Low Glycemic Diet vs High Glycemic Diet – Did you know:
- Australia has recently taken over from the USA as the “fattest” nation on earth, with 2 out of every 3 people either overweight or obese.
- We have over 3 million people with diabetes, plus half that number again who don’t even know it.
- The rate of type 2 diabetes in children is increasing every year – and historically this disease didn’t affect people until over 40.
- Among adults, the leading cause of death is heart related diseases, with 50% of heart attacks occurring before the age of 60 … with the first symptom being sudden death.
- One in two women over 60 have osteoporosis?
- Depression is believed to be the next huge epidemic to affect the western world.
- Three out of every four people will have at least one degenerative disease by age 65?
The frightening thing about these statistics is that, despite the greatest advancements in medicine, the effects of ill health are accelerating at alarming rates. So, why is this happening?
These diseases are thought to be largely lifestyle-related … and the food that we eat is a big factor … with changes that have occurred in our eating from a low GI diet to a high GI diet.
Let’s think back to our great, great grandparents time. Food was prepared in the home, largely straight from the tree to the table or the field to the plate. Carbohydrates arrived as in-season fruits & vegetables, beans and wholegrain cereals. Our ancestors ate low gi foods naturally. They didn’t have the white, bleached, fluffy flour (with the husk and nutritious “germ”removed) that made up most of the breads, cakes, pastries, cereals and pasta we eat today. Instant porridge, instant rice, and 5-minute noodles were non-existent – low gi foods were plentiful! “Glycemic” wasn’t a word that was readily used!
It was a time when food was nutrient rich and it didn’t come from supermarkets. It wasn’t overly processed or pre-packaged, and colourings, flavourings, preservatives, additives and E-numbers were unheard of! (It didn’t need the “Low Glycemic” symbol on the packaging!) In fact, the bulk of the “processing” of the food happened after it was eaten … within the body itself! It took the body a long time to process the complex carbohydrates, fibre and healthy built-in nutrients and oils the food inherently contained. This provided the body with a gradual release of sugars into the bloodstream, leaving people feeling full and satisfied until their next meal. This was eating the way nature intended it, and sadly, very few of us have forgotten to eat that way, yet a low Glycemic diet is the most natural way of eating!
Nowadays, our modern (and very common) high glycemic diet plays havoc within our bodies – our heavily processed, nutrient depleted foods are digested too quickly causing our blood sugar levels to spike rapidly. To combat this spike in blood sugar, our bodies quickly respond by releasing large amounts of insulin, to lower the high levels of blood sugar. Unfortunately, it does its job too well and rather than lowering the blood sugar to a more desired level, it causes the levels to plummet. This sets up a roller-coaster of extreme high and low levels of blood sugar which, over time, can send our bodies into a state of insulin resistance. This means our bodies aren’t as sensitive to the insulin as they once were … and so begins the path of weight gain and ill health.
That’s where understanding the Glycemic Index and a low glycemic index diet lifestlye can help us! As we begin to know which foods (and combinations of foods) can keep our blood sugar and insulin levels stable, we can begin to keep our health in check. Decide now to go low gi!