Belly Fat - Hazardous To Your Health, Not So Hot For The Beach Either!
Written by Chicagohealers.com practitioner Dr Martha Howard, MD
Why do you put on belly fat? Two big reasons:
Eating a high carb-especially sugar, corn syrup and white starches-diet! Being a couch potato.
10 years ago the average American consumed 165 pounds of sugar per year, today it's an even more whopping 240 poundsâ¬"2/3 pound a day! What grandma said about "sugar turning into fat" is all too true! Here's how it works:
1 - You eat a doughnut and coffee with sugar for breakfast
2 - Your blood sugar skyrockets.
3 - Your insulin goes up to handle the blood sugarâ¬"get it out of the bloodstream and into the cells.
4 - Your insulin is still up because your sugar level was so high, which makes your develop low blood sugar and crave more sugar.
5 - You grab a candy bar or fake "healthy" sugary granola bar, or drink a sports drink full of sugar, and stay on the blood sugar roller coaster. You eat PB and J for lunch with a soda, still on the roller coaster, have cookies for an afternoon snack, and high carb pasta for dinner (p.s., the pasta sauce might even contain corn syrup.)
6 - After a few years of this your insulin receptors get tired of it all and develop insulin resistance, so you need even higher levels of insulin to take care of the sugars you eat.
7 - The insulin resistance signals your body to make that spare tire
8 - By the way, exercise might help this situation because it lowers insulin resistance, but you are too busy surfing the web and watching TV to get up off the couch.
9 - You develop high blood pressure, high blood sugar, (pre-diabetes or diabetes) and high cholesterol.
10 - Now you have Metabolic Syndromeâ¬"and are a "walking time bomb" for heart disease or a stroke. And you may still be a minorâ¬"1 in 5 American teenagers already have high triglycerides or high cholesterolâ¬"now known to be as much a consequence of high sugars as high fats in their diets.
What to do? Eat a low to moderate glycemic diet! Get some exercise!
What is the glycemic index of a food?
It is a measurement of how high your blood sugar goes after eating the food. If you eat corn flakes the glycemic index is 92. But if you eat cherries, their glycemic index is 22, if you eat chicken, fish or meat, it is 10-12, and if you eat salad greens, spinach or other greens, it is next to nothing!
Here are the basic levels of glycemic index:
High glycemic 70 to 100 Moderate glycemic 51 to 69 Low glycemic 0 to 50
Some low cost, low to moderate glycemic index foods:
Short grain white rice has a high glycemic index of 72. Basmati rice is a better choice, with a glycemic index of 58. This is on the moderate list. Combined with chickenâ¬"glycemic index of 10-12, on the low listâ¬"and a green vegetable (under 10), it puts the cumulative glycemic index for your meal on the low list.
If you eat a dessert with your meal, it gets "folded" into the cumulative glycemic index with the rest of the food, so that's a good time to have a small dessertâ¬"at the end of a meal of grilled meat fish or chicken, vegetables and a salad. If you eat the same dessert by itself, in midafternoon, with a cup of coffee, your blood sugar skyrockets up again.
Beans are a great low-cost, low glycemic food. Here are the glycemic numbers of some common beans:
Pinto 39 Black 30 Kidney 27 Soy 18 Lentils 29
Peanut butter (peanuts are really a type of bean, not a nut) has a glycemic index of 42, but must be natural, with no sugar or corn syrup added. Many grocery stores have a natural "house brand" of peanut butter that is low cost.
Natural whole fruits are also a low to moderate glycemic food, with a few exceptions, such as watermelon and pineapple. These are the glycemic numbers of some low to moderate fruits:
Cherries 22 Grapefruit 25 Apricots, dried 30 Apple 38 Pear, fresh 38 Plum 39 Strawberries 40 Orange, Navel 42 Grapes 46 Mango 51 Banana, ripe 52, underripe 30
Most green, non starchy vegetables are counted as 10 or less on the glycemic list. Some of these are:
Broccoli Cabbage Celery Lettuce Mushrooms Green Onions Green or red peppers Spinach
Be sure to use "good fats" like cold-pressed olive, or sesame, or safflower oils, and stay away from hydrogenated trans fats.
If you already have belly fat, a low to moderate glycemic index diet plus exercising 30-40 minutes at least 4-5 days a week can make it go away! Start now and you will be ready for the beach in June.
For more about glycemic index, see www.GlycemicIndex.com
ChicagoHealers.com mission is the education and advocacy of natural medicine and a holistic lifestyle.
Please give credit to the original author when republishing all or part of any article. Â Also, kindly link back to www.ChicagoHealers.com