March 13, 2012 by Chris Sandel 2 Comments Nutrition, like so many professions, has catchphrases or industry speak. Unfortunately this system does not always work so smoothly and one issue is insulin resistance. Firstly if you have poor insulin receptor functioning, it doesn’t matter whether a food causes a little insulin or lots of insulin to be released, the system is still not working. Secondly people with insulin resistance generally have high circulating insulin all the time.
Both of these reasons are doing nothing about repairing the system, they are just trying to avoid the problem.
The fifth reason that the idea doesn’t add up is from looking at populations around the world. For all these reasons I don’t think a low GI diet is the way to go when looking improving blood sugar balance.
In the next post we will look another solution that is recommended for blood sugar balance and the problems it causes.
The Glycemic Load (GL) measures how quickly the sugar in the food is absorbed into your bloodstream. For both measures you want the food with the lowest score, but more important is the lower Glycemic Load. Generally speaking, fruit harvested closer to the equator (think melons, pineapples, mango) tend to have a higher sugar content vs those not (berries, apples, pears). This entry was posted in Nutrition Tip Tuesday and tagged blood sugar, fruit, glycemic index. Healthy Eating And LivingHealthy Eating And Living offers Corporate Wellness programs and Holistic Nutrition across Canada. Then it appears, like a nightmare come alive: a chocolate-brown wall of roiling mud roaring down on you, carrying trees, rocks, and anything else that was in its path. Much less dramatic but no less deadly in the long run is a process that occurs in our bodies and that bears intriguing analogies to a flash flood.
But, just as too much rain falling too quickly can wind up in the wrong place and do great damage, too much glucose entering our bloodstream too quickly can likewise wind up—indirectly—in the wrong place, doing us harm. The GI value of some baked white potatoes is a whopping 94, which means that the blood-glucose response, or glycemic response, to the carbohydrates in these potatoes is 94% as great as the glycemic response to the same amount of pure glucose—that’s bad!
Grains are a staple of virtually all diets, and among grains, one stands out dramatically in terms of its potential benefits for glycemic control: barley, especially the type called Prowashonupana. With its very low average GI value of 25, barley is an outstanding choice to replace wheat, oats, etc., in a variety of foods. Assuming your head wasn’t blown clean off and your tears have subsided, here’s the lesson from that little experiment: the Scoville number was the same in both cases, but the results were wildly different.
To evaluate a carbohydrate-containing food properly, one should combine the glycemic index—which represents, in a sense, the quality of its carbohydrate content—with the quantity of carbohydrate in a typical serving of that food.
Calculating a GL value is easy if you know the weight in grams of the food’s carbohydrate content in a typical serving: you just multiply the food’s GI value by that weight, and divide by 100.
Some white bread, by contrast, also has a GI value of 80, but the GL for a serving of one slice (containing 12.5 g of carbs) is only 10, which is good. For any given type of food, a low GI and a low GL usually go hand-in-hand, by the way, although not necessarily—there are some dramatic exceptions. By definition, consuming a high-GI food means that your blood glucose will rise to higher levels, more quickly, than it would if you consumed an equivalent amount (in terms of carbohydrate content) of a low-GI food. When a large amount of glucose enters your bloodstream rapidly, as occurs when you consume a significant amount of a high-GI food, such as white bread or potatoes, you get a glucose “spike.” Your body quickly responds with an insulin spike in order to bring the glucose levels down as quickly as possible (but it’s not instantaneous—it does take time, and time is the enemy in this case).
The reason for this is that both glucose spikes and insulin spikes promote weight gain and are harmful to our tissues and organs in the long run, producing incremental damage that keeps on accumulating. A subtler and wiser approach to carbs is to select them more judiciously, based on their GI values. A group of Australian researchers examined 68 clinical weight-loss trials and narrowed them down to six that met all of their inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. The trials, which were conducted in Australia, Denmark, France, South Africa, and the United States, involved a total of 202 overweight or obese participants, none of whom had diabetes. Overweight or obese people on low-glycaemic-index diets lost more weight than those on high-glycaemic-index diets or conventional energy-restricted weight-loss diets, with the change in body mass, total fat mass, and body mass index all significantly decreasing after the low-glycaemic-index diet compared to the comparison diet. Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is a constant battle for individuals with diabetes.
Unfortunately, a few other factors that are more difficult to manage can cause unexpected blood sugar changes.
An inadequate intake of fluids causes a spike in blood sugar, because a smaller blood volume creates a higher concentrated level of glucose. Diabetics need to be sure to check with their physician before taking any medications, because some may alter blood sugar levels.
