Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load

Thanks to the low-carb craze and the rise in adult-onset diabetes, “glycemic index” is swiftly becoming a household phrase. The glycemic index of a food is the measurement of the effects of the carbohydrates in the food on blood glucose levels. But do you really know what it means?

Supposedly, foods that score high on the glycemic index should be avoided because they promote higher insulin levels. Increased insulin in the bloodstream, of course, makes your body stop burning fat as a fuel and store excess food-energy (calories) as fat. Common theory supposes that a low glycemic index makes a food good for you, and a high glycemic index makes a food unhealthy.

This causes many people to avoid eating fruits & many of the sweeter/starchier vegetables.

This is a mistake.

While it is true that increased insulin levels essentially make you fat and increase your risk of developing diabetes, the thing that promotes higher insulin levels is a high glycemic load, not a high glycemic index.

The glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by the amount of carbs in a 10 gram portion of the food.

So, for example, take the following refined foods as an example:

Shredded Wheat Cereal

Glycemic Index: 69     Glycemic Load: 57.0

Bagel

Glycemic Index: 72     Glycemic Load: 38.4

Cornflakes

Glycemic Index: 84     Glycemic Load: 72.7

Now, compare that to the following relatively high glycemic index vegetables and fruits:

Beets, boiled

Glycemic Index: 64     Glycemic Load: 6.3

Bananas

Glycemic Index: 53     Glycemic Load: 12.1

Sweet Potatoes

Glycemic Index: 54     Glycemic Load: 13.1

Carrots

Glycemic Index: 71   Glycemic Load: 7.2

As you can see, the glycemic load in these fruits and vegetables is considerably lower than the glycemic load of refined grains, even refined whole grains.

Truly, it’s not hard to see that the processed cereal grains are the real culprit when it comes to weight gain and blood sugar disorders.

My point?

Eat your fruits and vegetables! All of them! Any kind you like! And do it without guilt.

If you’re really trying to lose weight, you may want to lay off the starchier tubers and root vegetables to speed up the process. But from a strict maintenance or health point of view, you should embrace all the vegetables and fruits you feel like eating.

I recently got a review copy of The Garden of Eating in the mail (a Weston A Price / Primal Diet / Hunter-Gatherer Diet inspired cookbook perfect for those going grain and/or dairy free). I’m completely in love with this book. I probably like it even more than Nourishing Traditions. (I’m going to try out a few recipes over the next couple of weeks and post them here for you, along with a review of the cookbook.)

Anyhow, I agree with Rachel and Don Matesz (the authors) when they write, “It would be a major challenge to overeat vegetables and fruits. The average woman who needs at least 1500 calories per day would likely find it very difficult to eat 15 large potatoes or bananas. In general, vegetables and fruits fill you up long before you can eat enough to fill you out.” (page 35)

So, eat your fruits and vegetables. And don’t feel guilty about saying YES to sweet potatoes! (You might want to try out this recipe for Savory Sweet Potato Fries w/Chipotle & Cilantro Mayo, or these Mouthwatering Sweet Potato Latkes.)

(photo by protoflux)

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I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
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28 Responses to Glycemic Index vs. Glycemic Load
  1. Elisabeth
    June 1, 2009 | 5:20 pm

    Hi – just to let you know I joined a second website flying the ‘I am a Food Renegade’ fork-waving flag that I so love. Hope that is OK.
    http://www.changents.com/change-agents

    My favourite book on this subject is Reader’s Digest ‘Magic Foods – for better blood sugar’. My UK edition rates sweet potatoes as a magic food with a medium Glycaemic Load, saying blood sugar rises 30% less with a baked sweet potato that a baked white potato.

    Elisabeth

  2. KristenM
    June 1, 2009 | 7:33 pm

    Elisabeth — No, of course I don’t mind! Thanks. :)

  3. Christina
    June 1, 2009 | 9:12 pm

    OK, I have a question. We can eat ALL fruits and veggies EXCEPT corn because it’s GM, right? Or is there non-GM corn out there somewhere? I love corn and really wish there was a way to implement it back into our family meals, but am trying to avoid GMOs a little better so we’ve been avoiding it.

  4. KristenM
    June 1, 2009 | 9:17 pm

    Christina –

    Corn isn’t a vegetable. It’s a grain. We should avoid it unless it’s organic (only way to guarantee non-gmo corn) and nixtamilized (soaked in lime — the mineral, not the fruit). Even then, we should eat it sparingly b/c it’s a grain and our bodies aren’t very good at digesting it.

