Good Carbs, Bad Carbs – Which Do You Eat?
If you're on a strict high-protein, very low-carbohydrate diet, you may be throwing the baby out with the bath water. Starches and sugars are your body's main source of energy. You need them to fuel your muscles. In fact, your brain needs 130 grams of carbs a day just to function properly! A carbohydrate-free diet, or a diet that’s too low in carbs, can be both dangerous and too low in nutrients. If you're on a high-protein diet, you still need carbohydrates. The good ones. Some carbohydrates support your health while others drag it down. Too many of the bad carbohydrates raise your triglycerides and make your blood thicker, putting you at risk for heart disease. They also contribute to carbohydrate cravings and diabetes. The trick is to eat enough good carbs and very few bad ones. It's a balancing act, but not too difficult once you understand the concept. So just which carbs are good and which are bad? And why? Good carbs are whole foods from plants that contain both sugars and fiber. They include beans, whole grains, starchy vegetables, and fresh fruit. Substitute some of them for saturated (animal) fats and they can help lower your cholesterol. Their fiber binds to cholesterol, carrying it out of your body, and also keeps your blood sugar level. Bad carbs are processed starches and sugars. They include sugar, honey, and refined grains like white flour and white rice. They are absorbed quickly and can trigger an insulin response, causing your blood sugar to drop suddenly. Insulin resistance When you eat any carbohydrate — either a sugar or a starch — your pancreas releases insulin to help your body utilize it. When you eat large quantities of carbohydrates, especially those that are refined and low in fiber, you run the risk of releasing too much insulin. Some Continue reading >>
Grits & High Blood Sugar
A type of mush made from stone-ground corn or maize, grits are a Southern food staple, often eaten as a breakfast or dinner side dish. As a corn-based food, grits contain carbohydrates, the nutrient in food that digests into sugar and is then released into the bloodstream. While grits do have an effect on blood sugar, when eaten as part of a balanced diet, they should not cause high blood sugars. Consult your doctor before making changes to your diet. Video of the Day Preventing high blood sugar is important whether you have diabetes or not. Certain types of foods, such as candy or french fries, cause blood sugar levels to increase quickly. A rapid increase in blood sugar for people without diabetes often leads to a rapid decline, which can zap energy and leave you feeling hungry. People with diabetes Making healthy food choices, which may include grits, to maintain blood sugar levels aids in hunger and weight control and may also lower your risk of developing diabetes. Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar Protein and fat have only a minimal effect on blood sugar levels, while carbohydrate foods -- including breads, cereal, fruit, milk and starchy vegetables such as corn -- have a bigger effect. Controlling the amount of carbs you eat at each meal can help you manage your blood sugars. A 1/2-cup serving of cooked yellow corn grits contains 14 grams of carbohydrates, while the same serving of cooked white corn grits contains 19 grams. Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine the amount of carbs you should eat at each meal for blood sugar control if you have diabetes. In general, it's usually about 45 to 60 grams of carbs at each meal, according to the American Diabetes Association. Not all carbs affect blood sugar in the same manner. The glycemic index, or GI, ranks carb Continue reading >>
The Blood Sugar Solution By Mark Hyman, Md (2012): What To Eat And Foods To Avoid
The Blood Sugar Solution (2012) is a book about reducing the risk of “diabesity,” the continuum from optimal blood sugar balance toward insulin resistance and full-blown diabetes. Food guidelines: Eat natural, unprocessed foods Eat moderate amounts of low-glycemic-load carbs – with stricter limits for the advanced program Avoid dairy and gluten during the program to allow the gut to heal 1 week preparation, 6 weeks program (basic or advanced) Below on this page is a full description of the food recommendations. Preparation | General guidelines | Basic program | Advanced program | Boosting your nutrition | Reintroduction and diet for life. The book has a lot more information in it. Get a copy of The Blood Sugar Solution for more information on the reasons behind the recommendations, hormone regulation, quizzes, supplementation, menus, recipes, resources and more. Also, get The Blood Sugar Solution Cookbook for a detailed list of serving sizes and many more recipes for the Basic Program and the Advanced Program as well as Reintroduction, and a few desserts. Note that this is the original book / basic plan – see also The Blood Sugar Solution 10-Day Detox Diet by the same author for his detox diet. The reasoning behind The Blood Sugar Solution This book encourages the use of functional medicine – asking the question “why?” – not just “what is the right drug for this disease?” The goal is to understand what disturbs the normal function of these systems, and how we can best create optimal function. It states that nearly all people who are overweight (over 70% of adult Americans) already have “pre-diabetes” and have significant risks of disease and death. Managing blood sugar and insulin levels through diet and supplements reduces this risk better than Continue reading >>
8 Nutritional Benefits Of Polenta
