slow carb diet

Weight Loss Hacks: Master The Slow Carb Diet and Glycemic Index

The Slow Carb Diet and Glycemic Index

As a chef I hear much about food trends and diet fads, I keep a skeptical eye out for the information that seems relevant. Once every 10 years or so strides are made in human health science that topple food fads.

Do you need more motivation to exercise or go to the gym?

The current evolution of this phenomenon is the refined understanding of glycemic index and how it’s particular effect on the body can be deployed to make shocking changes in personal health and well-being. The phenomenon is know as the Slow Carb Diet and has been made wildly popular by the self help guru Tim Ferris in his book The 4 hour body

Most carbohydrates we eat come in the form of refined sugars, breads, cereals, white rice, muffins, cakes and pastries. All of these products share a common theme, they are refined. The process to make flour, extract sugars and hull rice are all extreme forms of refinement that allow the baser elements of these foods (sugars) to get streamlined through our digestion and injected straight into our blood. This is called a “blood sugar spike” and just about everyone has experienced the effects.

What you maybe don’t know is that this blood sugar spike will damage the body over time even if you do not have diabetes. After Years of studying diabetes we have an astounding knowledge of the effects of insulin on the body and this is where the rubber meets the road.

glycemic index

 

The Rollercoaster

You have a busy day, on your way to work, like always, you get a double-double coffee and a bagel with cream cheese from your favorite Canadian fast service cafe. Sugar spike, you feel incredible, your brain and muscles run on glucose and you have just hit the motherload! Your belly full and day underway you tackle challenges one after another, and silently your body is working against you.

Your Blood sugar spike sent a message to your pancreas to release insulin a hormone that tells the body to consume the readily available sugar and store the rest in the muscles for later use. Just as fast as that energy is delivered, your body takes it away, and now you are low, in some cases lower than before you had breakfast, then hunger sets in. This is not regular hunger either, this is low blood sugar hunger, body shaking, soul sucking hunger as though you have never had food before in your life. You lose focus, irritable and without thought you hit the nearest food retailer for a sandwich made with refined white bread.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

If you’re burning only glucose, on an endless cycle of sugar, guess what you’re not burning; fat, a problem that only compounds over time. Obesity, hypertension, heart disease, cancer and any number of highly unpleasant forms of gastrointestinal malfunction follow this cycle.

The Fix

You can still eat carbs, the key is knowing the glycemic load. The glycemic index refers to the amount of glucose in the blood at any given time and the glycemic load is the amount of glucose that a given food will deploy into the bloodstream and how quickly. A Low glycemic load has a slow release that is easily assimilated and evenly distributed over time, a high glycemic load is a catalyst for “blood sugar spike”.

Low GL foods

Sweet potato
Whole wheat pasta
Raisin Bran or whole bran cereal
Cous Cous
Quinoa
Oatmeal
Chickpeas
Black beans

High GL Foods

White Bread
Muffins
Pastries
Soda
Energy Drinks
White Rice

For a full list of comparable foods check here 

Here is a recipe I use for an on the go meal I can eat warm or cold to help me keep my day level and avoid the roller-coaster. With both the slow carb diet and glycemic index, you just have to be aware of what goes on your plate.

Chickpea Penne Pasta

2/3 cup chick peas drained & rinsed
1 cup cooked whole wheat penne pasta
1/4 red onion minced
1 large tomato diced
2 cups baby spinach
1 tbsp capers
1/2 tsp crushed chili peppers
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

Combine these ingredients into a medium sized plastic travel container, it can be shaken up and eaten cold for a filling slow carb diet meal, or microwaved for 2 minutes to wilt the spinach and soften the tomato for a hearty warming meal on the go.

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As an Executive Chef, Top Chef Finalist on Food Network and a Father, Terry is always busy yet devoted to the culinary craft. He's also known as a Foodsmith and a Kitchen Gladiator. During flu season Chef Terry drinks garlic tea every night before bed, once in a while he gets the sniffles but it has virtually stopped the flu from affecting him... Although he's not 100% sure :)

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