  5. Christina
    June 1, 2009 | 9:24 pm

    I had forgotten that it was a grain. Thanks for the info.! Love the site!

  6. Ed Bruske
    June 1, 2009 | 10:09 pm

    Screw glycemic index and glycemic load. The only thing you need to know is how many carbs is in that stuff. Bananas are a ton of carbs. I wouldn’t touch them. If you are restricting carbs, the only thing you need to know is the carbohydrate value, which takes all starchy vegetables and grains off the menu. Most root vegetables and anything sweet are also to be weighed very carefully. Turnips and rutabagas are marginally okay.

    Ed Bruske

  7. Kelsey Byron
    June 1, 2009 | 10:17 pm

    Kristen, I hadn’t realized (organic) corn was something we should eat sparingly. It is sooo good! I agree our bodies aren’t good at digesting it. I change diapers and ahem, look in the toilet, but what is the harm to us?

  8. KristenM
    June 1, 2009 | 10:31 pm

    Ed — I’d agree if someone is trying to loose weight that going low-carb and nixing sweet fruits and starchy veggies is important. I even said that in the post. But when you’re talking about maintenance and overall health, there’s nothing wrong with eating fruits and vegetables — of any stripe. My point in this post is to defend fruits and vegetables from over-zealous anti-carbers who have turned them into demon foods to be avoided at all costs. The real culprit that wreaks long-term havoc on our hormones, weight, etc. are sugars and grains. I’d much rather give those up than give up nourishing & tasty fruits and vegetables.

    Kelsey — Ah. Corn being hard to digest has implications beyond what we immediately experience. Besides the fact that it’s a grain (and therefore plays all kinds of bad games with our insulin levels, ultimately leading to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease), corn can have long-term effects on the digestive tract, adversely affecting our ability to absorb nutrients (particularly some essential vitamins and minerals) from our food. For more about reasons we need to ONLY eat nixtamalized corn (IF we eat corn), read this:

    http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/03/wisdom-from-the-past-nixtamalization-of-corn.html

  9. Danna Seevers
    June 1, 2009 | 10:54 pm

    OK….so I’ve been a WAPFer for 8 years and have bought into just about everythign until about a year ago. I stumbled onto “The Rosedale Diet” and he is adamantly opposed to the consumption of dairy. His reasoning caused me to pause and reconsider (the amounts of) my dairy consumption. After reading the “about” section on the “The Garden of Eating” cookbook, it appears its author feels the same way. Dairy seems to me be the one controversial item between the WAPF way of eating and the primal diet/hunter gatherer way of eating. How does one sort this out?? How far back do we look into human history to determine which is best??….because clearly, cultures were consuming dairy long before farming came about. I get it about the equator…..but man didn’t stay there, he migrated all over the world, including into colder climates that precluded him from consuming fruits and vegetables in the winter. I’m truly torn about this for myself and my family. I’ve been a raw milk activist for years…..how can I turn back now?? I’m curious to know where do you stand on this issue?

    Danna Seevers

  10. KristenM
    June 1, 2009 | 11:19 pm

    Danna –

    I think the best milk is raw milk, and it’s even better if you can culture it in some way (yogurt, kefir, sour cream, cheese, etc.).

    That said, I think the answer about whether or not *you* should drink raw milk has to do with your ancestry. I agree with you that the evidence points to dairy animals being kept long before the advent of agriculture. That said, dairy is still relatively new to the human diet, particularly in certain people groups. Technically, it’s not “hunter-gatherer,” although you could argue it’s a more deliberate form of “gathering” that developed as people saw the benefit of following herds of ruminants. So, trace your ancestry back. Were they herdsmen? If so, you’re probably better adapted at making use of raw/cultured dairy.

    I personally drink raw milk and use it to make cultured dairy products. In fact, I’m going to pick up 4 gallons of the stuff tomorrow! Dairy doesn’t cause me any noticeable digestive/mental problems. But I also know that one day that could change, that I might start showing signs of an intolerance. If that happens, I wouldn’t be surprised given what I now know about milk.

  11. Christina
    June 1, 2009 | 11:51 pm

    I’m all for consuming as many fruits and veggies as one desires, unless one is struggling with yeast problems. Then, I believe fruit/starches should be limited to help get the yeast under control (among other things).

