Friday, July 12, 2013

Skip the Junk Food! Eating That Cookie Will Probably Make You Hungrier Later!

One tip of advice I always give my clients is to just avoid taking a “bite” of a cookie or chip. Once you take that first bite, your salivary glands start pumping out saliva and your body prepares for more food to come in. If you continue to eat the refined grain or sugar, your blood sugar spikes then plummets, causing your body to want to consume more to restore a stable blood sugar. That is one reason you can’t just eat one Wheat Thin, or why only eating only ¼ of the plate of restaurant pasta is so difficult.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition further supports this claim. In this study, 12 overweight or obese men consumed a milkshake on two separate occasions. Both shakes had the same nutritional profile (calories, fat, etc), the only difference being that one was made with a high glycemic index (GI) corn syrup and the other was made with a low-GI sweetener. Four hours after milkshake consumption, plasma glucose was lower and hunger reported was higher after the high-GI shake compared to the low-GI shake. Additionally, the high-GI shake caused more activity in the region of the brain associated with reward and craving. When the blood sugar plummets again, the body wants a quick acting carb (ie: refined high GI carbs) to restore the sugar level immediately- which may lead to the cycle of overeating refined foods like pretzels, crackers, cookies, ice cream and others.

My recommendation: As mentioned on the first line of this tip, it is better just not to take that first bite, whether it is cake or Mac and Cheese. I encourage everyone to only eat whole grains since the refined grains are lacking healthy fibers, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and cause these blood sugar spikes which are not healthy for anyone. Try to think of refined grains and carbs as poison- that should definitely help to keep you from nibbling on those Stacey’s Pita Chips or the candy bowl at work. It’s not carbs that are the enemy, it is the refined carbs. Your body will be working optimally if you consume the right kinds of carbohydrates- whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and non-fat or low-fat dairy.

Study source: Am J Clin Nutr 2013 ajcn.064113; First published online June 26, 013.doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.064113

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