Making The Calories Count: Eat The Right Types of Food


When it comes to losing weight, many turn to counting calories and watching their diet.

Hypothetically, if a serving of fried chicken has the same amount of calories as a serving of vegetables, it is okay to indulge in the former, right? Hold that thought. Dr Mitchel Montignac, the first doctor to coin the glycemic index, opined that different foods affect our blood glucose levels differently.

When we ingest food, the inherent carbohydrates raise our blood sugar level. Some foods can spike this level, leading the pancreas to abruptly release a large amount of insulin. Insulin is a hormone that brings down the blood glucose. An excessive insulin release, however, is detrimental to our health.

Known as hyperinsulinemia, this condition is often associated with other conditions such as obesity, hypertension and glucose intolerance. In more severe cases, it can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and even cancer.

So how can we avoid the sudden trigger of insulin in our body? We need to eat more food types that steadily and slowly raise our blood sugar level when introduced. The glycemic index is a good gauge for such foods. It is categorised into three sections: Low GI, Medium GI and High GI.

Fruits, vegetables, nuts and beets belong to the Low GI group and whole wheat products, raisins and regular ice cream the Medium GI category. White potato, rice and pretzels —staples and snacks we have all come to love— belong to the High GI group. There is no need to completely abstain from the latter foods but be sure to moderate your intake.

Using the glycemic index, Dr Montignac has also come up with a scientifically-proven weight loss programme. Get this: his programme calls for eating more instead of starving yourself. Going on a fad diet is not advised because your body will go into starvation mode, effectively reducing your metabolic rate. Your body will conserve every bit of energy instead of burning them off. And burning stored energy, i.e. calories, is one of the factors that contribute to weight loss.

Instead, eat more of the foods found in the Low GI group. Such foods do not cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar level and you can keep hyperinsulinemia-related symptoms at bay. Switch your diet today and you should be able to see results soon.

Dr Joe Luo

An internal Medicine specialist with over 11 years of experience and also an active researcher in the US, researching on positive health benefits that natural ingredients and lifestyle boast.

Dr. Joe’s biggest aspiration is to create a world where natural products will help patients alleviate their health problems as well as eliminate the side effects that are common with synthetic drugs. He also, founded Doctor Link International Pte Ltd, manufacturer and distributor of a wide range of health supplements that helps various ailments.

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