Good and Bad Carbs

The Scarsdale diet is a low fat and low carbs diet, that's low – not no. Carbohydrates are allowed but it's important you understand about the different types of carbohydrates and how they effect your diet.

Good and Bad Carbs

Not all carbohydrates are the same, they take varying amounts of time for our body to break down. Glycemic Index (GI) is a measurement of how long it takes for foods to break down. Generally speaking processed foods are high GI (break down quickly) and, you guessed it, unprocessed natural foods are low GI.

When you eat a meal you feel full, as the meal gets broken down the energy it contains gets converted to sugar in your blood. The quicker it's broken down the more sugar will find its way into your blood in a shorter period of time. The when there's nothing more to break down your sugar level begins to crash and you get hungry again.

High GI foods (broken down quickly) create a rollercoaster ride in your blood sugar level, it's up and down like a yoyo. This leads to weight gain. On the other hand, low GI foods provide a consistent level sugar in your blood over a longer period of time (think slow release), thus it will be longer until you feel hungry again. And when you do get hungry you won't have powerful food cravings because your blood sugar level won't be dropping rapidly from a high level (as with high GI, quick release foods), it will be a gradual decline from a lower peak.

So what are high and low GI foods?

High GI Low GI
White Bread Wholewheat/wholegrain Bread
White Rice Brown Rice
White Pasta Brown/wholewheat Pasta
Mashed Potatoes New Potatoes
French Fries All Bran
Cornflakes Natural Museli
Rice Krispies  

See the pattern? High GI foods are those that are bleached or processed (often the ones that taste the best), low GI foods are wholegrains, natural unprocessed foods. Processing foods makes them quicker for our bodies to digest. Imagine that the processing done in the factory is actually part of the job that our stomachs should be doing instead!

Carbs and the Scarsdale Diet

What's this got to do with the Scarsdale Diet? Well, eating high GI carbs is probably a big factor in how you got to be in the position where you're considering the Scarsdale Diet, but if you don't understand why they're bad you're not going to change your eating habits. The Scarsdale Diet does include small amounts of carbohydrates but they're low GI foods. You may think "yuk, I don't like protein bread", one of the best things you could do is learn to like it (or another kind of wholemeal bread).

If you can remove the peaks and troughs in your blood sugar level you're almost guaranteed to lose weight effortlessly.