Polenta is cooked cornmeal that can be eaten as a side or used in a variety of recipes, from bread to desserts. It is a versatile food that can be served chilled or warm. Polenta is a healthful food choice with several nutritional benefits. In this article, we look at eight of the nutritional benefits of polenta, as well as how to use it. Polenta is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in many different ways. Traditionally, polenta was associated with Italy and used in a variety of dishes from that country. Now, however, it is also commonly eaten in many parts of the world, including elsewhere in Europe and the United States. Polenta is usually made from yellow corn. The corn is coarsely ground into cornmeal to make polenta. Finer grinds make a soft polenta while coarse grinds make a firm polenta. After grinding, the cornmeal is boiled in water, milk, or broth. Usually, the ratio for cooking polenta is 4 cups of liquid to 1 cup of cornmeal. When cooked, it has the consistency of a thick porridge. The traditional method of making polenta involves stirring it in a pot for about 40 to 50 minutes, which can be time-consuming. For those looking for something easier, polenta is also sold in quick-cooking or instant varieties. Quick-cooking polenta is precooked and re-dried before being sold, so it only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to prepare. Fully-cooked polenta is also available in grocery stores. It is usually sold in tube-like packages. Since it tends to be firm, it can be sliced and then fried or baked. Polenta contains carbohydrates and protein. A 30-gram tablespoon of polent flour provides: Certain varieties of polenta are enriched with minerals and vitamins to increase the nutritional value. Making polenta with milk instead of water can add valuable nutrients. In Continue reading >>
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Blood Orange And Poppy Polenta Shortbread Cookies
2 tablespoons poppy seeds, plus more for sprinkling Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly butter an 8x8" baking pan, preferably metal. Line with parchment paper, creating overhang on 2 sides. Lightly butter parchment. Whisk polenta, salt, and 1 1/2 cups flour in a medium bowl to combine. Place granulated sugar and blood orange and lemon zests in a large bowl and rub together with your fingers until mixture is very fragrant and sugar starts to look a little moist, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup butter and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and beat just to combine. Reduce speed to low and gradually add dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Fold dough with a rubber spatula a few times to incorporate any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl. The dough will be wet and a bit sticky. Using floured hands, gently press half of the dough into prepared pan in an even layer. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp. poppy seeds over dough; press gently to adhere. Scatter pieces of remaining dough over and press down into an even layer with floured hands. For a completely flat surface, use the bottom of a straight-sided measuring cup to smooth dough. Bake shortbread until edges are golden brown and center is light golden, 2530 minutes. Let cool in pan. Meanwhile, simmer blood orange juice in a small saucepan over medium heat, swirling often, until reduced to 2 Tbsp., 1012 minutes. Pour into a small bowl and let cool. Carefully slide a small knife or offset spatula along sides of pan not lined with parchment paper, then use edges of paper to lift out shortbread onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice into quarters in one direction, then into eighths in the other direction (for larger bars, just cut in half first). Puzzle shortbread bars back Continue reading >>
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30 Healthy Low-carb Foods To Eat
On a low-carb diet? Here's how and what to eat for balanced meals and snacks. You've decided you're going on a low-carb diet. So what do you actually eat? The key to not feeling deprived is to consume a variety of foods from all the food groups—even grains can fit nicely into low-carb eating. At EatingWell, we recommend that on a low-carb diet you get about 40 percent of your calories from carbs, or at least 120 grams of carbs total per day. That amount helps you maintain a balanced diet and get all your nutrients in. It's also more doable and less restrictive than following super-low-carb diets. Featured Recipe: Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Must Read: The Healthy Way to Start a Low-Carb Diet Here are 30 wholesome foods to incorporate into your low-carb diet LOW-CARB PROTEINS One large egg packs 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and less than 1/2 gram carbs all in a nice 72-calorie package. Eat the yolk: new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that while eggs do contain cholesterol, they don't increase your risk of heart disease—even if you have a gene that makes you more sensitive to dietary cholesterol. They also pack important nutrients, including vitamin D, lutein and choline. Meat is fair game because it's all protein and no carbs. (Keep in mind, while it has a good amount of vitamins and minerals, meat also contains no fiber. Translation: You shouldn't overdo it on the meat and crowd out the whole grains, fruits and vegetables that add fiber in your diet.) You know chicken is a lean source of protein, but 20 cuts of beef are also considered "lean" or "extra lean" by the USDA. Smart choices include eye of round roast, sirloin tip side steak, bottom round roast and top sirloin steak. Try our healthy steak recipes. The best Continue reading >>
Weight Loss Diet Based On Polenta You Will Lose 4 Kilograms In A Month The Healthiest Way Possible!
