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Transcript
Your Diet's Critical Need to Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
(Glycemic Load)
By John Walker, M.D.
Gastroenterologist & Scientific Advisory Board Member
February 18, 2005 - Several recent scientific studies have shown the importance of
understanding the relationship of glycemic indexes found in all foods to maintaining a
healthy diet. By following a diet that emphasizes lower glycemic levels, you may naturally
increase your metabolism, reduce oxidative stress from free radicals and improve your
cholesterol profiles. Learn how this important biological interaction, coupled with a few
important supplements, can help supercharge you weight-loss while maintaining the
healthiest eating habits
In last month's newsletter, I discussed with you a variety of natural and safe ways to shed
that extra holiday weight-gain while improving the health of you and your family. I hope
many of you gave my recommendations a try. If so, congratulations! I'm sure you've
already dropped unwanted pounds and are enjoying a boost in your energy and vitality.
One area that we started examining during our discussion was the concept of the glycemic
index. It has become an extremely important measure when physicians, nutritionist,
dieticians and other experts discuss your dietary health. I want to help you become familiar
with the term and it's significance. The glycemic index is a measure of the ability of a food
or beverage to increase your body's blood glucose (blood sugar) level. Understanding a
food's glycemic index in the overall diet has become center stage in the research of obesity
because of the crucial role of insulin in the development of many diseases, including heart
disease, stroke and liver damage. Glycemic index refers to the relative amount that your
blood sugar is raised, compared to a standard (100 grams of sugar). Another important
term, glycemic load, refers to the amount that a typical serving of the food will raise your
blood glucose.
Why is the glycemic load so important? Recent medical studies give us several answers:
1. A low glycemic load diet decreases resting metabolic rate less than low fat diets. I
know this is a little confusing at first, but it is very important. As you know, any
weight reduction that you undertake requires that you consume fewer calories than
you take in. This is true even for low carb diets, although they have the advantage of
typically allowing you to ingest more calories than a low fat or other diet.
Nonetheless, you still must consume fewer calories to lose weight. Of course, that's
when the modern dieter is hit with one of nature's cruel truths. It is the reason so
many of us lose weight quickly at first, then hit that frustrating plateau. Any time
you consume fewer calories than you expend for a prolonged period, your body will
naturally turn down its metabolic rate. As we've discussed before, this ancient
survival mechanism dates back to the times when humans never knew when the
next meal would be hunted down. Hardly a concern these days with a fast food joint
on every corner! However, it is the very reason why I always emphasize the
importance of your aerobic and resistance training when you diet: they help you
keep up your body's metabolic rate.
Now according to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, when
compared to a low fat diet, a low glycemic load diet causes less of the natural
decrease you would experience when consuming fewer calories. Therefore, your
body's baseline metabolism will be higher, in theory allowing for more effective
weight loss. The authors also noted that your Insulin resistance, serum triglycerides,
C-reactive protein, and blood pressure (both systolic and diastolic) would improve
more with the low-glycemic load diet. I have discussed the importance of insulin
resistance in the past, and Dr. Josephs had recently described the implications of
elevated CRP.
The bottom line: a low glycemic load diet (such as the Walker Diet) may favorably
effect your metabolism and modulate risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
2. Low glycemic load diets decrease oxidative stress. It is widely accepted that many
chronic diseases are a result of oxidative stress. The oxidative stress results from the
production of free radicals by the body's enzyme reactions that occur naturally as our
body normally functions. Fortunately, our bodies have a defense mechanism that
minimize the damage from free radicals when healthy and not overloaded. However,
this system can easily be overwhelmed. Then the excess of free radicals can lead to
the development of many diseases and may even contribute to the aging process. A
recent study in Diabetes Medicine indicated that those people with the best glycemic
control had the lowest level of oxidative stress. Thus, a low glycemic diet may
decrease oxidative stress by improving glycemic control.
3. Low glycemic load may lower LDLs. Several studies from the Asia Pacific Journal of
Clinical Nutrition examining the concept of glycemic load, found that it does indeed
directly reflect the body's response of food to blood glucose. Additionally, preliminary
evidence indicates that low glycemic load diets may improve your LDL (bad)
cholesterol profiles better than low fat diets.
4. High glycemic loads are bad for your "good" cholesterol. A recent study in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a negative correlation between a high
glycemic load diet (rich in flour, sugar, etc) and HDL cholesterol levels. The
researchers were able to isolate the effect of various dietary factors, and found that
glycemic load accounted for 21% of the variation in HDL. Remember that HDL is the
good cholesterol, and that lower levels of this have been shown to be a risk factor in
cardiovascular disease. Since a high glycemic load diet may cause your HDL to go
down, it may be bad for your heart.
At this point in our discussion, one important distinction I want you to understand is the
difference between glycemic index and glycemic load. While a food may have a relatively
high glycemic index, the average serving size of the food might not have a significant
impact on your blood sugar if you have a normal serving of it.
Carrots are a good example. They have a fair amount of carbohydrate, and the glycemic
index of some carrots approaches 60 (less than 55 is considered good) but the glycemic
load is only 1 to 3 (less than 10 is considered good). Grapefruit is another food with a
similar scenario. However, don't generalize the fruit to juice: grapefruit juice has a much
higher glycemic index and load than the fruit.
I'm very proud to say that the Walker Diet is a low glycemic diet. On the Walker Diet, you
consume low glycemic index and load foods. Please review the Maintenance Phase if you are
looking for further details.
My Walker Diet shakes are scientifically designed to restrict your carbohydrate intake, thus
decreasing your glycemic load. They contain less fat and more fiber than Keto brand
shakes, and contain fewer carbs and far more protein than Atkins brand shakes. Plus, unlike
Atkins, Walker Diet shakes contain no sugar alcohols. These are the sugar substitutes that
can cause gas, cramping and diarrhea when you consume some low carb products. Just as
important they taste and blend better than any other shake mix I have tried.
As you progress through the different phases of the Walker Diet, you will see an emphasis
of low glycemic, natural foods, in addition to our supplements. If you would like detailed
information on the glycemic index of certain foods Vitacost.com has a very inclusive list
available for download free here.
One final word on your metabolism. You may recall that I mentioned that the body's
metabolic rate will decrease when you consume fewer calories. Well, there is an all natural
way you can keep your body's engine revved up, and its completely safe (unlike ephedra or
bitter orange). It's Green Tea! This powerful antioxidant also contains substances that help
increase your resting metabolic rate.
In fact, a study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that
catechins, which are present in all forms of tea, reduced the body weight, body mass index,
waist circumference, body fat mass, and subcutaneous fat area in the green tea extract
group compared to the control group.
Better yet, if you combine Green Tea with extra calcium and Tonalin (both proven fat
fighters) you have a totally safe and beneficial weight reduction supplement program.
Please don't forget an excellent quality mulivitamin, such as one of NSI's Synergy or the
Walker Diet Low Carb Multi. To compare all 12 NSI Synergy multivitamin products visit this
page.
I have been taking one Walker Diet Green Tea, one Walker Diet Tonalin, and 2 capsules of
NSI Calcium citrate malate and Magnesium with each meal, and I'm shedding my holiday
weight gain more quickly than ever and feeling full of energy. Try this regimen, and let us
know how it has worked for you. I'd love to publish some of your success stories in next
months letter.
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