If a new study is correct, women have a new reason to minimize their intake of certain carbohydrates: heart disease. According to the study, women who eat more high glycemic foods, such as white bread, white rice, and other foods that cause blood sugar to spike, are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than other women. Foods that spike blood sugar are also referred to as high glycemic.
The women in the upper 25th percentile of high glycemic food eating in the study had double the heart attack risk of those in the lower 25th percentile.
The researchers found that men who also eat excessive amounts of high glycemic foods don’t have the same increased risk. It’s thought that maybe men’s bodies process the carbs differently.
Maybe it’s my German heritage, but I’m a sucker for tart or sour foods. While some of my German favorites – sauerkraut, mustard and bratwurst, pickled vegetables – aren’t always on the healthy side, one popular ingredient is: vinegar.
What is Vinegar, Anyway?
Vinegar is an acidic liquid which is processed from the fermentation of ethanol. This process yields the key ingredient acetic acid (ethanoic acid), which we’ll get to later.
There have been many health benefits ascribed to vinegar over the years, particularly apple cider vinegar. While it has often been considered a folk remedy with little evidence to back it up, in recent years its health benefits have been backed by scientific studies.
- A 2006 study found that acetic acid, the main component of vinegar, had a cholesterol-lowering benefit in a test group of rats. They saw significantly lower total cholesterol and triacylglycerol. High levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
Put down that PB&J on white bread and listen to this: In a just-released landmark study, researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center found that high carbohydrate foods can be extremely dangerous to the health of your heart. Implicated foods include the “bad” carbs like white bread, sugary cereals, cookies and cakes.
While this isn’t exactly new news, this important study provides a direct reason why these high glycemic foods wreak havoc on the heart and increase risk of heart disease. The researchers showed that after you eat a carb-laden food like a bowl of corn flakes or a Twinkie, your brachial arteries become distended, or swollen, for several hours. While it’s important for the arteries to have a certain amount of elasticity in them, over time, a sudden expansion of the arteries, which follows after noshing on a carb-filled snack, can cause a number of negative health effects, including reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death. (more…)
Kellogg’s won’t be too happy to hear about this study: it suggests that a diet rich in carbohydrates that boost blood sugar levels, such as cornflakes or white bread, may hamper the function of blood vessels, therefore raising your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Researchers from Israel’s Chaim Sheba Medical Center and elsewhere evaluated 56 overweight or obese men and women, between 35 and 60. Other than their weight, they were healthy. None of them had diabetes or a history of cardiovascular disease.
They were fed foods that spanned the scale of the glycemic index, which relates to how a food affects your blood sugar levels. The higher the food is in the index, the more your blood sugar is spiked. (more…)
The popular meal delivery diet program NutriSystem has introduced another program to its family of products; NutriSystem D will cater exclusively to the needs of diabetics.
While NutriSystem has previously provided diabetic-friendly meals under its other programs, like the “for women” or “for men,” this newest program won’t require any menu modifications. Diabetics can simply order from the NutriSystem D menu and trust that the meals will meet their unique dietary requirements.
Those using NutriSystem D aren’t likely to be bored with their menu choices, as there are more than 150 “restaurant-quality” meals, all of which are low on the Glycemic Index and offer “good carbs and fiber” to keep dieters feeling full longer. Meal choices might include Decadent Fudge Brownie, Cheesy Margherita Pizza or Golden Pancakes. (more…)
This week, we can’t stop munching and crunching on blue corn tortilla chips! These snack-friendly chips are not just your ordinary tortilla chips. Not only are they more colorful, but they pack 20% more protein than a white or yellow corn tortilla and they score lower on the glycemic index than their paler counterparts since they only contain about 68% starch (white contains 75%).
Just in case you were wondering, according to WebMD, the blue color comes from the antioxidant anthocyanin in the corn, which are the same compounds found in berries and red wine.
Our favorite bag of blue chips comes from Garden of Eatin’. They’re organic, and have a variety of options to keep your blue chip dippin’ interesting.
Next time you’re scooping some salsa, up the nutritional content and yum-factor and grab a bag of blues!
The Glycemic index was developed as a means of ranking carbohydrates (or carb-containing foods) based on their effect on blood sugar level. Foods with a high glycemic index value tend to raise blood sugar levels faster and higher compared to foods with a lower glycemic index. Rapid increases in blood glucose are potent signals to the beta-cells of the pancreas to increase insulin secretion. Over the next few hours, the high insulin levels induced by consumption of high-glycemic index foods may cause a sharp decrease in blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia).
In contrast, the consumption of low-glycemic index foods results in lower, but more sustained, increases in blood glucose and lower insulin demands on pancreatic beta-cells. However, this does not necessarily mean that a low-index food is healthier than a high-index food. (more…)
I recently composed an article with all the information you need to know about protein. As we enter the most popular season for dieting, I wanted to arm you with the good side and bad side of carbs, before you fall into one of those low-carb fad diets and refuse to ever eat bread again! You might be surprised to learn that there are a lot of healthy benefits to eating the right kind of carbs.
Benefits of Carbohydrates
- When you eat a carbohydrate, your body breaks it down into a simpler form known as glucose.
- Glucose (for immediate energy) and its storage form glycogen (reserve energy) provide about half of all the energy muscles and other body tissues use (the brain depends 100% on glucose for its energy). The other half of the body’s energy comes from mostly fat. We now know that carbohydrates aren’t all good or all bad. Some promote health while others, when eaten often and in large quantities, increase the risk for diabetes and heart disease. (more…)
Is pasta a recipe for weight gain?
This video is an interesting look at carbs, the glycemic index, and how it’s just not as simple as saying all carbs should be avoided in favor of a protein-rich diet. Pasta is certainly one of the more popular casualties of the low-carb craze. But you may be surprised to know you don’t have to always pass on the pasta. Just remember that portion size matters.
The glycemic index is an effective way of evaluating your eating habits. The GI refers to how a particular food’s carbohydrate affects your blood sugar level. This will not only have a say in your weight, but your energy levels and, proponents will say, your susceptibility to certain diseases.
A new study reaffirms the disease risk.
The study, conducted by Dr. David S. Ludwig and his colleagues from Children’s Hospital Boston, asserts that people who eat lots of high GI foods not only risk weight gain, they also run the risk of developing a condition that can lead to liver failure and death. The condition is known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
If you are new to the GI way of thinking, high-GI foods include white bread, white rice and potatoes. Low-GI foods include most fruits, lentils, soybeans, yogurt and many high-fiber grains.