    Bunny trail alert!: One issue I’ve been struggling with over the years is the debate over animal products. I am fully convinced that pasteurized dairy and conventionally-raised animal products are awful. On the other hand, I am fairly convinced that raw dairy, pasteured and cage-free animals/eggs are a very good thing; however, I would LOVE to see a long-term case study showing that the problems we typically see in diets heavy in animal foods completely disappear when those animals are raised in a free-range/cage-free/unpasteurized manner. Are there any long-term case studies — similar to what the China Study is for veagans — that PROVE that there are basically NONE of the typical problems we find with conventional animal products in diets moderate in naturally-raised animal foods? The reason I ask is I keep running into real-food lovers who insist that any kind of animal product is bad. Even our nutritionist/naturopathic doctor insists that we need to have very little to do with meat or animal-based supplements, etc, — although she’s okay with food made by animals (eggs, honey, etc.). (I have a feeling I’m about to get a book recommendation here…. :)

  12. Joey
    June 2, 2009 | 1:24 am

    As someone who was diagnosed with diabetes almost three years ago, I’ll chime in with a few comments:

    First, when I saw your definition of GL, it didn’t quite jibe with what I’d read before on David Mendosa’s site at http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm. If you go to the University of Sydney’s GlycemicIndex.com site, which bills itself as the “Home of the Glycemic Index”, the FAQ seems to define GL not in terms of 10gm portions, but in terms of actual or typical portions. For example, to figure the GL of apples, you’d first ask, “Okay, what’s a serving? Realistically, how much of this would a person eat at a meal?” If it’s a single apple, you calculate the GL based on the available carbs in that serving size. In other words, there is no standard GL score for a given type of food. GL tables will state the serving size that was used to calculate the given GL value. I’ve seen lots of definitions of GL on the web, but the University of Sydney seems to be at the forefront of that research, so I tend to use their definition.

    Ed is right that the total glycemic impact of a given food has little to do with its GI. It’s the available amount of carbs that ultimately matters; all of it will eventually hit the blood stream as sugar. However, foods that are high in fiber, protein, or fat will release their carbs more slowly. Such foods will produce lower peaks of blood sugar, and blood sugar will return to baseline levels more quickly. So from the viewpoint of managing overall glucose and insulin levels, GL can matter very much, especially if one chooses to eat foods that are fairly sweet or starchy.

    A weakness of GI and GL numbers is that they are only estimates. Your mileage will indeed vary. Calculated GI values will vary from person to person, so the numbers you see listed in tables are averages. They can even vary somewhat from meal to meal; the same person eating the same food won’t necessarily respond to a food in quite the same way the next time they eat it. Diabetics can respond differently (more poorly, of course) than non-diabetics to the same food. Indeed, tables of GI/GL values will sometimes indicate whether or not the subjects eating the tested foods were diabetic, because it matters to those diabetics who use the tables as a guide to their food choices.

    I still consider GI/GL numbers to be useful, but I always keep the limitations of the numbers in mind. Low GL foods, I eat frequently, high GL foods, sparingly. Ultimately, I trust my glucose meter. Any veggie or fruit that keeps my blood sugar at or under 100mg/dl – a small sweet potato, for example – I consider perfectly permissible. Foods that red-line my blood sugar, pushing it toward 140 mg/dl – half a cup of fried plantains does that for me – I eat only occasionally(and only in the context of a meal that includes lots of other low-GI/GL foods. It’s a highly individual matter for diabetics; our metabolisms often seem to be broken in different places, depending on the person. So my meter has the final say, but I’ve found the GL tables to be a decent starting point.

    For those who aren’t diabetic or insulin resistant, I think it’s still prudent to make non-starchy veggies the bulk of one’s plant intake, but moderate intake of starches and fruits is probably okay. As you’ve noted, grains should be consumed in more modest portions and only after careful preparation. Taking those measures, most healthy individuals probably don’t need to worry much about GL or GI. Eating real food, reasonably close to its natural state, takes care of that for you.

    Being diabetic, I do go a step further, limiting my intake of starches and the sweeter fruits to two or three servings a week. My blood sugars are now quite normal without medications.

    Thanks so much for your site! I check it every day.