The body’s level of hormones, including insulin, varies throughout the day in a pattern that can be quantified in individuals who maintain reasonably stable waking, eating and sleeping patterns. Chemicals added to drinks and food such as artificial sweeteners and caffeine can cause a spike in blood sugar. Disclaimer: All content on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Researchers figured this out by giving people rectal infusions of the amount of propionate your good bacteria might make from a good burrito, and the stomach relaxes within minutes.
Absolutely, beans are great, but people who have cancer should watch the amounts they eat due to high copper (also in certain nuts and seeds and dried vegetables) and low zinc. My problem with vegan diets is that of absorption of iron from beans and other vegetables such as spinach.
The link below is a fairly comprehensive review of the literature on iron deficiency anemia in vegetarians and vegans by Jack Norris, RD.
In the last 2 years I have been moving away from more conventional veg and trying out new vegetables in old favourites.
White potatoes feature quite high on the Glycemic Index thus meaning it has a higher impact on your blood sugar levels and insulin. Turnip has a GI value of 62 – means they are middle of the range but paired with high protein contents will help control that spike. Add the beef at a low to medium heat, turning the beef slowly, let the juices from the onion cover and flavour the beef. While this simmers away… peel and chop your turnip and place in pan of boiling water and cook until tender. The longer you spend in the field, the more accustomed you become and start to feel like these terms are known and understood by the wider population.
The way hormones like insulin work is they’re released into the blood and travel to a receptor site somewhere in the body.
They have become insensitive, meaning that even though there are high amounts of insulin in the blood, the body doesn’t recognise it. If the blood sugar is rising but the sugar is not going into the cells it still needs to get the sugar out of the blood supply.
If it goes on long enough and your blood sugar levels are consistently at high enough levels, you are diagnosed with having diabetes. The sugar is not efficiently getting into the cells and your cells are missing out on their main energy source. The food may increase the insulin, but this increase is rather insignificant against the constant elevated levels. Fructose is another form of sugar but due to the way it is processed in the body it doesn’t cause an increase in insulin and blood sugars the way that glucose does.

Foods like white rice and potatoes are eaten as staples by countries with some of the lowest rates of diabetes and yet they are basically as high as you can get on the GI scale. I will also start to give some of my ideas on how you can improve any blood sugar issues you may be having.
He is a nutritionist, working with works with clients on a one-on-one basis, as well as creating online trainings and products about health and nutrition. I don’t have a sweet tooth myself but know a lot of people suffer badly with sugar cravings.
One of the tips I recently wrote about was the Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load, two measures that have significant impacts to your blood sugar. Below, the fruits highlighted in green, are the fruits that have the lowest GI and GL, and therefore spike your blood sugar the least.  When I have smoothies, or fruit as a snack, I try to choose from these fruits more often.
Some, however, forget (or never knew) that one of the greatest dangers they face is water—not the lack of it (we’re assuming they had the foresight to bring some along), but an excess of it, in the form of a flash flood.
The weather is fine, and you’re unaware that, miles away, there has been a torrential rainstorm that dumped far more water than the parched desert floor could absorb in a short time. It will spare nothing and no one as it smashes through the channel, scouring and reshaping the earth (and exposing new surfaces for geologists and paleontologists to investigate later). It’s about glucose (blood sugar), our principal chemical nutrient, and how it gets into our bloodstream following a meal.
What happens is that our excess glucose is rapidly converted to a polymer called glycogen, which is stored primarily in the liver and skeletal muscles.
That in itself is normal, but too much stored glycogen results in an unfavorable shift in the balance of fuels that are burned by our cells: we tend to burn more glucose (from the glycogen) and less fat than is desirable, resulting in a gradual accumulation of fat molecules in our fat cells—the “wrong place” mentioned above. Similarly, there is a numerical scale to rate the severity of a “glucose storm” from the digestion of carbohydrates. By contrast, some sweet potatoes have a low GI value of 48—their carbohydrates are digested more slowly compared with glucose (and with the carbs in white potatoes).
It also has a low average value, 11, of the glycemic load (GL), an important related concept (see the sidebar for an explanation).
The heat comes from a compound called capsaicin and is rated numerically on the Scoville scale.
Just as with the Scoville number, the glycemic index of a food is a good clue to what could happen, but not an indicator of what will happen. For example, the GI of some cornflakes is 80, and there are 25 grams of carbohydrate in a typical 1-cup serving. Also, GI values for a given food can be highly variable to begin with, depending on many factors, including the variety, the geographic origin, the growing conditions, the producer or manufacturer, the processing or cooking methods, and the consumer’s own digestive system.