Weight loss diet based on polenta you will lose 4 kilograms in a month the healthiest way possible! Polenta is a cheap and nutritious food that stimulates digestion, restores hormonal balance, removes excess water from the tissues, and provides the body with energy. Polenta is low in calories and contains no gluten, which means that it can be consumed by persons who are gluten intolerant. There is a diet based on consuming polenta for two days a week, which prescribes eating about 5-600 g polenta during one day whenever you feel hungry. In addition, you may eat soup or salad without oil or other fats at lunchtime, as well as 100 g lean roasted meat or a hard-boiled egg. During the day you need to drink plenty of fluids such as water, herbal tea, grapefruit and lemon juice, tomato juice and coffee without sugar. After following this diet for two days, you can eat a regular diet for the rest of the week without excess calorie intake and without bread, which needs to be replaced with polenta. After a month of following this diet you will lose 3-4 kilograms. A tip: do not cook cornmeal until it starts smoking, as burning creates poisons such as acrylamide; also, beneficial amino acids break down and are replaced by carcinogens. Boil the cornmeal just until it becomes slightly sticky and doesnt separate from the spoon. Polenta stimulates digestion and ensures a sense of fullness for a prolonged time. 100 grams of bread contain 200 calories, whereas the same amount of polenta contains only 100 calories. Vitamin A is an antioxidant naturally found in corn, which is extremely important for the proper functioning of the body, as well as for a fast metabolism, which contributes to a faster weight loss. Continue reading >>
Get To Know 6 Great Grains
By Tracey Neithercott; Recipes by Robyn Webb, MS, LN If you're still spreading peanut butter and jelly on colorless Wonder bread or heaping your stir-fry on top of a pile of Uncle Ben's, it's time to wean yourself off the refined stuff and explore whole grains. Kudos to you if you've already made this trade-in; whole grains are higher in nutrients and will raise your blood glucose less than their refined counterparts do. Plus, unlike refined grains, they may protect your heart and help you maintain weight loss. The reason for the nutritional disparity between refined carbohydrates and whole grains lies in the processing. Whole grains contain an outer bran layer, a middle endosperm, and inner germ, but refined grains are stripped of everythingincluding protein and many key nutrientssave for the endosperm. Because they're less processed, whole grains have a lower glycemic index value than refined grains. Another point in the whole-grains column is their relatively high fiber content, which can help lower cholesterol levels, control blood glucose, and keep you feeling full long after eating. "It's really important to eat foods that are going to fill you up and not leave you hungry an hour later," so you don't binge post-meal, says Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietitian-nutritionist and author of the book Nutrition at Your Fingertips. Zied suggests gradually replacing your current processed foods, such as regular pretzels, with whole grains like air-popped popcorn (sans butter, of course, and not the microwave stuff). "You just really have to be aware," she says. "You need to think, 'Where am I willing to compromise?' " Many of these grains can be cooked just as you prepare rice. To do this, boil water or stocklook to your grain's packaging for grain-to-liquid rat Continue reading >>
As A Type 2 Diabetic, Which Is Better For Me: Grits Or Oatmeal?
I have been eating grits instead of oatmeal because it stays with me longer then oatmeal. The main reason I switched from oatmeal is because it has more sugar in it then grits does. I am a type 2 diabetic and I have been trying to lower my blood sugar as best as I can. Although I have heard that oatmeal is better then grits for someone with type 2 diabetes, I am not convinced. The only way to give oatmeal any flavor without adding some sweetener to it seems to be impossible. Now I admit I do like oatmeal. I started an oatmeal for breakfast routine back sometime last year, which was ok, but it did not stay with me very long before I wanted something else in between to get me through to lunch time. I welcome suggestions if you can give me. Dr. Gourmet Says... This is a great question. We know that higher fiber foods can be beneficial in helping control blood sugar. The prototype of that is oatmeal, and if I had a nickel for every time a physician said to a diabetic, "Eat oatmeal for breakfast," I would retire today. We don't recommend grits very often and I think that's because they have been refined. Note, also, that grits are more calorie dense than oatmeal (all measures are for precooked grits or oats). 1/4 cup grits = 144 calories & 1.8 grams fiber 1/4 cup oats = 77 calories & 2.0 grams fiber So the key here is that if you like them, grits are OK, but you should be careful with the portion size. Another tip is to consider moving toward yellow grits. The less refined cornmeal will have more fiber and more nutrients. Look for coarse ground or stone ground yellow grits / cornmeal. 1/4 cup cornmeal = 110 calories & 2.2 grams fiber You'll get better "grit" flavor, fewer calories and more fiber. Thanks for writing, Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP Dr. Gourmet Continue reading >>
Is Corn Meal Bad For High Blood Sugar?