  13. Sara
    June 2, 2009 | 3:00 am

    Hi: Lots of questons: What about regular potatoes, like Yukon golds and reds? I was boiling and baking my potatoes minimally, i.e., “al dente” and not mushy. I looked up GL charts on the Net for potatoes, and they’re high, which has me questioning whether I should eat them at all. I’m wondering if fiber factors into the high GL for potatoes, and if the high rating is for “mushy” potatoes, and if that rating would change if they measured an “al dente” potato or a raw one. So, do you include “regular” potatoes in the “eat all of your fruits and vegetables,” al dente or mushy? I am brand new to the lower-carb, low-GL way of eating and was going to eliminate starchy vegetables and bananas, which I will not do after reading this article. Awaiting your verdict on potatoes. Thank you. P.S. Great site.

  14. Diane
    June 2, 2009 | 3:04 am

    Hi Kristen, I just discovered your site! I have had a read of a few of the posts and really like what I see. I have the Nourishing Traditions book, but I have to admit – it’s a lot easier to intend to make changes in your life than to actually do it! I try to buy organic wherever possible in the hope that this is a good step to begin with.

    Thanks for your work!

    Diane

  15. Local Nourishment
    June 2, 2009 | 6:58 am

    Yes, Christina, you are going to get a book recommendation, just slightly different from what you are asking and Danna’s concerns. It’s called “Devil in the Milk” by KB Woodford. The book can be a little hard to find, (ask at your WAPF chapter) and might be a little technical in places, but it has some really fascinating info about milk you won’t hear elsewhere. (BTW, despite the title, it isn’t anti-dairy.)

    I think it’s important to remember that the cultures consuming milk traditionally have done so for centuries and those abstaining also do so from a historical precedent. In other words, some bodies handle dairy better than others, and knowing your own makeup and paying attention to the way the food makes your body function has to be more important than philosophical rhetoric.

    Local Nourishment

  16. Vin | NaturalBias.com
    June 2, 2009 | 9:49 am

    Great info! Regardless of how high or low the glycemic index is, if you eat too much of a high carbohydrate food, it’s likely to cause problems. As mentioned, this is practically impossible to do with vegetables, although it is possible with fruit. In fact, Dr. Mercola claims that he gave himself diabetes years ago by following a high fruit diet.

    Although glycemic index and glycemic load are useful resources, if you stick to natural whole foods in reasonable proportions, you don’t really need to worry about them.

    Vin | NaturalBias.com

  17. Raine Saunders
    June 2, 2009 | 10:36 am

    I agree that any fruit or vegetable should be eaten as often as possible – it just makes sense, it’s natural, and you never see anyone getting sick because they ate too many vegetables (too much fruit COULD cause gastrointestinal distress, but you’d have to eat a lot and be pretty unhealthy…but that describes many people living in developed societies…). I do know that when you aren’t healthy and have candida, dysbiosis, or weight issues there are certain things to avoid like starchy vegetables and too much fruit until you get those problems under control. When I was diagnosed with candida two years ago, I avoided all of those things for months, and then gradually added them back into my diet. Unfortunately, there are so many people who do fit into that category, that they need to go on an extreme diet for awhile and megadose on superfoods and whole food supplements to get their body back into balance – and the sad thing is, most people in that condition will never do what they need or even understand why. But it’s true, the buzz words of the day become marketing gimmicks that convince consumer to suddenly and capriciously change their buying habits in order to increase sales for corporations – and that’s all it is. Companies sell bad health advice for profit, and people swallow it!

    Danna – I think the whole milk question is an important one, and several years ago I inadvertently started following the eat right for your blood type diet several years ago. I’m a type O, and someone gave me the Eat Right 4 Your Bloodtype book. I read it, dismissed it ,and gave it back. Then, when I became really sick and started eating differently, I realized that the way I was eating that made me feel my best was exactly how I was recommended to eat in the book. Type Os are supposed to avoid grains and eat plenty of meat, poultry, fish, game, and vegetables. This works for me! It says type A is the only type that can consume dairy, and I really wonder if that is a testament to the processed, chemical-laden dairy products that are so pervasive in our culture. As raw dairy is much more uncommon and most people don’t consume it, I believe the jury on dairy is a bit biased when you hear that people have allergies to it – but most of what they consume is pasteurized, hormone and pus-filled milk from cows eating genetically-modified grains, corn, and soy. It would be interesting to see what would happen if EVERYONE consumed raw dairy and no more of the garbage found on the shelves was permitted for sale (I know, I’m living in a dream world!). I have a feeling the results would be quite different, though.

