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  1. #1
    jur
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    Diabetes from all that sugary stuff while cycling?

    What sort of impact is there on the insulin system by all the sugary stuff consumed before, during and after cycling? I am thinking about the long term impact; diabetes in older people due to overly sweet diet in earlier life is often in the news these days.
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  2. #2
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    Having had diabetes for 40 years I don't think there is much of a issue unless you are over weight. You hear on the news diabeties is increasing at a fast rate.

    This is true but the reason why is because people are grossssssly over weight.

    95% of grossssly over weight people are type 2 diabetics. I would venture to say most people could get rid of the problem if they would only lost weight.

    Bentnail

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    Not while riding; insulin production nearly stops during exercise.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well ... people shouldn't be consuming excessively sugary stuff before, during, and after cycling. The idea that is what's required to do well at cycling is an erroneous myth.

    Before the ride, cyclists should consume a well-balanced diet of complex carbs, protein, and fat. During the ride cyclists should focus on complex carbs, but should also add protein and fat if the ride is a long distance. And after the ride, the recommendation is a 1:4 ratio of protein to carbs ... but that's complex carbs, not simple sugars.

    When you consume cycling beverages, you should make sure that they aren't full of simple sugars either. And cyclists should keep the consumption of gels to a minimum ... just for that extra boost once in a while.

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Before - could be a problem short term... go for lower glycemic index carbs
    During - what Enthalpic said
    After - immediately after, if the ride was difficult at all, it's not a biggie... insulin recharging the stores is what it's all about, no?

    Mainly, it's the rest of the time that you need to pay attention too.

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    The problem with complex carbs all the time is that they come with fiber, too much fiber is a bad thing while on the bike. Not to mention the portability issue, of say, apples slices compared to gatorade or a gu during a race. I eat a good bit of sugar, but I get all my other nutrients and don't touch the high fructose stuff. Unless you're seriously overweight, or have a genetic issue, the 2-3 gu's a week and 32 oz of gatorade are nothing. Especially when compared to the crap diets of many americans (sugar cereal, muffin, cookies/candy with lunch, dougnut in the afternoon, ice cream after dinner, etc) that do "give themselves" diabetes.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjjone
    The problem with complex carbs all the time is that they come with fiber, too much fiber is a bad thing while on the bike. Not to mention the portability issue, of say, apples slices compared to gatorade or a gu during a race. I eat a good bit of sugar, but I get all my other nutrients and don't touch the high fructose stuff. Unless you're seriously overweight, or have a genetic issue, the 2-3 gu's a week and 32 oz of gatorade are nothing. Especially when compared to the crap diets of many americans (sugar cereal, muffin, cookies/candy with lunch, dougnut in the afternoon, ice cream after dinner, etc) that do "give themselves" diabetes.

    Ummmmm ... complex carbs don't necessarily come with a lot of fiber.

    http://www.carbs-information.com/com...bohydrates.htm
    Complex Sugars
    Complex carbohydrates are composed of three or more units of sugar. Their complicated structure is why they are called "complex" carbohydrates. The chemical name for the largest type of complex carbohydrate is "polysaccharide", meaning "many sugars."

    Complex Carbs Raise Blood Glucose Levels More Slowly
    Because the molecular structure of complex carbohydrates is more complicated, the body cannot metabolize them (convert them) into energy as quickly as simple carbs (except fructose). This means complex carbs raise blood glucose levels more slowly. The most common form of polysaccharide complex carb is starch, which is found in plants. Common plant-based starchy foods include breakfast cereals, bread, potatoes, pasta and rice.


    Pasta is a traditional cycling food and isn't high in fiber.

    You might also have a look at this:
    http://diet.ivillage.com/plans/plowcarb/0,,1kq9,00.html
    and note that fruit (like an apple slice) is often considered to be more in line with simple carbs than with complex carbs:

    Carbohydrates are considered simple or complex based upon their chemical structure.
    -- Both types contain four calories per gram,
    -- and both are digested into a blood sugar called glucose, which can then be used to fuel our bodies for work or exercise.

