The Healthy Home : For the Love of Food (part 2) - Carbs Are Not Created Equal

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

Carbs Are Not Created Equal


Eating cold cereal may be bad for your heart.
Popular cereal brands may feature claims on their packaging about how beneficial their products are for heart health. They get away with this because manufacturers focus consumer attention on studies about fiber—which is good for the heart. They then portray themselves as being concerned with health, even though the fiber in their product has been so thoroughly processed that it’s rendered useless. More importantly, their product has a number of negatives that they neglect to tell us about.
Advertisers fail to mention that eating highly processed cereal is like pouring table sugar down your throat. This stimulates insulin spikes that over time can contribute to insulin resistance, obesity, and an increased risk of diabetes. Most people know about the damage diabetes can do—damage that may lead to amputation, blindness, and heart trouble. So how have the advertising companies convinced us that eating a bowl of their formulated sugar is healthy?

Advertisers fail to mention that eating highly processed cereal is like pouring table sugar down your throat.

This isn’t to say that all marketers are liars or all companies are out to sell you harmful products. But it is true that you can’t always believe what you read. Educate yourself and pay attention to ingredients—not flashy claims.


Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Have you ever been short on time and grabbed a donut for breakfast in the morning on your way to work? How did you feel an hour or so later?
Chances are you felt pretty low on energy. What did you crave to eat later in the day?

Most likely, you wanted more sweet carbs. When we eat processed foods—especially flour—the body is being set up. Our bodies absorb these calories very quickly—much too quickly, in fact. The result is a physiological reaction that makes our body crave more. It’s similar to having an addiction.

Many of us grew up with the food pyramid. It was probably one of the earliest lessons we learned about nutrition. Now we must unlearn what we memorized from cereal boxes, bread sacks, and school lunchroom posters. We should, in fact, not be consuming eight to eleven servings of what we then believed were healthy grains, as most of them were bleached and devoid of any nutritional value.

Many of our nation’s most popular foods are dangerous because they are highly processed, made with refined flour that comes from highspeed rolling mills that replaced the traditional millstones of the eighteenth century. The new mills became faster and most efficient after the discovery of degermination, a process that took the grain and removed the seed coat—called the bran—and the germ, which is the embryo of the seed that is an integral part of whole-grain foods. It also stripped the flour of a lot of its nutritional value because the bran is where the fiber, B vitamins, and trace minerals are, and the germ contains antioxidants and vitamins B and E.
The impact of this one process forever changed the course of American history, as rarely does an American family go a day without eating bread.

The result of the new milling process was a superfine, pure white flour that does not spoil. How could it get any better for bakers? Not only are the breads and pastries they make from this flour light and tasty, but they also have an extra-long shelf life.

Unfortunately, the results have been less than ideal for those of us who are eating these long-lasting foods. The body is able to absorb the glucose from the superfine particles of white or wheat flour so quickly that it results in a rapid rise of our blood sugar—worse than would occur if you were eating a candy bar. (If only you’d known for all these years that a Snickers® bar would have been better for you than white toast for breakfast!)

And as you know, what goes up must come down. The rapid rise in blood sugar is followed by a rapid fall after a surge of insulin is released to store that sugar in your fat, leaving your fat cells plump and you feeling sluggish. As if that weren’t bad enough, you’ll also have a seemingly uncontrollable craving for more sweets to help get your blood sugar level back in balance.

We are now beginning to realize that our love of pastries and white bread is central to the epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases we see in the world today. Repeatedly eating foods that spike our blood sugar—otherwise known as foods with a high glycemic index—makes us gain weight and, over time, causes lasting damage to our health.

Breaking Bread

Much of the bread you find in supermarkets contains more than flour—much more. Just compare the simple ingredients of good, old-fashioned homemade bread with the ingredients list of the white bread you buy in the store.

Homemade Bread:
Whole-wheat flour, sugar, salt, yeast, milk, butter, and water.
Store-bought White Bread:
Enriched wheat flour, water, wheat gluten, high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, salt, molasses, yeast, mono and diglycerides, exthoxylated mono and diglycerides, dough conditioners (sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium iodate, calcium dioxide), datem, calcium sulfate, vinegar, yeast nutrient (ammonium sulfate), extracts of malted barley and corn, dicalcium phosphate, diammonium phosphate, and calcium propionate (to retain freshness).

The Glycemic Index

First introduced by Dr. David J. Jenkins in 1981, the glycemic index has become a household term. Jenkins defined the glycemic index as the rate blood sugar rises after eating a particular test food, relative to that of a control food—usually glucose.

When the glycemic index was first released, most dieticians, nutritionists, and physicians were shocked by the results; it flew in the face of long-held assumptions that complex carbohydrates are always better than simple carbohydrates, and that all calories are created equal.

As an example of this new thinking, simple sugars such as table sugar—sucrose—have a glycemic index value of 61, while the sugar found in fruits—fructose—has a much-preferred glycemic index value of only 19. Thus, many of our “healthy” breakfast cereals, such as corn flakes, bran flakes, and oat rings top out the glycemic index, some scoring as high as 92. Suddenly those plastic baggies full of Cheerios® for kids don’t seem like such a great snack, unless you want your kids to be chubby enough to stay warm in the winter.

To get an even truer view of your response to a particular food, you’d need to calculate the glycemic load. Glycemic load takes into account the glycemic index and the concentration of carbohydrates. Low is 10 or less, medium is 11–19, and 20 or greater is considered high. For example, cooked carrots have a medium glycemic index of 49, whereas their glycemic load is a very low 2.4 because there are few carbohydrates in carrots. This means that eating carrots won’t tend to spike your blood sugar. However, potatoes have both a high glycemic index and a high glycemic load, which will significantly raise the blood sugar and stimulate a heightened insulin response.

Glycemic Index of Selected Foods
Shredded wheat67
Raisin bran73
Oat rings74
Corn flakes83
Chocolate bar49
Potato chips56
Jelly beans80
Sweet corn56
French fries75
Baked red potato93
Bagel, plain72
Soy beans, boiled16
Kidney beans, canned29
Lima beans, boiled32
Baked beans45

One of the best ways to avoid high-glycemic carbs is to eat fresh fruits and vegetables deep in color—these are also typically richer in antioxidants. Whole foods that grow close to the ground are packed with living vitamins, minerals, water, fiber, and the enzymes needed to digest the food itself. They are the perfect fit for the cells of our bodies and for nurturing the body in just the right balance.

Thousands of studies have proven that fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of important phytochemicals that are beneficial for fighting disease.
Beyond fruits and vegetables, you can gain control of the glycemic load of your diet by reducing your intake of refined sugars and starches, eating fiberrich foods, and consuming balanced meals containing protein and fat along with carbohydrates.

Simple Solution:
Garden produce in a rainbow of colors will help you maintain a low-glycemic, nutrient-rich diet. The deeper the color, the better.
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