Q: Hi could you please tell me if corn meal is in the same category as white flour? My husband has high blood sugar and is eating only whole wheat, but we do enjoy cornbread. - Barbara A: Cornmeal has a glycemic index score of 69, the same as whole wheat bread. This score is considered to be a little high, meaning that if cornmeal is eaten on its own, it will cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly. Most cornbread recipes include sugar (on average, 2/3 cup), which considerably raises the glycemic score. Your husband can enjoy a small slice of cornbread occasionally, as long as it's part of a meal that is balanced with fiber and protein - half a cup of beans, some avocado and chicken will do the trick. About the Author Lisa has been in her own practice for over 15 years and specializes in weight management. She teaches natural nutrition in both corporate and educational environments and is a shining example of someone who practices what she teaches. Lisa is a nutritionist and educator specializing in weight management. After losing weight several years ago through a more natural diet and by improving her digestion, she committed to sharing her new-found knowledge and returned to school to study nutrition. Over the past decade, her Nu-Vitality Weight Program has helped employees at numerous corporations lose thousands of pounds. In addition, Lisa regularly consults for groups and individuals with unique nutritional needs such as police officers and athletes. Lisa has been featured on the Discovery Channel, numerous radio programs and is a contributor to various publications. Additionally, she teaches nutrition at multiple post-secondary schools, has taught natural food cooking workshops, and authored two books. Continue reading >>
Forget The Cornbread. Try Polenta!
As we approach the holidays and cooler weather, many of us may be tempted to start turning to our favorite comfort foods: mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, apple pie, pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and more. One of my personal favorite comfort foods is cornbread, which sometimes has a lot of added sugar and butter. But I think I may have found an option, which might encourage me to kick my cornbread cravings. Not only is it gluten-free and low calorie, but it is also delicious and very versatile. If youve never had polenta, I hope I can entice you to try this guilt-free comfort food. Polenta is usually served as a porridge dish of boiled, ground cornmeal made from yellow corn. Grits, which are popular in American Southern cuisine, are usually made from white corn. Polenta is a staple in Northern Italy, and this dish reportedly originated there. It was often called peasant food, because it was inexpensive and something you could easily produce in large quantities. But polenta is very rich flavor-wise. Grits are usually made from a type of corn called dent corn (also called field corn and very common in the U.S., more common than sweet corn). Most commercial cornmeal is made from yellow or white dent corn. Traditional Italian polenta is usually made from flint corn . You can make polenta from any type of corn, but many culinary experts report flint corn will make the dish more authentic and create the delicious, creamy texture that makes polenta so comforting and inviting. If you cook polenta yourself , use water, vegetable or chicken stock or almond milk to keep it light and healthy. It will usually take about 45 minutes to an hour to make. But it is well worth it, and you can use it in so many ways. Serve it as a simple side dish, or use it as the rice in a stir fry or Continue reading >>
The Best Foods For All-day Energy
Foods for Energy If you have to drag yourself through the day, it’s easy to think popping a supplement or chugging an energy drink can help recharge your battery. Not so fast. All-day energy doesn’t come from a pill or a concoction in a can. It comes from real food, which is packed with nature’s secret stash of natural revitalizers such as complex carbs, protein, and fiber. Stock up on these 12 superfoods and watch your energy rebound. Melons Melons such as cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon aren’t just bursting with energizing vitamins and minerals. With 90 percent of their weight coming from water, they fight fatigue by keeping you hydrated. That’s good news according to a 2012 Journal of Nutrition study, which found that even mild dehydration can sap your energy and mood. Pick up a cup of diced cantaloupe or watermelon on your way to work for a hydrating midmorning snack or prepare a melon-packed salad to pack for lunches. Icelandic Yogurt This thick, creamy concoction, also known as skyr, is giving Greek yogurt some stiff competition. Like Greek yogurt, skyr is made with three times the milk of most traditional yogurts and then carefully strained to remove excess liquid. The result: a rich, velvety creation that boasts 14 grams of slowly-digested protein per 5.3 ounce container. The main difference between Icelandic and Greek yogurts is their fat content. While Greek may or may not contain fat, Icelandic yogurt is only made with non-fat milk, so it’s guaranteed to be fat free. If you can’t find Icelandic yogurt to use in this recipe, opt for fat-free Greek yogurt. Polenta Made from cornmeal, this Northern Italian staple is loaded with complex carbs. Unlike simple carbohydrates from highly-processed grains, complex carbs are broken down slowly so they Continue reading >>
Carbohydrates And The Glycemic Index
