Are you having Slow-Carb or Low-Carb (part 1)?
(4 mins read)
The slow-carb diet is actually not a diet at all; rather, it is more of a balanced way of eating.
Instead of leaving out certain foods from your diet, it simply classifies them based on their glycemic index (GI).
What is the glycemic index?
Glycemic Index (GI) is a measurement carried out on carbohydrate-containing foods and their impact on our blood sugar. GI is a relatively new way of analyzing foods. Previously, most meal plans designed to improve blood sugar analyzed the total amount of carbohydrates (including sugars and starches) in the foods themselves. GI goes beyond this approach, looking at the impact of foods on our actual blood sugar.
The GI reveals how high a carbohydrate can raise blood on their blood glucose levels within two hours. Foods that break down quickly during digestion have a high GI, and those that break down more slowly have a low GI.
More about GI (1.)
But before you take a bite of a Danish pastry, read on.
Not all carbs are created equal.
When they are digested, carbohydrates form glucose, which is transported around the body in the blood before it is absorbed by the cells and converted into energy.
The more refined carbohydrate is, the faster it releases glucose into the bloodstream (high GI). It causes blood sugar levels to rise and fall very quickly. The more complex the carbohydrate is (low GI), the longer it takes for the body to digest it.
Health gurus recommend eating foods with a relatively low GI level, such as whole grains, oats, fruits, vegetables, and sweet potatoes. These foods are digested slowly and provide the body with a more sustained energy supply. Foods in the category also help you feel fuller for a longer period of time, which can kill those afternoon snack attacks that leave you running to the nearest donut shop.
Foods that have a high GI index - including white bread, refined breakfast cereals, pastries, and other concentrated sugars - are digested rapidly, causing a surge of blood glucose and insulin in the body. This puts strain on the pancreas (the organ that removes sugar from the bloodstream) and causes spikes in blood sugar levels.
Ever had a sugar high, only to crash an hour later and feel more tired than before?
What Slow-carb differs from Low-carb?
The main difference of the 2 diets is: its main focus
Slow-carb diet’s main focus is the type of carb that you take in. The slow-carb diet recommends you replace processed and refined carbs -- such as sugar, soft drinks, white bread, breakfast cereals and desserts -- with slow carbs, such as sweet potatoes, steel-cut oats, fruits, whole-grain pasta and legumes.
Low-carb diet’s main focus is the amount of carb that you take in. Different low-carb diets recommend varying levels of carbohydrate restriction, ranging from 20 grams to up to 100 grams of carbohydrates a day, compared to the average 250 to 300 grams in the standard American diet. Low-carb diets usually encourage dieters to replace most of their carbs with fats.
(to be continued…)