Which type of carbohydrate is good for you?

Certain types of carbohydrate have been consistently associated with obesity and health. Intake of sugar sweetened beverages are refined grain products potatoes and refined Bread have been associated with excess weight and or greater waist circumference. Dietary fiber has been associated in many studies with lower BMI smaller waist circumference lower body fat and weight reduction overtime.

Glycemic index

High glycemic index Foods break down rapidly and cause greater elevations in blood glucose after a meal. Low glycemic index foods break down slowly causing a milder rise in blood glucose that declines gradually over several hours. Choosing a low glycemic diet pattern means choosing low glycemic index foods keeping total carbohydrates moderate and is generally better for health and weight loss.

Glycemic load is a term that takes into account the glycemic index of a food as well as the total amount of carbohydrate. That’s, a tiny amount of high GI food still has a low glycemic load.

Calorie for calorie, eating a high glycemic index food causes more insulin to be released then eating a low glycemic index food. But the dramatic rise in blood insulin leads to Rapid tearing of the glucose from the bloodstream, leaving blood sugar lower 3 to 4 hours after a high GI meal than after a low GI meal.

Some common LOW glycemic index (55 or less) foods include;

  • Whole wheat or pumpernickel bread
  • Oatmeal, oat bran, muesli
  • Pasta, converted rice, barley, bulgar
  • Sweet potato, corn, yam, lima/butter beans, peas, legumes and lentils
  • Most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and carrots

Some common HIGH glycemic index (70 or more) foods include;

  • White bread or bagel
  • Corn flakes, puffed rice, bran flakes, instant oatmeal
  • Shortgrain white rice, rice pasta, macaroni and cheese from mix
  • Russet potato, pumpkin
  • Pretzels, rice cakes, popcorn, saltine crackers
  • Melons
  • Pineapple

Blood sugar

While many factors contribute to hunger, research supports that low blood sugar is a powerful initiator of hunger.

When your blood sugar Falls, you are going to feel compelled to seek food and eat it now. This effect is seen whether blood glucose reaches a low absolute value or simply sustains a decline, even if it never dips below the normal range. This is consistent with studies showing that high glycemic index meals lead to overeating later, whereas and less food intake at subsequent meals.

In fact, even after controlling for total calorie intake, high glycemic diets have been associated with greater body mass index. This may be due to the appetite stimulating and fat storage promoting effects of high insulin levels.

People eating low glycemic diet experience less metabolic adaptation during weight loss than those eating high glycemic diets, with preservation of resting metabolic rate and circulating levels of the hormone leptin. Decline in leptin level is one of the challenges that makes it harder to keep losing weight as a person gets leaner, the more leptin levels fall, the less you feel like moving. Thyroid hormone output Falls when leptin is diminished, and appetite is increased. So if choosing low glycemic meals can prevent that all from happening and preserve your leptin levels during weight loss, it sounds worth it to me exclamation


Aside from being beneficial from a fact lost perspective, it’s worth mentioning that paying attention to the quantity and quality of carbohydrates you eat in a health matter too. High carbohydrate diets, and especially high glycemic index and high glycemic load diet, have been associated with increased risk of hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke.

Glycemic load has been associated with increased risk of certain cancers, including breast, prostate, colorectal, rectal and pancreatic, as well as the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eating more rapidly digestible carbohydrates has also been linked to elevations in C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation and risk factor for heart disease.

Interesting League, functional MRI studies of the human brain show that a single high glycemic meal selectively stimulates brain regions associated with reward and craving for several hours after the meal. This craving stimulation affect is significantly lower after it lower glycemic index meal equal in calories and macronutrients.

So if you feel like once you start eating sweets and baked goods you only crave them more, you’re exactly right. Switching from sugary processed sweet like candy to slow-digesting, more balanced treats that don’t Spike blood glucose as dramatically can help you break any addictive powers that sugar has over you.