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Weight loss that is as simple as it seems

Weight loss that is as simple as it seems

I used to be gung-ho for the glycemic index (GI). It seemed like the perfect way to convince people that veggies and fruits are not going to solve the world’s nutrition problems.

The GI measures the effect a food will have on your blood sugar. Basically, the higher the number, the faster the food turns to sugar in your system, causing your blood sugar levels to skyrocket. But the glycemic index is not as simple as it seemed, and it has some surprises up its sleeve.

Watermelon, for instance, although not high in starch or sugar content, has a high glycemic index–72. There doesn’t seem to be any scientific explanation for this. “Sweet” potatoes have a glycemic index of 52 while baked red potato has a GI of 93.

There just doesn’t seem to be any method to Mother Nature’s madness when it comes to the glycemic index. It only adds confusion to the job of losing weight. Say you eat a mixture of foods so the index will vary greatly. If your blood sugar rapidly returns to a normal level, does it have any significance? I doubt it. Besides, no one is going to remember the glycemic indices of a whole list of foods anyway.

High animal fat and animal protein diets have been proven over the years to be the safest, easiest, and most nutritious way to achieve a normal weight. Fruits and vegetables should be eaten for the pleasure and variety they offer. I eat fruits and vegetables because I enjoy them. They are not essential to your diet and are actually a poor source of nutrients if cooked. If you want any nutritional value out of them, cook them al dente, as the Italians say–that’s a little crunchy with some of the raw taste left. (Potatoes and artichokes are exceptions: They have to be well-cooked, but, in this case, the slower they’re cooked, the more nutrition will be left.)

At any rate, although there are fierce proponents on both sides of the issue, I think the glycemic index is too confusing for the average consumer. Just stick with your high animal fat and protein diet and you will be OK.

Reference:

“Good carb, bad carb? Experts debate labels,” CNN (www.cnn.com), 9/5/03

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