Friday, January 9, 2009

Just the Facts Ma'am

Here's rule #1 I give all my clients:

Never eat carbohydrates alone!

Why is this the most important rule? The answer is two-fold.

1. When you eat carbohydrates alone (bread, crackers, chips, fruit - yes you heard me right, fruit!) you have an immediate spike in blood sugar (blood glucose). As blood glucose levels rise, the body secretes insulin, which is responsible for storing glucose in muscle and organ cells. Normal glucose levels are between 80-120 mg/dl. Whenever blood glucose levels fall well below 80 mg/dl we feel hungry, and the body reacts by slowing down its metabolism to save energy. Conversely when the blood glucose levels rise above 120 mg/dl the residual glucose is stored as fat! So the secret is to control and maintain blood glucose levels so you don't end up with a slow metabolism and high fat storage.

2. When eaten alone, carbohydrates empty from your stomach within 1 hour so you are hungry again. Then you reach for more carbs and the cycle continues. When you couple your crackers with a piece of string cheese or some turkey (both protein), you stay fuller longer. Protein takes 2-3 hours to empty from your stomach, so "coupling " cheese and crackers is actually a great idea. You are satieted for a longer period of time, and blood glucose will remain more constant.

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