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#Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index: Key To Weight Loss Or Just Another Gimmick? 


Glycemic index (GI) is a scale that measures how quickly carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose. The original purpose for the glycemic index was to help diabetics keep their blood sugar under control. The glycemic index has recently attracted a lot of attention in the bodybuilding, fitness and weight loss world and has even become the central theme in numerous best-selling diet books as a method to choose the foods that are best for losing weight.

According to advocates of the glycemic index system, foods that are high on the GI scale such as rice cakes, carrots, potatoes, or grape juice are "unfavorable" and should be avoided because high GI foods are absorbed quickly, raise blood sugar rapidly and are therefore more likely to convert to fat or cause health problems.

Instead, we are urged to consume carbohydrates that are low on the GI scale such as black eye peas, old fashioned oatmeal, peanuts, apples and beans because they do not raise blood sugar as rapidly.

While the GI does have some useful applications, such as the use of high GI foods or drinks for post workout nutrition and the strong emphasis on low GI foods for those with blood sugar regulation problems, there are flaws in strictly using the glycemic index as your only criteria to choose carbs on a weight loss program.

For example, the glycemic index is based on eating carbohydrates by themselves in a fasted state. If you are following effective principles of fat-burning and muscle building nutrition, you should be eating small, frequent meals to increase your energy, maintain lean body mass and optimize metabolism for fat loss. However, since the glycemic index of various foods was developed based on eating each food in the fasted state, the glycemic index loses some of its significance.

In addition, when you are on a diet program aimed at improving body composition (losing fat or gaining muscle), you will usually be combining carbs and protein together with each meal for the purposes of improving your fat to muscle ratio. When carbs are eaten in mixed meals that contain protein and some fat, the glycemic index loses even more of its significance because the protein and fat slows the absorption of the carbohydrates (as does fiber).

Mashed potatoes have a glycemic index near that of pure glucose, but combine the potatoes with a chicken breast and broccoli and the glycemic index of the entire meal is lower than the potatoes by itself.

Rice cakes have a very high glycemic index, but if you were to put a couple tablespoons of peanut butter on them, the fat would slow the absorption of the carbs, thereby lowering the glycemic index of the combination.

A far more important and relevant criteria for selecting carbs - as well as all your other foods, proteins and fats included - is whether they are natural or processed. To say that a healthy person with no metabolic disorders should completely avoid natural, unprocessed foods like carrots or potatoes simply because they are high on the glycemic index is ridiculous.

I know many bodybuilders (myself included) who eat high glycemic index foods such as white potatoes every day right up until the day of a competition and they reach single digit body fat. How do they do it if high GI foods “make you fat?” It’s simple – high GI foods DON’T necessarily make you fat – choosing natural foods and burning more calories than you consume are far more important factors. Although it’s not correct to say that all calories are created equal, a calorie deficit is the most important factor of all when fat loss is your goal.

The glycemic index is clearly not a "gimmick" and should not be completely disregarded, as it is a definitely a legitimate nutritional tool. Is it a good idea to eat low GI foods in general? Sure. Is eating high GI foods after your workouts a good idea? Absolutely. But diet programs which hang their hats on glycemic index alone as the “miracle solution” are just another example of how one single aspect of nutrition can be used as a "hook" in marketing and said to be the "end all be all" of fat loss, when it's really only one small piece of the puzzle. 

Eating Low glycemic index foods alone does NOT guarantee you will lose fat. You have to take in the bigger picture, which includes calories/energy balance, meal timing and frequency, macronutrient composition, choice of processed versus refined foods as well as how all these nutritional factors interact with your exercise program. 

Good for #Diabetics-Medicinal Properties of Bitter Melon

Good for #Diabetics-Medicinal Properties of Bitter Melon

Bitter Melon is the English name of Momordica charantia, a climbing vine whose leaves and green fruits, although bitter, has been used to fight cancer, diabetes and many infectious diseases. It is also a powerful weapon against HIV/AIDS since some reports claim that bitter melon has substance Q. It is one of the most favorite vegetables among the Chinese and the most popular herbal tea as well.

The fruits and leaves of bitter melon are a good source of minerals and vitamins, such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin B. However, it is not known how much nutritional contents can actually be absorbed by the body's digestive system of the plant become some of these substances exist in unabsorbable form.

