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CAN CUTTING OUT CARBS IMPROVE HEALTH?
Written by Dr. Romie on Aug 6, 2014
Mind-body Medicine Tags: Weight LossIntegrative NutritionHolistic Health

SO MANY FAD DIETS OUT THERE, WHERE TO START?

    Where to start?  You know and I know, something needs to change in our lives. I am that woman who has read through most of the fad diet books out there, half-attempted a dozen of them, and failed at executing all of them. Somehow I assumed if the diet book was sitting in my home, and I read the book, the pounds would magically melt off. The books collected dust, and I collected fat in my midsection, thighs, and rear.

     It was the first time I realized that I needed to change my lifestyle, not just start another “diet”.   This is what I want to empower you to try.  However, in order to create balance in your life, we need to create balance in your nutrition.   There is no one magic pill that will help us lose weight and increase our vitality. 

WHAT IS THE GLYCEMIC INDEX?

  The available carbohydrate in food is the total amount of carbohydrates minus the fiber.  The glycemic index (GI) measures how available carbohydrates in food raises a person’s blood glucose level.

  When a food has a high GI, the food breaks down and digests very rapidly.  This in turn will cause a rapid increase in the amount of glucose going into the bloodstream.  When glucose goes into the blood stream, insulin is released from the pancreas to bring the blood sugar levels down to normal.  We know over time the stress of insulin being released like this from the pancreas will cause type 2 diabetes mellitus.

WHY HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX WORKS AGAINST YOU

     What research is now finding is that these bursts of insulin released throughout the day causes stress and promotes inflammation in the body. With sugar highs, insulin levels rise and so do other stress hormones like cortisol.  When insulin and cortisol levels keep peaking and dropping during the day, it leads to feelings of fatigue, poor memory, difficulty focusing, moodiness, and you guessed it - various types of headaches.

     If we don’t use all of that glucose as fuel by moving, exercising, burning calories, the glucose gets stored in our body. Most of that storage translates to it being converted to fat being deposited in our guts, around our organs. How to translate that scientific fact?  It means the muffin top keeps growing over our jeans, and the dress sizes grow to correspond.

KEEPING LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX LEVELS IS KEY

     So by eating foods that are of low glycemic index, we prevent the peaks and valleys in our blood sugar from raising and dropping all day long. With an even blood glucose level, our stress hormones of insulin and cortisol remain at a low and constant level.  When our stress hormone levels are low, our energy levels are high.  The body can begin to naturally heal itself.  Even more exciting, now when the body needs a source of fuel, it will start breaking down stored fat in the body to use as fuel.  Translating that science, jean sizes drop.  Bye-bye belly fat.  Hello energy burst, without needing to stop for an extra-large caffe latte!  

BENEFITS TO KICKING OUT THE  "BAD CARBS"

     I tried the cold turkey method, I’m sure you may have too. It happens naturally when we skip a meal.  Blood sugar levels drop really low, you may even feel irritated, faint, like vomiting.  This only leads to craving more carbs and severe headaches.

     Let’s ease into the process.  This is something I do to get “back on track” if somehow too many carbs have entered my work week.  Yes it happens to all of us, traveling for work, vacations, holidays, the gluten-free cupcakes at Whole Foods.  We are human, let’s celebrate that. Cravings happen.  We move on and decide, it’s time to kick the carbs with grace and ease.  This is a gentle method, keeping more in your daily diet than a strict “cleanse” would allow.  I’m just here to try to put a stop to the carb cravings.

    What are some of the other benefits of reducing overall carbs in our diets?

1)  cleanse the body of foods lacking nutritional value but full of empty calories

2)  reduce belly bloating

3)  energize naturally

4)  improve digestion

5)  and lose weight

WHAT ARE LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX FOODS?

To give you an idea of how various foods rank on the glycemic index, here are a few foods along with their average GI ranking. Remember that 55 or less is considered “low,” 56-69 is considered “medium” and 70-100 is considered “high” on the glycemic index. Most non-carbohydrate or low-carbohydrate foods (protein, meat, fat, nuts, oil, etc.) have a “low” glycemic index.


Would you like a customized nutrition plan created for you by a physician that is board certified in holistic and integrative medicine?  Contact Dr. Romie for a health and wellness coaching session today.  Dr. Romie works with clients virtually from all over the country.

CLICK HERE for more information on how health and wellness coaching with Dr. Romie can help you.

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