Avoid This Popular Diet Snack Like the Plague!
I was sitting here today thinking to myself, what’s the very worst food you can eat if you’re trying to lose weight, burn fat, tone up, etc?
One food that is often eaten by dieters, but ironically works against them in losing weight is rice cakes. Yes rice cakes! You are probably eating one right now thinking that you are burning fat and toning right up! Yes, rice cakes are relatively low in calories, but the real downside is that they spike blood sugar and insulin levels.
This is not what you want if you are looking to lose weight, burn fat, or tone up! If you are on a weight loss diet, fat loss diet, etc, your main goal should be to slow the digestion and release of carbohydrate into the blood and to try and controlling blood sugar. This is a critical element of any nutrition program.
Amazingly, rice cakes increase blood sugar levels by 50 percent more than eating an equal amount of table sugar!
Rice cakes and other foods that result in rapid digestion and release of sugar into the blood promote overeating, obesity, insulin resistance, and other metabolic disturbances contributing to disease. Have you noticed that with every rice cake you eat, you may feel hungrier and hungrier by the bite?
The glycemic index is a measure of how a given food affects blood-glucose levels, with each food being assigned a numbered rating. The lower the rating, the slower the absorption and digestion process, which provides a more gradual, healthier infusion of sugars into the bloodstream. On the other hand, a high rating means that blood-glucose levels are increased quickly, which stimulates the pancreas to secrete insulin to drop blood-sugar levels. These rapid fluctuations of blood-sugar levels are not healthy because of the stress they place on the body.
One of sugar’s major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses the immune system and shuts down the fat burning hormones. This is not something you want to take place if your goals are to become healthy, lose fat, and tone up.
An influx of sugar into the bloodstream upsets the body’s blood-sugar balance, triggering the release of insulin, which the body uses to keep blood-sugar at a constant and safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets high in sugar, or rice cakes for instance, you’re making way for rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease and increased weight gain.
Complex carbohydrates tend to be absorbed more slowly, lessening the impact on blood-sugar levels. An example of a complex carbohydrate with a slow digestion process is plain oatmeal. In contrast, keeping blood sugar in check is associated with improved weight and fat loss, decreased appetite, and reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer.
TIP: Only consume rice cakes post workout when your body is primed to absorb and use the sugar for growth and recovery.