    This whole conversation reminds me of how nutty people are about counting calories and fat grams…but never do they once consider if the food is a whole food or if it is healthy to consume in the first place.

    Raine Saunders

  18. KristenM
    June 2, 2009 | 11:00 am

    Joey — Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I’m aware that definitions of GL vary. The one I use was the one used to provide the GI/GL amounts of the particular foods I gave in the post. I like how you experiment based on your personal experience — so important! You are clearly an informed diabetic working hard to manage your disease through diet and lifestyle changes. Unfortunately, those of us who aren’t diabetic don’t have the equipment to regularly monitor our blood sugar levels. Learning a bit about GL can help us make decent, if generalized decisions that may help prevent us from developing the disease.

    Sara — First, please, please, please COOK your potatoes! They’re actually poisonous to us if we eat them raw. And NEVER ever eat a potato that’s sprouted or green. Second, regular potatoes are considerably higher both in GI and GL than sweet potatoes. If prepared properly (and consumed with the skin), they’re edible. But if you are considering a low-carb diet, they are the third on my list of things to eliminate behind sugars and grains. If you are trying to lose weight, or are borderline diabetic, or are trying to fix candida problems, you really SHOULD eliminate starchy vegetables if you can. If you are in great health and just wanting to stay that way, eating them in moderation is A-okay, particularly if you cook the foods in a traditional way, in classic combinations (like potatoes w/butter & sour cream). But even then, I’d try to keep consumption of white potatoes down to once a week or less.

    Diane — Welcome! I hope you stick around and keep commenting. I like conversation!

    Local Nourishment & Christina — I’ve been making my way through that book recently, fascinating stuff! I would also add that although no single large study has been done like the CHINA study (which can be easily debunked), there are a few pretty neat surveys of traditional people groups eating traditional diets. Have you read Nutrition & Physical Degeneration by Weston A Price? In it, he surveys people groups from around the globe, looking at their diets & their overall health.

    People tend to fall into three camps: hunter gatherers, herdsmen, and agriculturalists. All groups were considerably better off than industrialized peoples with limited tooth decay (if any) and virtually no chronic diseases. But among the three groups, he did notice increases in tooth decay & diseases when compared with each other. The hunter gatherers fared best, followed by the herdsmen, and then followed by the agriculturalists (who all properly prepared their grains!). The hunter gatherers basically had NO ill health at all. No tooth decay. No chronic disease. The herdsmen experienced a minor rise in tooth decay (still at 1-4% of the population, compared to our 96%). The agriculturalists were the first to show signs of vitamin deficiencies and chronic diseases, and their tooth decay rates were at 5-9%. Again, it’s considerably lower than the industrialized world, but noticeably more than the hunter-gatherers who were statistically at zero.

    Vin — I think Mercola’s high fruit diet included a lot of juicing, which is something I can’t support for just that reason. We really shouldn’t drink fruit juices. Way too much fructose without all it’s supporting fiber. If you actually ate whole fruit, you’d get way too full before you’d have the chance to binge. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t even eat a single large banana! I have to split it with someone else or cut it in half. Perhaps the only exception might be the particularly juicy fruits like citrus, but that’s just a guess.

    Raine — All good points! I really appreciate your (and everyone’s!) comments on this. When I wrote this post, I had one specific goal in mind: to show anti-carbers that fruits & vegetables aren’t evil. The truth is, not all carbs are bad. You and others have helped clarify the various times when a person may need to go extremely low-carb in order to reset their body’s balance: when they’re trying to loose weight, heal candida overgrowth, or treat diabetes. Again, I think it’s all just so clarifying for the end reader who will ultimately be making these decisions about their personal health.

  19. Christina
    June 2, 2009 | 1:04 pm

    Thanks for the book recommendations! I have the titles to both of these books now written down on my desk to try to get through Interlibrary Loan for future reading.

    On the topic of fruit juices:

    “Most fruit juices, including frozen, bottled or canned, are
    prepared from fruits that have been allowed to stand in bins, barrels and other
    containers for periods ranging from an hour to several days or weeks. Although
    juice processors discard fruits that are obviously spoiled by mold, most fruits used
    for juice contain some level of mold.” — (The Yeast Conenction, Cook)

    Mold feeds Candida which I think is one of the biggest heath problems of people — men, women, and children — on the SAD. In Cook’s book, I believe that he mentioned that citrus fruits are one of the worst offenders in the mold department…so to me, juicing citrus fruits would just multiply that problem ten-fold and potentially lead to Candida problems if done often enough.

