For Canadians looking to get started on their New Year’s resolutions, weight loss usually tops the list. Many individuals will opt to cut out fast food, eat less sugary foods (i.e. chocolate and pastries), or completely change their diet all together by consuming fewer carbohydrates (as recommended by Vancouver physician Dr. Ali Ghahary), eating more proteins, or going vegetarian or vegan.
When it comes to weight loss, there are many healthy options out there. But did you know that your blood sugar might also play a part in helping you on your weight loss journey?
While you might think of glucose levels as something diabetics only need to worry about, that’s not necessarily the case any longer, because not everyone’s blood sugar reacts to food the same way. According to scientists Eran Segal and Eran Elinav, who studied blood sugar levels in 800 individuals for an entire week, foods that created a healthy response in some of their participants produced an alarmingly unhealthy response and a spike in blood glucose levels in others.
For example, it’s not uncommon for athletes to consume basic carb sources such as bananas and cereal – as these carbs tend to increase their energy levels and make for a better game. However, in certain athletes that were a part of Segal and Elivan’s study, those carbs were actually found to cause more fatigue. While many diets are designed to be short-term without long-lasting results, diets like the South Beach Diet and Paleo diets are designed to be more long-term with extended benefits for your overall health, and by testing your blood sugar levels it is the scientists’ hope that you may also be able to increase that sustainability by finding out which foods are better for you and which foods you should stay away from.
As a reminder, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends staying away from sugar, carbohydrates, and foods that contain little to no nutritional value. He also recommends eating three well-balanced meals throughout the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner – as this will help to keep you feeling energized throughout the day and less likely to burn out. For snacking, Dr. Ali Ghahary suggests eating fruits or raw vegetables rather than things like potato chips and chocolate.