    ** Simple carbohydrates are digested quickly. Many simple carbohydrates contain refined sugars and few essential vitamins and minerals. Examples include fruits, fruit juice, milk, yogurt, honey, molasses, maple syrup and sugar.
    ** Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and are usually packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Examples are vegetables, breads, cereals, legumes and pasta.

    Most experts recommend that 50-60 percent of the total calories in our diet come from carbohydrates. The bulk of the carbohydrate choices should be complex carbs and most of the simple carbohydrate choices should come from fruits and milk or yogurt, which also contain vitamins and minerals.

    Avoid making the bulk of your carbohydrate choices from refined foods high in sugar, since they are usually low in the nutrients we need to maintain health and energy levels.


    Here's another site with more information about carbohydrates:
    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/e...cle/002469.htm

    Carbohydrates are classified as simple or complex. The classification depends on the chemical structure of the particular food source and reflects how quickly the sugar is digested and absorbed.

    Simple carbohydrates have one (single) or two (double) sugars while complex carbohydrates have three or more.

    Examples of single sugars from foods include fructose (found in fruits) and galactose (found in milk products). Double sugars include lactose (found in dairy), maltose (found in certain vegetables and in beer), and sucrose (table sugar). Honey is also a double sugar, but unlike table sugar, contains a small amount of vitamins and minerals.

    Complex carbohydrates, often referred to as "starchy" foods, include:
    whole grain breads and cereals
    starchy vegetables
    legumes

    Simple carbohydrates that contain vitamins and minerals occur naturally in:
    fruits
    milk and milk products
    vegetables

    For most people, between 40% and 60% of total calories should come from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates (starches) and naturally occurring sugars. Complex carbohydrates provide calories, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

    Foods that are high in processed, refined simple sugars provide calories, but they have few nutritional benefits. It is wise to limit such sugars.



    And no, a limited quanity of gels and sports drinks are fine, but if you're knocking back several packs of gu per ride, it would probably be a good idea to consider eating an energy bar instead.

  8. #8
    semifreddo amartuerer 'nother's Avatar
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    Consumption of sugar does not cause diabetes.
    Can you pass the test?
    Yield to Life.

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    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    Sugar does not cause diabetes. Obesity does not cause diabetes. Diabetes is a very complex disease, so I'll give a condensed version.

    In general, Type 2 diabetes is genetic in nature. If you don't have the right genes you could weigh 800 pounds and eat nothing but sugar and won't get it. If you got the wrong genes you are more likely to get it. It usually starts out with Insulin Resistance (IR), where the insulin you produce doesn't work as well as it should. No problem, because your pancreas will pump out more insulin to compensate. Over time (sometimes several years), the pancreas (beta cells) start to get exhausted and cannot produce as much insulin. At this point in time your Blood Glucose (BG) levels start to rise. The current standards for diagnosis of diabetes is fasting BG level over 125 mg/dl twice (two tests on different days) or over 200 mg/dl once. Pre-diabetes is generally considered between 100 & 125.

    You can get insulin resistance different ways, but the typical type 2 diabetic usually has IR from being overweight. I don't recall the particulars, but it has to do with the fatty acids.

    Two major ways of controlling diabetes is with diet and exercise. Eating the right things (e.g., low glycemic index, avoid highly processed foods/carbs) helps keep the amount of glucose hitting your system low. Exercise reduces IR and burns the glucose in your blood. Actually, your muscles will continue to take up glucose long after you're done exercising to replenish their glucose stores. Weight loss also contributes to lowering IR.

    Sweets aren't so much the culpret as consumption of highly refined carbs (such as soft white bread). In fact, if you eat white bread with the same amount of glucose as in a teaspoon of table sugar, the carbs will turn to glucose in your blood faster than the carbs in the sugar.