    Speaking of yeast, are ya’ll as suspicious as I am that there is a major, major, MAJOR link between Candida overgrowth and cancer?

    And somebody fill me in as to why sprouted potatoes and green potatoes should not be consumed. I’m trying to remember. Is it because it increases the glycemic load? I ate a potato the other day. It had sprouted a little bit. I pulled the sprouts off, washed it, cooked it, put some butter and sea salt on it, and was nauseated for a good hour after eating it. I had leftovers so I ate it again the next day the same way and I was nauseated again for another hour after eating. I’ve heard not to eat them green or sprouted, but I’ve never heard WHY. Someone fill me in! :)

  20. KristenM
    June 2, 2009 | 1:53 pm

    Christina –

    I’m not sure about a connection between candida and cancer. I view it more like BOTH are symptoms of systematic imbalance, rather than like one causes the other.

    Sprouted and green potatoes are higher in a glykoalkaloid poison called solanine which is present in all nightshades. The poison is a nerve agent that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, and even paralysis of the central nervous system. This poison is present in all nightshades in small amounts and usually not considered dangerous unless you have other health concerns (like arthritis), but sprouted and green potatoes are abnormally high in it and can actually make you genuinely sick.

  21. Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS
    June 2, 2009 | 4:05 pm

    Hi, Kristin – or anyone,

    This post is very timely for me, as recently someone who is borderline diabetic asked me for advice on a diet to follow that would stop the downhill-toward-diabetes-spiral.

    Is there any source/book you would recommend for such a person? “Avoid starchy vegetables” has been mentioned but I’m looking for something comprehensive that covers all the bases. I am thinking of something along the lines of the Schwarzbein Principle where someone goes into detail for a complete beginner. (What do you think of her plan, by the way?)

    Thanks if you can offer help!

    By the way, I totally agree with the main point of your post! Eat fruits and veggies, by all means! If you’ve got a health issue, you might want to avoid (some of) them. Otherwise, enjoy~

    Wardeh @ GNOWFGLINS

  22. Joey
    June 2, 2009 | 10:08 pm

    Wardeh – try the Blood Sugar 101 site:

    http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

    There is a recently released book of the same material:

    http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/20585442.php

    And an accompanying blog:

    http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/20585442.php

    Janet Ruhl, the author of these, is impressively sharp and consistently does a great job of taking the spin off of the latest media pronouncements on diet and health. Where ever else your friend goes to deepen her knowledge, she can’t go wrong by starting with Blood Sugar 101. Ruhl also has many book recommendations for further reading.

    I’ve recently been reading The Protein Power Lifeplan by Michael and Mary Dan Eades, which I can highly recommend. It’s somewhat dated (it came out in 1996), but was also way ahead of its time. Excellent material on restoring proper insulin function through diet.

    Oh, and the move Fat Head is a must-see. It’s thoroughly enjoyable and very instructive about the true role of fats and carbs in the diet and about the importance of taking responsibility for one’s own health.

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/

  23. Zeke
    June 3, 2009 | 12:22 am

    What do you think about greens? IMNSHO they are the most important vegetable of all that the vast majority of the vegetables we eat,whether low carbing or not, should be greens. They have almost no carbs, are loaded with minerals, chlorophyll, and phytonutrients.

    Go greens.

    Zeke

  24. Christina
    June 3, 2009 | 3:17 am

    Zeke, I heart greens too! I think they’re amazing. I’ve been putting quite a bit of greens in the blender with a frozen banana or two and whirling it up with some water and a little honey. The kids think it’s a special treat! They don’t know they’re eating “liquid salad”! Ha!

    OK, I have a question (yet again) for all of you amazing natural health lovers. This evening, my son cut his knee on a nail that was sticking out of a neighbor’s fence. It left a cut that was 5/8ths of an inch wide. It is showing the subcutaneous (fatty tissue) layer underneath.

    I called a pediatric nurse and they were, of course, saying “Take him to an E.R., get him a tetanus shot, probably some antibiotics, and maybe some glue or sutures.”

