The truth about the glycemic index

When I first discovered the glycemic index a few years ago I thought I had finally found the missing piece of the hypoglycemia jigsaw.

I knew from experience it wasn’t just as simple as cutting out sugar. For example, on many occasions I had eaten what was supposedly a “healthy” lunch of bread, salad and small amount of cheese or protein …. absolutely no sugar … only to get hypgolycemic symptoms during the afternoon. In my case, very bad headaches.

How could this be, I wondered, since I had eaten no sugar. Then I learned bread has quite a high glycemic index … particularly white bread. This explains why you can get hypoglycemic symptoms after eating bread.

Okay, so does this mean you shouldn’t eat bread? What about rice, pasta and potatoes? Staple foods that people have eaten for centuries. Should we cut these out because they have a high glycemic index?

This is where some so-called experts go wrong. They recommend you cut out all carbohydrates with a moderate to high glycemic index.

In reality, you don’t need to do this …

if you learn a simple secret …

To slow down the effect on your blood sugar of carbohydrates, you need to eat some fats or oils and/or some protein along with the carbohydrate. In other words, you need to eat a balanced meal.

Why do you think people have been eating bread and butter for so many hundreds of years? The butter slows down the digestion of the bread … so if you’re hypoglycemic, you want to put plenty of butter on your bread. And have some protein along with it, ideally. (You can use olive oil on your bread, if you want … but only if you like it. Don’t eat olive oil just because it’s trendy at the moment. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with butter. Believe me. People have been eating butter since the beginning of human history.

If you have any doubts about butter (due to all the negative press it’s received from so-called experts who say it’s bad for you) consider the French. They’ve always eaten lots of butter, cream, high fat cheeses, pates … and they have a much lower rate of heart disease than Americans and other western countries. Now, of course, the French have started eating more sugar. (The traditional French diet has very little sugar .. and they don’t eat sweet snacks between meals either). The French are starting to get more health problems as they’re eating more sugar …

So it’s sugar … not fat … that’s the problem.

But there’s also another aspect about sugar …

You may be able to eat a small amount of sugar … and get no hypoglycemic symptoms … if you eat it along with a balanced meal with proteins and fats.

I’ve proven this myself to be absolutely true. For example, for lunch today I had a sandwich with bread, butter, cheese, pate and salad. Then, I had a small piece of home-made fruit cake my wife made. (She always uses raw sugar and only a small amount). Finally, I had a cup of tea (with milk). I felt absolutely fine after this lunch … much better than if I’d eaten a “healthy” low fat meal with no butter or cheese or pate … and no sugar.

So … eat balanced meals with protein, fats and carbohydrates … and you’ll find your blood sugar keeps pretty stable. On the other hand … don’t eat unbalanced meals or snacks …. sweet snacks like candy bars and soft drinks are absolutely the worst things for your blood sugar.

Finally, if you want to learn more about the glycemic index, visit Michel Montignac’s website. I don’t agree with all his ideas about weight loss diets … but he’s got some pretty good information about hypoglycemia and the glycemic index. Well worth a visit if you can spare the time.

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