Calculate your BMI easily here! (In pounds or Kilograms) This system, known as the glycemic index, measures how fast and how far blood sugar rises after you eat a food that contains carbohydrates. This system for classifying carbohydrates calls into question many of the old assumptions about how carbohydrates affect health. White bread, for example, is digested almost immediately to glucose, causing blood sugar to spike rapidly. So white bread is classified as having a high glycemic index. Brown rice, in contrast, is digested more slowly, causing a lower and more gentle change in blood sugar. It has a lower glycemic index.Glycemic index is a number. It gives you an idea about how fast your body converts the carbs in a food into glucose. Two foods with the same amount of carbohydrates can have different glycemic index numbers. The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar. Look for the glycemic index on the labels of packaged foods. You can also find glycemic index lists for common foods on the Internet. Harvard University has one with more than 100. Or ask your dietitian or nutrition counselor. Foods that are close to how they're found in nature tend to have a lower glycemic index than refined and processed foods. * These foods, even though they have high GIs, their pure sugar content (pure glucid) is quite low (approximately 5%.) Consuming these foods should not significantly affect blood sugar levels. ** There is practically no difference in the GIs of whole-milk products and non-fat milk products. It is important to keep in mind that milk products, even if their GI is low, have a high insulinic index. Over the past 15 years, low-GI diets have been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome Continue reading >>
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Diabetes Diet: Six Foods That May Help Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
While there's no substitute for a balanced healthy diet, adding certain foods may help those with diabetes keep sugar levels under control. Coffee and cinnamon have made headlines as foods that might be able to help cut the risk of diabetes or help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. However, don't get the idea that such foods are magic pills for your diabetic diet. It's still important for people with diabetes to eat a balanced healthy diet and exercise to help manage the condition. Nevertheless, some foods, such as white bread, are converted almost immediately to blood sugar, causing a quick spike. Other foods, such as brown rice, are digested more slowly, causing a lower and gentler change in blood sugar. If you are trying to follow a healthy diet for diabetes, here are 6 suggestions that may help to keep your blood sugar in check. Porridge Porridge can help control blood sugar and the charity Diabetes UK recommends it to see you through the morning. Even though porridge is a carbohydrate, it's a very good carbohydrate. Because it's high in soluble fibre, it's slower to digest and it won't raise your blood sugar as much or as quickly. It's going to work better at maintaining a healthy blood sugar level over time. Not only does this high-quality carbohydrate offer a steadier source of energy than white bread, it can also help with weight loss. The soluble fibre in oats helps to keep us feeling fuller longer. That's important for people with type 2 diabetes, who tend to be overweight. If you reduce the weight, you usually significantly improve the glucose control. Barley isn't as popular as oats, but there's some evidence that barley, which is also high in soluble fibre, may also help with blood glucose control. Besides oats and barley, most whole grains are going to Continue reading >>
Glyemic Index And Glycemic Load
Home Zone Basics & Links Glyemic Index and Glycemic load Glycemic load is a way of determining how much glucose enters the bloodstream when a particular food is eaten. All carbohydrates are converted to glucose yes rice, pasta, apples and onions. Once eaten they break down into glucose in the gut. The glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a carbohydrate by the actual amount of glucose in the portion size eaten (carbohydrate density). The resulting answer shows you how much actual glucose enters the bloodstream after a particular meal. All carbohydrates when digested are broken down into glucose. Single glucose molecules are able to get absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream. Carbohydrates break down into single glucose molecules at different speeds during digestion. If a carbohydrate breaks down very quickly, you get relatively more glucose crossing from the gut into the bloodstream in a short space of time, increasing blood sugar levels rapidly. Your body responds to rapidly rising blood sugar with a large release of insulin. The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how quickly each carbohydrate reaches the bloodstream as pure glucose. The glycemic index is measured by consuming a food containing 50g of available carbohydrate, and then measuring blood glucose each 15 30 minutes for 2 3 hours. The results are mapped onto a graph. A curve is then compared to a reference food usually glucose. The lower the GI of a food, the flatter the curve on the graph, the slower it is digested and converted to glucose. Glycemic index ranges is referenced against glucose, which has the value of 100. Many of the foods we eat in abundance today are high in Glycemic index most breads, grains, crackers, muffins and cakes are high GI. So we are constantly Continue reading >>