“Good” carbs. Is there such a thing? While the media and fad diets may tout otherwise, carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet. The trick is to choose quality sources that will not cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash, leaving you feeling fatigued, hungry, and unsatisfied.
Not mistakenly, one of the call-outs on Isagenix IsaLean Shake and Bar labels is that these products are “low glycemic,” referring to the slow rate in which the carbohydrates are absorbed from these foods. The labeling is intended to assist people, especially those with diabetes, in knowing just how a food will likely boost blood sugar.
Now, an international committee of nutrition scientists from 10 countries has called for more of this type of labeling. In a draft of a Scientific Consensus Statement published earlier this month (1), the scientists listed several reasons for why they feel more attention needs to be given to carbohydrate quality (a measure of glycemic index, or how a food boosts blood sugar).
The scientists write that “convincing evidence” has shown that choosing foods with these higher quality carbohydrates extends beyond glycemic control; it also supports cardiovascular health and weight loss.
In one well-designed trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2), for example, a low-glycemic diet was more effective in helping subjects maintain a lower body weight than did a diet lower in fats (low-fat diet) or carbs (modeled after Atkins diet)
The subjects on the low-glycemic diet in this study not only better maintained good glycemic control throughout, but also improved their metabolic and cardiovascular profile (namely cortisol and C-reactive protein levels).
Despite the consensus from these scientists, an issue often raised in debates over labeling specific foods according to the glycemic index is that the body’s glycemic response depends more on meals, which are made up of many different foods.
Also, the total amount of carbohydrates in a meal, apart from the glycemic index, is of primary importance in blood sugar rises. For these reasons, the concept of glycemic load considers both quantity and quality of carbohydrates in a meal.
Protein or fiber in a meal can also interact with carbohydrates affecting their rate of absorption. In addition, different kinds of carbohydrates in natural foods such as digestion-resistant starches, sugar alcohols, and fructose are also absorbed slower than other sources affecting blood sugar level estimates.
Isagenix is ahead of the game in this regard—through clinical testing of their complete line of shakes and bars. Each of these products demonstrated that they are unlikely to lead to blood sugar spikes.
That makes for an easy choice for your health!
- Jenkins D, Willett WC, Augustin L et al. “Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load and Glycemic Response: Scientific Consensus Statement.” Oldways Health Through Heritage. Available at: http://oldwayspt.org/programs/special-custom-programs/glycemic-index-scientific-consensus2013
- Ebbeling CB, Swain JF, Feldman HA et al. Effects of dietary composition on energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance. JAMA 2012;307:2627-34. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6607