Although occasional spikes are nothing to worry about, we do need to worry if our habitual consumption of high-GI foods makes these spikes a daily occurrence over long periods of time—years or decades. Obesity, which is also associated with increased risks for hypertension and high cholesterol. These six randomized, controlled trials compared the effects of low-GI or low-GL diets (the test diets) with those of high-GI or high-GL diets or any conventional weight-loss diets (the control diets).* The difference in overall GI value between the test and control diets in these studies was typically about 25–30 points. It may be easier to adhere to a low-glycaemic-index diet than a conventional weight-loss diet, since there is less need to restrict the intake of food as long as low-glycaemic-index carbohydrates are predominantly consumed. Most diabetics who take their illness seriously quickly create a diet and testing regimen that helps them to control wildly fluctuating glucose levels. Keeping hydrated with water and other fluids that don’t add extra calories is essential to keeping blood sugar diluted. Preparations that have a hormone base such as steroidal preparations and oral contraceptives can conflict with the body’s insulin uptake capacity. Any deviation in a diabetic person’s normal routine can cause an unstable disruption of blood glucose levels. Recent studies have found that consuming drinks with artificial sweeteners caused an elevation in blood glucose in overweight women, but researchers have yet to find a definitive reason. Research has shown that diabetics who chronically lose sleep begin to develop a resistance to insulin and subsequent elevated blood sugars.
Use of this website and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. You give someone cooked beans, peas, or lentils and they don’t even get half the blood sugar spike that they would get with the same amount of carbs in the form of bread, pasta, or potatoes.
Give people bread for breakfast, and they get big spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, but give the same amount of carbs in lentil form and you blunt the effect. Those that had lentils for breakfast, though, had less of a glycemic reaction to the bread. I guess if you forgot to eat any kind of beans for supper and need to blunt the effect of your breakfast doughnut, it’s theoretically not too late—but in general I encourage people to administer their food orally. They are packed with potassium (Preventing Strokes with Diet), mad with magnesium (Mineral of the Year—Magnesium), and a preferred source of protein (Plant Protein Preferable). I’ve suffered from iron deficiency anemia most of my life and the only solution is to consume heme iron from any available source.
The problem is that I must eat the required amount of heme iron without elevating cholesterol and copper levels in my blood. Once tender – drain the water and add a pinch of sea salt and butter and start mashing.
Add the mashed turnip on top and if you fancy a little more crispiness add some shavings of parmesan. Among nutritionists I don’t think there is a bigger catchphrase then ‘balancing blood sugars’. This means the sugar is staying in your blood and not getting in your cells where it is needed. If insulin can not put the sugar into your cells for energy then the remaining is converted to fats, causing higher triglycerides (blood fats) and more fat in adipose tissue. Foods are ranked based on how quickly they breakdown to sugar and how much of an increase in insulin they cause. The problem isn’t because the food causes an insulin increase; it is because the levels are constantly elevated.
These people don’t eat anything for 12 hours and then are fed 50g of the particular food (and only that food) after which their blood sugar levels are monitored for 2 hours.
This means that Coca Cola is given a rating of 63, making it medium GI, whereas a jacket potato is 85, parsnips are 97 and white rice is 98. If rice and root vegetables like potatoes and parsnips as so bad for you, then traditional societies that have lived off these kind of foods should be plagued with diabetes. He is the author of The Health Trap: Why "Healthy" Eating Isn't Always Healthy which is available on Amazon UK and Amazon USA. Sugar can actually be very useful in certain situations and lately I have intentionally be eating more of it lately (things like maple syrup, honey and orange juice) to help with sugar levels.
If you’ve never seen one of these monsters, it’s hard to appreciate how terrifyingly sudden, violent, and destructive they can be. Just as rain is beneficial in nourishing all the plants and animals on earth, so is glucose beneficial in nourishing all the cells in our bodies. There it serves as a between-meals energy reserve that can be converted back to glucose on demand.
This, of course, leads to weight gain, a Pandora’s box that can lead to all kinds of harm down the line. Called the glycemic index (glycemic means “of or pertaining to glucose”), it’s a measure of the rate at which glucose produced by digestion of a carbohydrate-containing food or beverage enters our bloodstream. Incorporating barley in a meal can significantly reduce the average glycemic index, and the overall glycemic load, of the entire meal.

The values range from 0 (bell peppers) to about 5000 for Jalapenos to about 250,000 for the fearsome Habaneros to an incredible 1,000,000 for the world champion, the Naga Jolokia from India. Think of the glycemic load (GL) as the physiological burden imposed on your system by a certain amount of glucose entering your bloodstream at the rate indicated by the food’s GI value. Note that the GL values for the various food items in a meal are additive: the sum of the individual loads equals the total load.
Fewer calories is also an attribute of the sugar alcohol erythritol, a natural sweetener that, unlike sugar, does not promote tooth decay. Insulin resistance is a major component of the metabolic syndrome, and it’s the principal precursor to type 2 diabetes, which is characterized by excessive levels of glucose (hyperglycemia) and, often, excessive levels of insulin (hyperinsulinemia). The dietary interventions ranged from 5 weeks to 6 months in duration, and the maximum length of follow-up was 6 months. But because diabetics were excluded from all the studies, glycemic control was not expected to be a significant factor in the outcomes; only one of the six studies measured it, and there was no significant change.
