The Best Anti-Aging Diet
One of the most important things you can do for your health whether you are in a formal anti-aging program or not is careful attention to your diet. Unquestionably the best diet to help reach your anti-aging goals is what is called a low glycemic index diet. A low glycemic index diet not only can help limit your potential to develop chronic disease but also helps you with your aesthetic goals, namely weight loss.
What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate will break down and cause a rise of blood glucose levels. In the old days we used to think that a carbohydrate was a carbohydrate was a carbohydrate. That they were all the same and it did not matter where you got your carbohydrates from. We have since learned that this is false. In developing the glycemic index, scientists have assigned a value of 100 to glucose. That used as a reference, the metabolism of glucose is what we compare other carbohydrates to. Just for your information a 100 is considered a high glycemic index number. Carbohydrates that break down more quickly than glucose into blood glucose will have values higher than 100 and foods that break down less quickly will have values lower than 100. Things may not seem obvious with respect to glycemic index. For instance, potatoes, namely baked russet potatoes, would have always in the past been considered a fairly healthy item. However, the glycemic index of a baked russet potato is 111. This means it raises your blood sugar after ingestion quicker than glucose itself. Other relatively high glycemic index foods include a lot of our white breads, sports drinks and sodas, and allot of our cereals. Lower glycemic index foods include a lot of our beans and nuts and a lot of our vegetables. We can provide you with a list of high and low glycemic index foods upon request.
Why is Glycemic Index Important?
I’d like to focus on two important issues concerning the glycemic index. When we eat higher glycemic index foods it affects us in two ways. One, it tends to produce weight gain and I’ll explain why in a bit, the other thing is that it helps promote chronic diseases. One of the main stages of anti-aging medicine is prevention of chronic disease. Hormone manipulation is part of this; however, diet is a very important step as well.
When we eat high glycemic index foods, as discussed early, it raises our blood sugar very quickly. Our body’s response to this is to produce insulin. Insulin is produced in the pancreas. In response to this sudden escalation in blood glucose levels the body tends to over compensate to with excess insulin. This drives the blood sugar down. In the presence of insulin the only thing your body can really do with the blood sugar is store it as fat. After this surge of blood glucose we get from eating high GI foods our body’s immediate response is to store this as fat. So it is really these foods that promote fat gain. However insulin is a protein. Insulin therefore stays around in your body quite some time after it’s produced. It continues to lower the blood glucose levels into a range that our body senses as low or dropping too quickly. This generates the feeling of hunger and our first response is to want a “quick fix”. So we reach for another high GI carb. The cycle will continue and continue producing additional weight gain by converting the glucose to fat deposits in the cycle of hunger and repeated binging.
The second concern is that the presence of excess glucose and the presence of excess insulin both are very inflammatory. Glucose attaches itself to the proteins in our body through a process called the glycosilation. This process is pro-inflammatory. And when I’m talking about inflammation, I’m talking about systemic or body-wide inflammation. We can actually measure this with blood tests such as C-Reactive Protein, Sedimentation Rates, or Homocysteine Levels. Elevated levels of these inflammatory markers have been linked to increased heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other chronic ailments that we tend to associate with aging. With dietary modifications, such as switching to a low-glycemic index diet we see these inflammatory markers go down indicating a decreased risk of these chronic systemic diseases. Furthermore, our clients experience substantial fat loss particularly when combined with optimization of their hormones.
So switching to a low-glycemic index diet we avoid the surge in blood glucose after eating. Therefore we do not get the huge spike in insulin which will drive our blood sugars down quickly and produce this cycle of binge eating followed by hunger and more binge eating. While making the adjustment can sometimes be difficult initially, if you’re used to poor eating, most clients after two or three days begin to feel a difference and almost everyone within a month feels substantially better and really can feel quite horrible if they go back to high index carbs. It is one of those circumstances where you just don’t know how bad they make you feel until you’ve avoided them for awhile.
I hope you can now understand why proper eating is important both to your weight management and your age management goals. If you would like more resources, please feel free to contact us through our website www.midwestrejuvenation.com.