    OK, this is the short version of the story. If you want the long version, try "The First Year--Type 2 Diabetes" by Gretchen Becker.

    As long as your not overdoing "sugary stuff" & getting plenty of exercise you should be ok.
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  10. #10
    Meh. StunningStu's Avatar
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    Simple carbs, such as high fructose found in Gatorade, gives you instant energy that enters your bloodstream even before it hits your stomach. Sure, sugar is "empty calories", but when your bonking or running out of gas quickly there is no more efficient way of fueling up.

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StunningStu
    Simple carbs, such as high fructose found in Gatorade, gives you instant energy that enters your bloodstream even before it hits your stomach. Sure, sugar is "empty calories", but when your bonking or running out of gas quickly there is no more efficient way of fueling up.
    That's true ... simple carbs are good in emergency situations. But it is better not to get to that point by regularly consuming complex carbs (and protein and fat) while you ride. The recommended amount is 250 calories per hour. If you do happen to let yourself get to that point, then you should immediately follow-up the simple carb with a complex one, or your blood sugar levels will fall again, probably lower than they were before, and you'll be back into the "emergency" situation again.

    If you are on a short ride it probably isn't critical. One gell might be the thing to get you home. But the regular consumption of complex carbs, and using complex carbs as a follow-up to the simple ones is critical on long rides if the cyclist plans to keep riding for several more hours.

  12. #12
    jur
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    My situation is I am commuting to work, 65 mins mornings, 70min evenings. I have to eat a lot to stave off the feelings of hunger, and make my own 'gatorade' that I sip while riding. I consume perhaps 600ml per ride, and I estimate there is perhaps 4g/100ml sugar. So that is about 24g sugars (glucose, sucrose, maltodextrin). gatorade strength is too sweet.

    Then besides the daily meals which are horribly wholesome, I snack on biscuits & sweets especially at night. I am not overweight, but every time I eat a peppermint I wonder about the burden placed on the insulin system. Looks like I am worried about nothing.

    Thanks!
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  13. #13
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    yeah, nothing to worry about. The insulin-resistance that develops has partly to do with sedentary overweight people who eat too much without working it off. Their glycogen stores are fully stocked and when they get all that glucose dumped into their bloodstream from a big meal, it has nowhere to go. Converting to fat takes a lot longer than glycogen. Meanwhile, the blood-glucose level remains high and more insulin is pumped in trying to lower it. Basically your pancreas is overworked producing a tonne of insulin while your cells get an insulin overdose while drowing in sugar on both sides of the cell-membranes.


    Quote Originally Posted by StunningStu
    Simple carbs, such as high fructose found in Gatorade, gives you instant energy that enters your bloodstream even before it hits your stomach. Sure, sugar is "empty calories", but when your bonking or running out of gas quickly there is no more efficient way of fueling up.
    Hmmm, fructose still has to get into your intestines before it can diffuse passively into your bloodstream. This is faster than glucose which requires an active exchange with a sodium ion. However, fructose cannot be metabolized by your muscles as quickly as glucose, it must be converted to glucose in your liver before it can be used. What the glycemic index indicates is basically the time it takes to get into your bloodstream and triggers the insulin response. Fructose however, doesn't trigger insulin... so it's kinda hard to judge.


    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    That's true ... simple carbs are good in emergency situations. But it is better not to get to that point by regularly consuming complex carbs (and protein and fat) while you ride. The recommended amount is 250 calories per hour. If you do happen to let yourself get to that point, then you should immediately follow-up the simple carb with a complex one, or your blood sugar levels will fall again, probably lower than they were before, and you'll be back into the "emergency" situation again
    Yeah, complex carbs are best when you're off the bike to maintain a more steady blood-sugar level. However, on the bike, you'd want to get as many calories digested and into your bloodstream as fast as possible... Hmm... how about an IV-drip of glucose!
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 12-12-05 at 03:53 PM.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Yeah, complex carbs are best when you're off the bike to maintain a more steady blood-sugar level. However, on the bike, you'd want to get as many calories digested and into your bloodstream as fast as possible... Hmm... how about an IV-drip of glucose!
    That may be true for short distance rides and races, but it is not true for long distances, especially the long slow distances. For the long slow distances, you've got to eat in such a way as to maintain a steady blood sugar level ... just the same as if you were off the bicycle.

