The next Hormone Weight Loss Principle I’d like to discuss is Eat Right. More specifically, how we can use the glycemic index to balance our hormones.
The speed in which carbohydrates are converted into blood sugar is one of the determinants for whether or not a food promotes hormone balance or imbalance and whether the food increases or decreases the risk for disease. The glycemic index is a system of measuring the conversion speed of individual carbohydrate foods and the rate at which they increase your blood sugar.
The more rapidly a food is absorbed and converts to glucose, the faster and higher it raises the level of blood glucose. Foods ranking low on the GI index do the best job of keeping blood sugar level stable, but that doesn’t mean you can never eat foods with a higher GI ranking. You can lessen the impact of eating a high GI food, like pasta, by combining it with low GI foods like vegetables, protein, fat and fiber, since those all slow down the body’s absorption of the sugar from the pasta.
Here is a list of some popular foods and where they fall on the GI Index:
• Most vegetables are almost 0 GI
• Root vegetables, except potatoes, are usually low to medium GI
• Potatoes generally have high GI
• Fruits from northern and Mediterranean climates are low GI
• Fruits from tropical climates tend to be medium GI
• White and whole wheat breads are both high GI in any form
• Sourdough breads have a low GI because acidity slows down digestion
• Dense breads made with whole grains other than wheat and dough made with spelt flour have a low or medium GI
• Acidic ingredients, such as balsamic vinegar used to dip bread, will reduce the GI
• Nuts and seeds are low GI
• Brown and white rice are high GI
• Basmati rice is medium GI
• Quinoa and pearled barley are low GI
• Sweetened sodas and sugary drinks are high GI
• Beans and legumes, such as lentils and peas, are very low GI
Check out page 99 of the October issue of Shape magazine. Dr. Stanton is quoted in the article “When Weight Gain is a Warning.” Dr. Stanton provides tips for treating an underactive thyroid and preventing a surge in cortisol levels with stress reduction techniques.
Vitamins and minerals ensure that thousands of reactions take place in the body to maintain a healthy metabolism, balanced hormones, and good health. A deficiency with just one vitamin can create a chain reaction that slows your metabolism and brings your health down along with it. Nutrients in our food can be depleted by any number of factors, so it’s important to make up for this depletion with supplements such as a quality multivitamin.
To support hormonal balance, weight loss, and good health, there are some key ingredients to look for when choosing a multivitamin.
- Vitamin A, which supports thyroid function, enhances your metabolism and allows for weight loss.
- B vitamins, which have many weight-loss qualities including helping metabolism, keeping adrenal glands healthy, converting carbohydrates into energy and breaking down fats and protein.
- Vitamin C, an antioxidant that is important during times of stress and vital for virtually all aspects of wellness, including healthy metabolism. Low levels of Vitamin C correlate with excess weight and might promote cravings for sweet or salty snacks, or beverages that are sugary or contain stimulants, such as caffeine.
Multivitamins don’t contain adequate Vitamin D, and it is estimated that only four percent of Americans consume enough Vitamin D, so taking Vitamin D in supplement form is important. Vitamin D plays a major role in overall health, but in weight loss terms, it helps the pancreas release insulin and endocrinologists have discovered that weight-loss success is more likely for those taking Vitamin D.
Other vitamins and minerals for weight loss include:
- Chromium, an essential nutrient involved in the regulation of carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Chromium has been recognized for its beneficial effect on reducing blood sugar levels, burning calories, decreasing sugar cravings, reducing fat and decreasing cortisol.
- Selenium, acts as an antioxidant and is required for proper thyroid function.
- Zinc, another trace mineral, is good for your metabolism, helps insulin do its job and necessary for healthy thyroid function.
- Calcium, is required for breaking up fats and energy production. Too much though can reduce thyroid function and make it more difficult to lose weight.
- L-Carnitine, is helpful for weight loss by converting stored fat into energy.