The Slow Carb Diet: A Simple Introduction
by Suzanne Harper
Since dieting has become one of the most (unwillingly) undertaken activities in the world, many types of diets have sprung up. Low fat, Atkins, Mediterranean, low carb… you name it and someone has probably dreamed it up. There are even more unconventional diets like the chicken soup diet and morning banana diet (err… I know). However, the latest research (and historical research) has shown that a very effective diet is actually the Slow Carb Diet. Now you’re pumped right, since there isn’t the word “low” in the name of the diet?
The slow carb diet is pretty straightforward really — you eat your normal portion meals and you don’t have to count your calories. Wait, don’t get too excited yet. The catch is your diet should be full of protein and added foods which have a low glycemic index. What’s a low glycemic index, you ask? The glycemic index (GI) in simple words is just a measurement of how different carbohydrates affect the level of sugar in your blood, and thus, the level of insulin your pancreas must produce to keep blood sugar at a healthy level.
The higher up the food in the index, the shorter the amount of time the sugar from that food stays in your blood. Examples of high GI foods include white bread ( this is often used as a reference in the GI index), anything made out of white flour, potatoes and rice. Your face must be turning white with horror right now — no potatoes? white bread? rice? But just think, how many times have you had a super delicious carb-filled lunch, felt really energetic and a short time later, had a major sugar crash that has you imagining your office desk has turned into a giant pillow? These “delicious” foods aren’t doing you much good are they?
The Sugar Trap
The principle behind this is that high GI foods cause an instant spike in sugar levels, but are unable to stay in the blood for long, causing you to suffer from that sugar crash. Sugar is like a drug which gives you energy and happy feelings (think chocolate), but if you rely on it you’ll suffer the withdrawal effect, too. And next thing you know, you’re wolfing down another sugary snack — and you still wonder why your waistline is bulging? Come on, admit it.
The slow carb diet is basically a combination of protein and low GI foods. The most effective weight loss combination is protein, some beans and green vegetables. A full plate. You eat foods that will cause a slow, steady increase in blood sugar levels, and also stay in your blood for a prolonged energetic feeling. The protein and fat digest slowly, keeping you from getting hungry too soon. What are examples of foods you can eat on the slow carb diet? Protein, beans, vegetables and a small amount of dairy products (cheese, cream in coffee) are wonderful foods to include in your daily diet, as they don’t give the sugar crash effect that white-flour based foods do.
The slow carb diet will take some getting used to, but it’s honestly not all that bad once you try it. It’s not really a diet; it’s more of a lifestyle. Don’t forget: no calorie counting, and no need to limit portions, which means no hunger! What could be sweeter than that? Just by following these simple rules you’ll be shedding inches in no time!
For a book that give you actual GI numbers — The Low GI Shopper’s Guide to GI Values 2011: The Authoritative Source of Glycemic Index Values for 1200 FoodsHealth, Mind & Body Books)