    Take the Hammer nutrition products (E-caps, Sustained Energy), for example, since they are one of the most common long distance fuel sources/suppliments.

    Even Hammergel is a complex carb formula:
    http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PR...0047&AMI=10082
    "Pure steady energy from proprietary complex carbohydrate/Energy Smart® blend"

    Here's the information on HEED:
    http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PR...0047&AMI=10082
    "All complex carbohydrate formula - NO added simple sugar means no energy "peaks and valleys""

    And Perpeteum:
    http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PR...0047&AMI=10082
    "Maximum endurance from a unique fuel blend complete with complex carbohydrates, protein, and lipids"

    And Sustained Energy:
    http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=PR...0047&AMI=10082
    "Steady, predictable energy from precise ratio of carbohydrate to protein"

    And the knowledge base for fueling for endurance events:
    http://www.e-caps.com/za/ECP?PAGE=KNOWLEDGE

  15. #15
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Yeah, complex carbs are best when you're off the bike to maintain a more steady blood-sugar level. However, on the bike, you'd want to get as many calories digested and into your bloodstream as fast as possible... Hmm... how about an IV-drip of glucose!
    I think you can eat real food an hour or two before your ride, and maintain a good balance of glucose and insulin. Then continue to eat carbs (mostly complex) as you ride, assuming the ride is a long one. if you're riding less than 60 to 90 minutes, you shouldn't need any additional carbs, simple or complex, as long as you are basically well nourished (not hungry).


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    jur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    I think you can eat real food an hour or two before your ride, and maintain a good balance of glucose and insulin. Then continue to eat carbs (mostly complex) as you ride, assuming the ride is a long one. if you're riding less than 60 to 90 minutes, you shouldn't need any additional carbs, simple or complex, as long as you are basically well nourished (not hungry).
    I think you're right, it doesn't feel lke I need any additional food. Riding my 60+ minutes to and from work, I keep the water topped up especially on those hotazel days, but I like to add some sodium and potassium which tastes like crap, so i also add some food acid and glucose basically ending up with 'gatorade' but a weaker sol'n.
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    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    Don't get hung up on the term "complex carb". What is more important is the glycemic index, how fast does the carb turn to glucose. Proteins, fats, & fiber all help to slow down digestion. Also important to the glycemic index is how processes or how cooked an item is. Look at oatmeal. Instant oatmeal has a higher GI than old fashioned rolled oats. Mashed potato (especially instant) has a higher GI than baked or raw.
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    jur
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    Yeah, 2 years ago I found out about GI, went on a low GI diet and shed 15kg. Surprising how some white rices (not basmati, yay) has a higher GI than glucose.
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    What scientific evidence is ther that glycemic index is beneficial for normal (non-diabetic) people? I bet none. I think it is probably just another food fad, like Atkins and so many others.


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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    What scientific evidence is ther that glycemic index is beneficial for normal (non-diabetic) people? I bet none. I think it is probably just another food fad, like Atkins and so many others.
    Actually the basics of the glycemic index thing have been around for a long time. I was given a list of foods I should eat when I was diagnosed with borderline hypogycemia back 21 years ago, and that list more or less matches the GI list.

    Also, if you look at low GI items, you'll see that they tend to be complex carbs ... and the whole idea of complex and simple carbs has been around forever ... only I think it was too complex for some people to understand, so they reworded it into "Glycemic Index" and for some reason that was easier to understand ... go figure.