Does bitter melon have medicinal properties, to help fight diabetes?

Yes. Books and articles about bitter melon states that the extract from the leaves or roots shrinks hemorrhoids. The juice from the leaves is also good to prevent and lessen cough, for fever and against roundworms. Reportedly, it is also used to treat sterility in women and alleviate liver problems. Likewise, bitter melon has some antimicrobial activity and can help infected wounds.

However, none of the medicinal uses of bitter melon has been proven scientifically, although they have not been disproved, either. It's just that it has not been studied enough.

Is it true that bitter melon tea and capsules are effective in lowering blood sugar of diabetics?

There is one case where it is proven that it can lower blood sugar levels from people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes. Results of these scientific studies that determine the effect of drinking of bitter melon extract on blood sugar level of Type 2 Diabetes have consistently shown that bitter melon lowers blood sugar level. The effect on blood sugar is due to momordicin, a substance that is also responsible for it's bitter taste.

The effect of the bitter melon leaves lowering blood sugar level among diabetics is evident regardless of how it is prepared - boiled then eaten, in the form of tea, capsule or tablet. But diabetics should be cautioned about replacing their proprietary medicines with bitter melon teas, capsules or tablets. So far, studies were done only on a very limited number of human subjects so bitter melon and diabetes cannot be labeled conclusive.

In fact, no large clinical trial has yet been published on the preparation of Momordica charantia (bitter melon). The manufacturers of bitter melon teas, capsules and tablets themselves are not claiming healing benefits for their products. They market them only as supplements.

Are they really good substitutes for the anti-diabetic drugs that are available in the market?

Bitter melon should be considered an addition in the treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. It could probably reduce the patients intake of antidiabetic drugs. It should not however, be regarded as a stand-alone medicine.

Also, diabetics who want to try bitter melon need not to spend money on the teas, tablets or capsules. They can cultivate or buy the plant from the market and prepare it themselves.

To prepare bitter melon extract, the following steps should be followed:

1. Wash and finely chop the leaves.

2. Add 6 tablespoons of the chopped leaves in 2 glasses of water.

3. Boil it for 15 min. in an uncovered pot.

4. Cool down and strain.

5. Drink 1/3 cup of it 3x a day.

Alternately, bitter melon tops can be steamed and eaten (1/2 cup 2x a day).
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#Diabetes Glucose Meters

Since one of the most important tools in battling diabetes is the glucose meter, there are many different versions on the market. Pretty much any model that you choose is going to be accurate and provide fairly consistent results. When it comes to choosing glucose meters it will really depend on what type of features you think you will need.
Which Glucose Meters are Best?

If you are like me, you’ll want one fully loaded with options. Not because I necessarily need all the options, but I want them. There are some things that you may want to consider if you are in the market for a new glucose meter.

    Do the glucose meters require test strips or a control solution that you need to use when checking for accuracy?
    Do you need Glucose Meters to be small enough to fit inside a purse or briefcase?
    What does cleaning Glucose Meters entail?
    Do you need glucose meters that allows you to do a AC1 check at home? Some don’t have that feature.
    Would you prefer Glucose Meters that use test strips or do you find that cartridges are easier?
    The smaller the amount of blood glucose meters require the better so you definitely want to know what size blood sample the meter requires to take an accurate reading.
    The price is a huge factor when choosing a meter. If you are the kind of person that misplaces or has a tendency to break glucose meters and possibly will have to replace it then a meter on the cheaper side would be better for you.
    The test strips or cartridges definitely should be factored into the cost. You may get the cheapest meter available just to find out that the strips that it requires are the most expensive on the market.
    Is any of the cost for Glucose Meters or the test supplies covered by your health insurance? If so, go out and get the most expensive Meter that your heart desires.
    Are you kind of a computer geek and want to be able to download your results to your computer? This is a very good way to track your levels.
    Are you tired of having your fingers pricked? You may want to check out the Glucose Meters that use alternative site testing.
    Do you ever need to check your levels in the middle of the night? If so you could get a Glucose Meter that glows in the dark.

    Are you already carrying way to many gadgets on your person and would love to streamline? Now available is a Glucose Meter and Personal Digital Assistant in one. Pretty cool huh?

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