Stay updated and maintain your health.It's free to your e-mail inbox and you can unsubscribe at any time. Other treatments that work by decreasing the body’s fluid levels can result in a higher blood glucose reading due to a higher concentration. Caffeine accelerates the body’s response to dietary sugar, so testing shortly after caffeine consumption can show a temporarily elevated level. Menstruation and menopause alter the body’s hormone balance and can cause fluctuations in insulin that disrupt glucose levels. Always consult with your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others. So if you’re going to eat some high glycemic food like white rice, consider having some beans with it, and the more beans the better. At the time they called it the “lentil effect,” but subsequent studies found chickpeas appear to work just as well.
They improve breast cancer survival (Breast Cancer Survival and Soy), reduce hot flashes (Soy Foods & Menopause), delay premature puberty (The Effect of Soy on Precocious Puberty), and they’re a great bargain to boot (Eating Healthy on a Budget). Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr.
The result was not only really tasty and with an excellent texture, but highly digestible compared to unbleached white flour. To help with this process you release a hormone called insulin that comes from your pancreas. The docking onto the receptor site then creates some sort of change or action within the body. The general thinking is that high GI foods, those that break down quickest and cause the highest insulin spike, are unhealthiest. This is why when you look at different GI index tables you can have different results because it depends on the people they used to test the foods. What about when this is then combined with a whole meal, with some meat, vegetables and rice?
According to the index this makes these foods worse for you and things that you should avoid but you can go ahead and drink the Coke.
In fact they are not and have only started to have problems when they adopted more of a Western diet. From across a broad expanse of desert, the rushing rivulets converge and are eventually funneled into your arroyo or canyon, where their collective volume and momentum are now enormous.
The grim reaper comes in many forms, and a desert flash flood is surely one of the most dramatic. Unlike a flash flood, the damage done by excess glucose takes a long time to accumulate, but it is no less destructive in the end. The other part has to do with how much of a given food you consume at one sitting—that makes a big difference, as the chili pepper experiment demonstrated.
The vast majority of GL values are in the range from 1 to 40, and most are between 5 and 25. Adding GI values, however, is meaningless (but one can calculate an average GI for a given meal). The test diets also reduced total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol (the “bad cholesterol”) but did not affect blood pressure.
If you check out my 3-min video Beans and the Second Meal Effect, you can see that as the subjects’ bean to rice ratio increases, cardiometabolic risk factors continually improve. Well, the Brits like baked beans on their toast, but I’ve started using a handful of sprouted lentils in my breakfast smoothie. It has since been dubbed the “second meal effect.” Eat lentils for dinner, and then for breakfast, even if forced to drink sugar water, we have better glycemic control. They produce compounds like propionate with it (see Fawning Over Flora and Boosting Good Bacteria in the Colon Without Probiotics) that get absorbed into our system and slow down gastric emptying—the rate at which food leaves our stomach—so we don’t get as much of a sugar rush. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. However, from the way you describe it, it sounds like you have some other underlying chronic disease state affecting your iron levels? Insulin, along with other nutrients, helps the sugar get into the cells where it is needed. Your first warning that something is amiss is the ominous, rumbling sound of an approaching freight train .
The value for pure glucose itself, taken as a drink (no digestion required) is arbitrarily set at 100, and all other food values are rated relative to this standard. Just try to minimize those foods that are generally high in GI and maximize those that are generally low. Substituting one serving of beans for one serving of white rice was associated with a 35 percent lower risk of metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes). Beans moderate your blood sugar not just at the meal we eat them, but even hours later or the next day. Do you believe it is the absorption rate on a vegan diet that is the problem, or do you find it difficult to consume enough? We eat a meal that contains a mix of foods so studying things in isolation doesn’t tell us a lot if we don’t eat our foods like this.
Hence, lowering the glycaemic index of foods in the diet appears to be an effective method of losing weight, particularly for the obese. Greger proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. They’re too numerous to contemplate, and the vast majority of them don’t work in the long run. So, we have a bean burrito for supper and by the next morning it’s time for our gut bacteria to eat that same burrito and the by-products they create may affect how our breakfast is digested.
Many of them, recognizing the potential dangers of “glucose abuse” from too many carbohydrates in our foods, focus on reducing the carbs, period. Understanding it can help to solve a wide range of problems, things that affect a significant percentage of the population. But that’s a brute-force approach that is not only very hard to adhere to (we love our carbs!) but that also carries potential risks of its own, by shifting our dietary intake too much toward protein and fat.

Blood glucose control chart
Low blood sugar too much caffeine free


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