    And the GI diet idea doesn't try to deprive you of anything. They don't tell you to avoid protein or fat. Basically all they are trying to tell people is to get away from eating simple sugars, and eat more complex carbs (along with proteins and fats) ... in other words ... getting back to a well balanced diet.

    Oh, incidentally ... the diet that diabetics are supposed to eat is a healthy diet which most people should aim to eat because it keeps the blood sugars on an even keel rather than fluctuating all over the place.

  21. #21
    jur
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    I like the logical basis of low GI eating. The low GI foods produce a longer lower blood sugar peak, I understand, so if one is eating a bit less than the body needs, you don't get hunger peaks. (Just a sustained peckishness ) At least it worked for me, and the weight stays off.
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  22. #22
    Tail End Charlie Ritehsedad's Avatar
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    You don't have to buy the book, but go to your local bookstore and read some of the "The Good Carb Cookbook,Secrets of Eating Low on the Glycemic Index" by Sandra Woodruff.

    Decide for yourself.
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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    The problem I have with so-called low GI diets is that the index only rates single foods. In real life, we almost always eat a combination of several foods at the same meal.

    In general, consuming a high GI food together with a protein or fat makes a lower GI combination. So, macaroni is high GI, mac & cheese is low GI. White rice is high, white rice with butter is low. Sugar is high, sugar with cocoa butter and nuts (candy bar) is low. And so on and so forth. How is this useful for somebody on a diet?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Well ... people shouldn't be consuming excessively sugary stuff before, during, and after cycling. The idea that is what's required to do well at cycling is an erroneous myth.

    Before the ride, cyclists should consume a well-balanced diet of complex carbs, protein, and fat. During the ride cyclists should focus on complex carbs, but should also add protein and fat if the ride is a long distance. And after the ride, the recommendation is a 1:4 ratio of protein to carbs ... but that's complex carbs, not simple sugars.

    When you consume cycling beverages, you should make sure that they aren't full of simple sugars either. And cyclists should keep the consumption of gels to a minimum ... just for that extra boost once in a while.
    The science says you're wrong about a few things. Excessively sugary stuff before a ride is EXACTLY what you want to ingest. In fact, 30 minutes before, the 4:1 ratio of simple carb-to-protein is an excellent idea. Those simple sugars should be glucose or sucrose, as fructose, while the sweetest sugar, tends to cause bloating and gas in most riders. About half a liter 30 minutes before is what you drink, then continue sipping until the ride begins is an excellent idea. During the ride, sipping the same beverage every 10-15 minutes is also an excellent idea. If you're defining "long rides" as longer than 2-3 hours, then, yes, the rider has to eat, and that means complex carbs. But the complex carbs needed for a 2-3 hour ride should be ingested 1-3 hours before the ride.

    So, simple sugars are EXACTLY what you want during the ride. All the science agrees on this point. What sources can YOU provide to suport your contention? I doubt you have any. Not to be rude, but the science behind what I am stating here is extensive.

    Immediately after the ride, the carb-to-protein ratio of 4:1 drink should be made up of simple sugars and whey. I agree that the sugars should be a little more complex than sucrose or fructose, but not much more. Dextrose is an excellent choice, and so are "maltodextrins".

    Nutrient timing is a new concept to you, apparently, but the science is clear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    The problem I have with so-called low GI diets is that the index only rates single foods. In real life, we almost always eat a combination of several foods at the same meal.

    In general, consuming a high GI food together with a protein or fat makes a lower GI combination. So, macaroni is high GI, mac & cheese is low GI. White rice is high, white rice with butter is low. Sugar is high, sugar with cocoa butter and nuts (candy bar) is low. And so on and so forth. How is this useful for somebody on a diet?
    Actually, what you'll find in the literature is that combining protein with carbohydrates often causes a much HIGHER glycemic index! That is the beauty of the newer sports beverages with carbs and protein combined!
    I love France. I just hate Toulouse. I'd really hate to lose le Trek.

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