Hi there this is Juanito the personal trainer. I wanted to send a little information your way on regarding diet. We’re in a very interesting place historically regarding diet. The “food pyramid” all of us grew up with as our dietary guide will be flipped on its head. That food pyramid has at it’s base 6-11 servings of grains daily which is a terrible recommendation once we begin to understand Insulin and the effect it has on weight gain and type 2 diabetes. For the full backstory check out Denise Minger’s book “Death By Food Pyramid”
Insulin is a storage hormone and is used when the blood sugar in the body is too high or rising too rapidly. When this occurs the blood will become toxicand so to keep blood sugar levels safe insulin is released and will guide the excess blood sugar into the liver to be processed into body fat or liver glycogen. If we have recently emptied our muscle glycogen stores this will be the first preference. In this way bouts of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and heavy weight lifting can be useful in preventing the creation of new body fat.
So then, what foods raise blood sugar is the next question? Obviously sugars, and less obviously any carbohydrates. Any type of carb whether it is white or whole wheat will cause a rise in blood sugar, some more than others. The speed of the rise in blood sugar will depend on how much fiber is in the food and how much carbohydrate or sugar is in the food. Something like oats will have high carbs but also a good amount of fiber, where as bread or pasta have very little fiber. Fiber slows the absorption of sugar into the blood. Remember that insulin spikes occur more readily with rapid blood sugar rise. You can see the “glycemic index” for an idea of which foods cause the biggest rise in blood sugar.
Whether it’s weight loss or ideal energy and performance you’re after the most critical factor will be the foods to stay away from. Specifically foods which cause insulin spikes; this means foods which have added sugar as well as refined grains such as breads and pasta as well as all kinds of snack bars.
Another problem are foods which are processed with chemicals and treated with hormones and anti-biotics as well as foods with unbalanced ratios of omega 6 fats but more on that in the next e-mail.
The following links will explain the insulin response and how it becomes problematic as well as two anecdotal stories of major players in the health and fitness industry who had dramatic turn arounds when they switched to low carb high fat diets, eating plenty of whole foods.