The Glycemic Index Laboratories located in Toronto, Canada, performed tests on four different sweeteners to demonstrate the postprandial (after consumption) blood glucose and insulin responses. The study consisted of 15 healthy subjects between the ages of 18 and 75.
Blood glucose levels after the non-nutritive sweeteners were significantly lower compared to sucrose at 15, 30 and 45 minutes. Postprandial incremental serum insulin measurements after four different sweeteners balanced for sweetness. The final destination of a journey is not, after all, the last item on the agenda, but rather some understanding, however simple or provisional, of what one has seen. In these modern times, with the plethora of blood-sugar-related diseases, we need tools like GI and GL to help us understand ways to control blood sugar.
The self-testing, graphic approach to food testing developed in the balance of the newsletter is a less scientific but a more dynamic way to explore postprandial (post-meal) blood glucose levels (BGLs). GI measures the blood glucose impact of foods eaten in isolation, yet we rarely consume foods this way. GI readings vary with the individual—blood sugar and insulin reactions are more extreme for diabetics, for example (See Charts 2A and 2B). GIs are calculated in the science lab as the day’s first meal after a 12-hour fast and using a fixed serving that includes 50 grams of carbohydrate.  Most of our daily calories, however, are consumed in combination and throughout the day, when our blood sugar is affected by other foods that we have eaten earlier, as well as by our level of activity.
Of the following numbered charts, the first three are based upon scientific research journal articles (Charts 1, 2A, 2B), while the last four (Charts 3-6) are constructed from my own self-testing of foods4 using a simple blood glucose monitor.
Chart 1:  Blood Sugar Curves of White Bread Compared to Bread with Added Fiber, Sourdough, and Vinegar. Chart 3:  Instant Oatmeal, Whole Oats (Soaked and Not Soaked), and Whole Oats Combined with a Protein and Fat.
To fully appreciate the impact of two back-to-back carbohydrate breakfasts please notice that the scale used for Chart 6 is twice that of Charts 3-5. Resetting the Table–to Control Blood Sugar (For a discussion of other strategies, see April 2011). Ramekins filled with condiments like nuts and seeds (GI=0).  Nuts and seeds provide healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while they slow digestion and curb blood sugar. Sourdough bread or whole-grain bread with whole kernels; butter from grass-fed cows and organic nut and seed butters such as tahini and pumpkin seed butter.
A pitcher of water and glasses for all—sometimes we mistake hunger for what is in fact thirst.  You might flavor the water with a little lemon juice or other flavoring. Because 12-hour fasting, pre-meal blood sugar reading can vary, all data points at time zero prior to the first morning meal were indexed to zero in order to illustrate the change from a neutral starting point.


I use the label “traditional” carbohydrates, just as we call unrefined fats, “traditional” fats.
For anyone wanting to stay healthy, avoid diabetes and maintain a healthy weight, understanding the basic principles of glycemic index is crucial. The glycemic index is a measurement that tells us what effect a food has on our blood sugar levels (glucose levels). The higher the raise in blood sugar (glucose), the more insulin is produced to signal the cells to store blood sugar.
Over time this can lead to overall higher insulin levels which leads to inflammation, weight gain and reduces insulin’s effectiveness to help with the process of storing glucose.
The immediate effect of eating foods with a high glycemic index is called reactive hypoglycemia. Foods with a low glycemic index on the other hand, will raise your blood sugar and insulin levels slowly, causing an equally slow drop in blood sugar.
By making conscious choices regarding carbohydrate consumption you can influence your hunger and energy levels, your blood sugar balance, insulin levels and your cholesterol and triglyceride levels, your diabetes and cancer risk and your weight gain.
Eat low and medium glycemic index food regularly and reserve the high glycemic index foods for treats and special occasions.
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As demonstrated in the chart below, Swerve is non-glycemic and does not raise blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Glucose levels were also significantly lower after both Swerve products compared to high potency sweetener at 15 minutes.
Results are expressed as Mean±SEM, and using ANOVA for main effects of time and test meal and the time?meal interaction.
Consult with your doctor, dietician or nutritionist to know if the recipe is appropriate for a diabetes diet. The second factor—the postwar shift from traditional to refined carbohydrates—is largely due to the growing role of the commercial food industry and processed, convenience foods.  Convenience foods must have a long shelf-life, so food companies rely upon refined flours and oils, which do not go rancid.


Visual pictures of postprandial blood sugar behavior, while less scientific than GI measurements, are nevertheless powerful learning tools, providing a real flavor for how our body reacts when we eat different kinds of foods. This chart illustrates the second meal effect– that what we eat at one meal affects postprandial blood sugar behavior at the next. What we do to our children when we give them a sugary cereal or a Pop-tart for breakfast extends beyond this first meal to affect their blood sugar, hunger, concentration, and desire to overeat throughout the rest of the day. One of the best herbs and spices to moderate blood sugar.  It can be sprinkled on hot cereals and desserts such as puddings, custards, and stewed fruits. Blood sugar levels raise after the consumption of any food that contains carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Reactive hypoglycemia occurs because the body produces a large amount of insulin to match the spike in blood sugar. The result is that you feel full longer, take in fewer calories and are able to maintain a healthy weight. Glycemic Load is a somewhat more accurate tool to asses the impact of a carbohydrate on your blood sugar levels, but the exact same principles apply.
Unlike your doctor, I can spend an hour or more with you, asking questions, listening to you, and interpreting all the information I receive.
If the time?mean interaction was significant, then ANOVA was conducted for each time point using Tukey-Kramer method to adjust for multiple comparisons. The high amount of insulin results in the cells absorbing all of the blood sugar at once rather than slowly over a couple of hours. Aside from offering suggestions based on nutrition, lifestyle, aroma- and phytotherapy, I also act as a medical advocate, helping you figure out what type of test you need to get through your MD and how to best work with the results of those tests. This is why diabetes and obesity often go hand-in-hand (90% of diabetics are either overweight or obese). David Ludwig regarding high-glycemic foods and overeating, cited in the Recommended Reading section at the conclusion of this newsletter. A food with a high glycemic index raises blood sugar higher and more rapidly than foods with a low glycemic index.



Hypoglycemic episode treatment
Blood levels in human body
Very high fasting blood sugar level range


Comments

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