slow carbs or low glycemic foods for at least three to six months; then, gradually add medium glycemic foods into your diet.
Eating slow carbs or low glycemic foods will help anyone lose weight – safely, gradually and permanently.
The Glycemic Index Diet For Dummies contains helpful information on:
- The common high-fibre and low-glycemic foods
- Easy and delicious recipes for a low glycemic index diet
- Common high-fibre and low glycemic foods
- Healthy eating strategies
- How to stay on track with a low glycemic index diet
© Teresa Cheong, RightEatingHabits.com
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