    I am very concerned about getting him that tetanus shot, but tetanus is a serious disease and this is a deep wound. He had the four rounds of tetanus vaccine when he was a baby through age 14 months or so; however, they recommend a booster every 5 years. He’s now 8 1/2 years old, and we don’t vaccinate. We stopped vaccinating all of our children when he was about 3.

    I was looking up some things online about colloidal silver. As most of you probably know, it’s a natural antibiotic that kills something like 650 pathogens. Some random sites I’ve ran across say that in rabbits it killed off up to ten times the lethal dose of tetanus. I don’t know what that translates to in humans though.

    Soooooo, we decided to put the silver on the wound topically and are giving the silver to him orally every few hours. We closed the wound with a butterfly bandage and it has closed nicely. Because it’s on his knee, we made a splint to keep his knee from bending so that it will not pop off the butterfly.

    If this were your child, would you get him that tetanus booster? I am very concerned about the ingredients in the vaccine, but yet, I don’t want to be so “anti-vaccine” that I miss a genuinely important time to use one, if there is such a time. I can always detox him later on with some chlorella or spirulina, if I have to.

    Let me know what you think. If I need to, I can take him in tomorrow morning to get that tetanus booster and possible antibiotic. I’ll check responses in the morning. Have a good night!

  25. KristenM
    June 3, 2009 | 9:02 am

    Christina — Neither of my kids is vaccinated, either. That said, I am scheduling them to go get their DPT vaccines next week. Of all the diseases our culture vaccinates for, Diptheria and Tetanus are the worst for young children. Measles & Mumps can be very mild in children, and modern treatments make even bad childhood cases not-so-serious. The same applies for many other childhood diseases. But diptheria and tetanus strike me as different and far more dangerous, even with modern treatment methods. Plus, my kids are the rough and tumble, barefoot, outdoors 10 hours a day kind of kids — which translates into them being at a much greater risk for contracting tetanus.

    It’s a lot to weigh isn’t it? If my infant got that cut, I’d probably not vaccinate them for tetanus, but treat it just like you did. But the risks associated with vaccines go down dramatically the older your child is. For an 8 year old, the risks associated with ONE tetanus booster after nearly 7 years of receiving no vaccines are almost nil. In other words, to my mind, the risk of tetanus outweighs the risk of the vaccine, and I would get the booster.

    Please know that this is simply my opinion, and not medical advice! (I’m sure you know that.) I’m just telling you what I’d do for my family.

    Zeke — We eat greens in abundance whenever they’re in season. And even out of season, I still eat frozen greens. I LOVE GREENS.

  26. Christina
    June 3, 2009 | 12:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing what you’d do with your own child, Kristen! I really appreciate that. I was needing to bounce the situation off of someone I’m more like-minded with in the area of medicine/health, etc. He managed to bust the butterfly bandage off this morning and re-open the wound so we took him to the urgent care and they gave him 3 stitches. They said that giving him a tetanus booster wouldn’t really help him after an injury. I thought that I had read somewhere — maybe Mercola’s site — that one could get a tetanus shot within 24 hours of a laceration so I will have to re-study this issue. In the meantime, I am loading him up with frequent doses of silver to help fight off any potential tetanus. I don’t know for sure that it does indeed work against tetanus, but it’s the best I can do at this point. I’ll have to look at getting the DTAP again too. It’s been a while since I’ve seriously studied vaccines.

  27. Nicole from : For the Love of Food
    June 5, 2009 | 7:14 am

    Wow, that’s really good to know. I would never stop eating fruits and vegetables anyways..that would be insane, but it’s good to know the difference in the glycemic load and index. Last summer I followed a diet with my general practitioner to help get me down to a healthy weight and it was what many would consider “low carb”, but quite different or sane in my opinion. I was to avoid foods that would activate my insulin levels for breakfast and dinner, but eat a normal, robust, and high carb meal for lunch to keep up my energy. And, I do have to agree that it is very very difficult to eat enough carbs to fill you out when you eat a healthy diet anyways.

    Nicole from : For the Love of Food

  28. myllysia
    October 10, 2013 | 7:25 am

    I leave this article more confused than ever. Vegatables and Fruits are good for you and better than processed and sugary convenience foods.I still would really like a if you have diabetes or high blood sugar issue you need to eat this and not that list. Know everyone is different with other factors playing into our overall health,but really it’s all so confusing.I am going to consult a dietician and do some research.

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Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
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