Low Glycemic Carbs

Low glycemic carbs are key to an anti-inflammatory diet and to a macular degeneration prevention plan.

Healthy Carbs

It is important to know what foods are considered healthy carbs and which foods are considered bad carbohydrates.

low glycemic carbs

Allen Taylor, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University, examined the eyes of more than 500 women between 53 and 73 years of age.

Taylor, who is also a nutrition, ophthalmology and biochemistry professor on the Tufts health sciences campus in Boston stated:

low glycemic carbs

"The likelihood of having abnormalities characteristic of AMD on eye exam more than doubled for women who consumed diets with the highest glycemic index, regardless of other factors already known or suspected to increase the risk of AMD, such as age, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and obesity."

In other words the type of carbohydrate that we eat does matter in a macular degeneration diet.

If glycemic index is a new word or concept for you I suggest that you read The New Sugar Busters! Cut Sugar to Trim Fat

In a nutshell, foods that cause our blood sugar to spike which then results in an increase secretion of insulin, are harmful to our health and to our vision.

Sugar and Macular Degeneration

Researchers from the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at Tufts University report:

"Scientists have suggested that the ‘sugar rush’ that comes from these glycemic peaks may cause retinal damage and be a factor in AMD. "

macular degeneration diet do's and don'ts

Senior scientist Dr. Allen Taylor, PhD, at the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at Tufts University studied the effect of sugar and carbohydrate intake on eye health.  "Mice fed the high-glycemic index diet developed signs of retinal disease, and when their diets were switched to low-glycemic index, signs of AMD were reversed."  You can read the full article here:

Sugar and Macular Degeneration

Low Glycemic Carbs List

There are good carbohydrates for you and there are bad carbs that lead to chronic inflammation. It is important to know which ones to include and which ones you need to start eliminating from your diet.

low glycemic carbs

Low Glycemic Carbs Include:

√ Sweet Potato

√ Brown Rice or Wild Rice

√ Oatmeal - raw or regular, slow cooked

√ Vegetables - asparagus, red, green and orange peppers, squash, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts

√ Beans - chick peas, black beans, kidney beans, lima beans, butter beans, great northern beans

√ Fruit - strawberries, grapefruit, pears, apricots

√ Raw nuts

Generally foods that are higher in fiber are the low glycemic carbs that are better for you.

Glycemic Index Foundation: Making Healthy Choices Easy

glycemic index

A common rating system for the glycemic index categorizes food as high, medium or low.

Low GI -    0-55

Medium GI 56-69

High GI.     70 and above

Why Choose Low Glycemic Carbs?

"High glycemic foods result in a quick spike in insulin and blood sugar (also known as blood glucose). Low glycemic foods have a slower, smaller effect."

A Good Guide to Good Carbs: The glycemic index by Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School

why choose low glycemic carbs

"Despite its high-carb nature, winter squash has recently been shown to help steady the release of sugar inside of our digestive tract after being eaten, and to lessen our overall glycemic response to meals. These findings also match up with studies on the glycemic index (GI) of winter squash. On our website, we report a GI value for winter squash of 51.

low glycemic carbs

This value qualifies winter squash as a low-GI vegetable, since the cut-off for low-GI is usually set at 55. In short, despite its high-carb content, winter squash is a vegetable that provides us with health support, including support in the area of sugar metabolism following a meal."

What's New and Beneficial about Winter Squash

Low Glycemic Carb Diet is Not the Same as A Low Carb

low glycemic carb diet vs low carb diet

Carbohydrates are needed for fuel, as pre-biotics, and to help your body produce serotonin. Don't confuse a low glycemic carb diet with a low carb diet.

Carbs and Inflammation

Bad carbohydrates are foods that contribute to chronic inflammation which increases our risk for macular degeneration along with other diseases. These bad carbs are high in the glycemic index.

Foods to Avoid are:

√ Whole Wheat and White Flour - white bread, bagels, cookies, cakes, white rolls

√ White Potatoes

carbs and inflammation

√ White Rice

√ White Pasta

√ Instant Oatmeal and Processed Cold Cereals

√ Rice Cakes

√ Pretzels

√ French Fries

√ Pizza

AGE - advanced glycation end products are the by-products of high blood sugar.

"Anywhere glucose goes (which is virtually everywhere in the body), AGEs will follow." Dr. William Davis

This of course includes our eyes - the lens to the retina. "In fact, no structure in the eye escapes the damaging effects of AGEs, including the retina (macular degeneration), the vitreous (the gel-like liquid filling the eyeball), and the cornea."

William Davis, MD and author of Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health

Tips like substituting strips of zucchini for pasta and steel cut oatmeal for instant oatmeal are ways to swap out your unhealthy carbs for low glycemic carbs.  Check out the Swap It tool published by the Glycemic Index Foundation ....Swap It

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