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Ketogenic Diet & Carb Cycling: Finding the Balance

Low carb diets limit the carb intake and the slow carb diets concentrate on the glycemic index in foods – Low carb reduces the total volume of carbs, while slow carb changes the type of carbs consumed

Glycemic Index

The “glycemic index” is a term used to describe the blood glucose response to a particular food.

The glycemic index is a method of ranking the effects of carb-based foods based on their effects on blood sugar – refers to how quickly sugar reaches the bloodstream after food consumption.

High-GI foods pass rapidly through your digestive system and into your bloodstream, driving up your blood glucose levels and causing insulin to spike.

Low-GI foods, on the other hand, pass more slowly through the digestive system and enter the bloodstream gradually, which keeps insulin levels low (1,2)

Slow Carb

Your gut quickly absorbs high-GI carbs and spikes your blood sugar, resulting in high insulin that can increase storage of belly fat, increases inflammation, raises triglycerides and lowers HDL, raises blood pressure, lowers testosterone in men, and contributes to infertility in women.

High-fiber, low-sugar carbs, are slowly digested and don’t lead to blood sugar and insulin spikes. These slow carbs reduce cancer risk and increase your body’s ability to detoxify (3)

Blood Glucose and Insulin

When your blood glucose and insulin move up and down rapidly or stay high it disrupts your natural blood glucose balance.

Can lead to your body having trouble responding to your blood glucose levels, which may contribute to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is associated with many health problems – type 2 Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease (4)

Study

A study published in August 2015 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition analyzed data from about 70,000 postmenopausal women

They found that women who had higher dietary glycemic index intake had increased odds of developing depression within the three-year study. They also found that higher consumption of added sugars was associated with depression risk.

On the other hand, women who ate more fiber, fruits, and vegetables (which often have lower glycemic indexes) were shown to have a lower chance of developing depression, per the study’s findings

Researchers suggested that the association may be due to many different mechanisms. Refined carbohydrates contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease, which are all associated with depression (5)

Low GI Food Benefits Summed – Increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, improve diabetes control, reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer, minimize carb cravings, and minimize energy crashes

References

1) Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load | Linus Pauling Institute | Oregon State University. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/glycemic-index-glycemic-load

2) The glycemic index. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://easacademy.org/research-news/article/glycemic-index-in-exercise

3) Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs: The Truth about Low-Carb Diets – Dr. Mark Hyman. (2015, August 20). Retrieved from http://drhyman.com/blog/2015/08/20/slow-carbs-not-low-carbs-the-truth-about-low-carb-diets/

4) Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance | NIDDK. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/what-is-diabetes/prediabetes-insulin-resistance

5) Consuming highly refined carbohydrates increases risk of depression. (2015, August 15). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150805110335.htm

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