With all the talk about carbohydrates the Atkins Diet and losing weight here is some information on this whole scenario, what works and why.
Have you ever noticed as a kid how you could eat mounds of ice cream, carbs because your cells could handle this they were very receptive to insulin. However, as we age well our cells and organs typically don't work as well in converting these sugars into glucose and into the cells and bloodstream.
Let's review a little bit about Carbohydrates, Carbs and this process.
When you eat something that contains carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose and absorbed through the intestinal walls into the bloodstream. The pancreas senses the increase in blood sugar and produces the hormone insulin. Insulin's job is to lower blood sugar by moving glucose into the cells to be used for energy, or into storage in fat cells or muscle. The higher the glycemic index of the carbohydrate, the more abrupt the insulin response, and the more rapidly blood sugar drops after you eat. That's called hypoglycemia or the "blood sugar crash" and typically causes you to seek out more fast-acting carbohydrates to quickly boost your blood sugar again.
Our body in effect is like a machine and after years of eating all these carbohydrates, which in effect is numerous years of these ups and downs in blood sugar and insulin.
All these ups and downs coupled with being overweight, can create a condition called insulin resistance, also known as pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when insulin no longer is able to do its job well enough to keep blood sugars balanced. (The machine is wearing out)
This forces the pancreas to make and more insulin to try to force glucose into the cells, and the cells in turn become increasingly resistant to this action of insulin.
Eventually, this can result in full-blown Type 2 diabetes and all the associated health problems.
When your pancreas is forced to make more insulin excess insulin is typically produced and this creates an environment for carbohydrate calories to be transformed into fats and stored in fat cells. This is why you can easily gain weight on a low-fat diet if you eat too many high-glycemic-index foods, high calorie carbohydrates.
Also another health concern is...
Very high blood sugar levels typically lead to the overproduction of free radicals, which in turn contributes to deterioration of blood vessels (and premature aging of the skin). Free radicals also react with ldl-cholesterol in the blood and create dangerous oxidized cholesterol, which damages artery walls and sets the stage for clogs.
This is why it is recommended to eat low-glycemic index foods for Weight Loss.
Here is a list of Low-Glycemic Index Foods
Lean meat, most legumes (beans), dairy products, peaches, plums, grapes, cherries, apples, grapefruit, leafy greens, broccoli, asparagus, cabbages, avocado, eggplant, most other vegetables
Here is a list of Medium-Glycemic Index Foods
Whole grains, sweet potatoes, yams, slow-cooked oatmeal, oranges
Here is a list of High-Glycemic Index Foods (That you want to avoid or eat in moderation)
White and whole-wheat bread (if you're going to eat bread, make it whole grain), pasta and other flour-based foods; most breakfast cereals, with the exception of unsweetened whole-grain varieties such as All-Bran; corn and corn chips, potatoes and potato chips, tortillas, any type of sugar-sweetened food or beverage (especially those sweetened with high fructose corn syrup), bananas, dried fruit