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The Glycemic Index and Why People Talk About It

all about the glycemic index

The glycemic index is a word we have all seen thrown around when discussing low-carb diets. We have all been down the rabbit hole researching what foods have low GI and high GI. This is a standard that we have been told but what is GI?

How Do You Get the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index was a concept developed by Dr. David J. Jenkins in the early 80’s which was meant to be used as a guideline for food choices for people with diabetes. The concept is used to measure how quickly a type of food causes blood sugar levels to rise. GI ranks food on a scale of 0 to 100 based on 50 grams of carbohydrates minus the fiber when measuring the effect on patient’s blood glucose levels over the next two hours.

Low GI: 1 to 55

Medium GI: 56 – 69

High GI: 70 and higher

What’s the Controversy?

The glycemic index doesn’t consider that people won’t eat 50 grams per serving of certain foods. For example, watermelon has a GI of 72, but you need to eat 50 g which is way more than one serving. This brings up another term Glycemic Load which takes into consideration the number of carbohydrates in a regular serving size. Where GI doesn’t tell you anything about the nutritional information about the food, GL explains the effect of a certain type of food but adds in the serving size.

Glycemic Load = (available carbohydrates (g) * Glycemic Index) / 100

The GL for watermelon is 4 – not bad. The GL is supposed to supplement the GI with more accurate information by including the actual serving sizes and how that specific serving will affect your blood sugar.

Why Does it Matter?

Of course, this isn’t the ONLY thing you should be looking at when switching to a low-carb diet. Calories are important too (concentrating on the quality of calories you’re intaking). The takeaway is that GI does provide an indicator as to how sugar can affect your day to day life, but referencing GL makes us more conscious of what we put into our body based on your personal eating habits. Regardless of whether you’re diabetic or not, glycemic index and glycemic load assists in understanding how foods will affect blood sugar.

Higher intake of low GI foods have shown to improve insulin resistance and glucose levels for people with type 2 diabetes.

Take Away

As more sugar and carbohydrate-filled foods take over our grocery, we must be diligent in our awareness of what we’re putting down on our dinner plate. It’s true; we don’t need to know exactly the GI every food we consume, but GI acts a tool that can be used to reduce your sugar intake. Usually, low GI foods already include foods that should be part of a daily diet with nutritionals that can fit any lifestyle you’re adopting.

Low GI Foods

FoodGI
Cauliflower 15
Strawberry 40
Broccoli 10
Plums 24

High GI Foods

FoodGI
Pretzels 83
Rice Cakes 87
Scones 92
Cornflakes 80

As always, make sure to talk to your doctor when you’re making any dietary changes.

References:

Glycemic index diet: What’s behind the claims. The Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/glycemic-index-diet/art-20048478. August 1, 2017

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Nutrition Care Manual. Glycemic index. https://www.nutritioncaremanual.org/topic.cfm?ncm_toc_id=272751. Accessed  January 16, 2018.

Eleazu, C. O. (2016). The concept of low glycemic index and glycemic load foods as panacea for type 2 diabetes mellitus; prospects, challenges and solutions. African Health Sciences, 16(2), 468–479. http://doi.org/10.4314/ahs.v16i2.15

What About Glycemic Load?. Glycemic Index Foundation. https://www.gisymbol.com/what-about-glycemic-load/

High, Medium and Low GI Foods. The GI Diet Guide. http://www.the-gi-diet.org/lowgifoods/

Glycemic Index and Diabetes. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html. May 14, 2014

Glycemic index of foods: a physiological basis for carbohydrate exchange. Jenkins DJ, Wolever TM, Taylor RH, et al.  https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/34/3/362/4692881?redirectedFrom=fulltext. March 1981.

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SOLA®’s Beloved Low-Carb Bread Goes National with Amazon Launch

solas beloved low carb bread goes national with amazon launch

HOUSTON, TX September 20, 2018 – The Sola Company, maker of the better-for-you foods product line that specializes in healthy alternatives, announced today their Sola low-carb bread line is going national with an Amazon launch of all 3 available flavors.

“Excited to bring Sola bread to market! Finally, and long overdue is a bread that is low in net carbs and tastes awesome,” said Mike Servie, President of the Sola company. “We have tested other breads perceived as healthy, but actually cause huge glucose and insulin spikes. All Sola products are 3rd party tested for great taste, low net carbs and low or no glucose and insulin release.”

Sugar has permeated many food products in the grocery store. Evidence has continued to come out linking added sugar and carbohydrates to chronic conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes[1]. Organizations like the American Cancer Society recognized the importance of addressing this dilemma by taking efforts to educate patients about diet choices that minimize intake of harmful ingredients like added sugar, without eliminating taste[2]. The Sola company has been at the forefront in promoting customer awareness of the sugars added to different products.

Sola low-carb bread contains 4 grams or less net carbs, and 30% less sugar than regular bread. Made with diabetics in mind, Sola bread causes minimal glycemic response without losing the moist, flavorful taste of bread that we know and love.

The Sola company Has been pioneering conscious eating since it’s inception in 2012. With a product line that provides better-for-you alternatives compared to the sugar and carbohydrate-load foods, Sola has carved the way to easier healthier living. Sola bread will now be available to a national audience following their other low-carb products such as Sola nut bars, granola, and sweetener.

Building on the momentum, Sola has also released a variety pack that includes all their low-carb products with two different flavors loaves of Sola bread, three Sola nuts bars and one pouch of Sola granola.

For The Sola Company’s latest news be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About The Sola Company, LLC:

The Sola Company is a privately held company headquartered in Houston, Texas. Motivated by a personal journey to lose weight, improve wellness, yet continue to eat the delicious meals he loves, Dr. Bosarge, a leader in regenerative medical research, co-founded The Sola Company with Chef Ryan Turner, a culinary expert in low-carbohydrate diets, in 2012.

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[1] 1. Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, et al. Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(4):516–524.

[2] Cut Calories and Fat, Not Flavor. American Cancer Society. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/eat-healthy-get-active/take-control-your-weight/cut-calories-and-fat-not-flavor.html. Accessed February 6, 2018.

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What SOLA® Ice Cream Flavor Are You?

sola ice cream quiz

We have always wondered what SOLA ice cream flavor we were… therefore, we created a quiz! We love our low-carb ice cream with 60% less sugar than your average ice cream and 6 or less net carbs. With a low glycemic spike, it’s perfect for those on a low-carb or keto lifestyle.

Are you the rebel Sola Mint Chocolate Chip or maybe more of a quiet type like the Sola French Vanilla Bean? Take the quiz to find out!

Where can you find Sola ice cream: http://bit.ly/Sola-Store

Or order our other Sola products: http://bit.ly/Sola-Products

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Making the Change to SOLA® Low-Carb Bread

sugar free jelly

The bread aisle can be one of the most challenging areas of the grocery store to avoid sugar-dense, carbohydrate-laden foods. At Sola, we think bread should be low-carb, packed with fiber and protein, and still taste as delicious as ever. Whether you’re looking for a lifestyle change because of personal or medical concerns, our low carbohydrate bread will satisfy all of your carb-cravings without sacrificing taste.

Our fluffy, moist and flavor-packed low-carb bread is diabetic friendly with only 4 or less net carbs, 5 grams or more of protein, and 5 grams or more of fiber! Sola low-carb bread provides the nutrients your body needs while avoiding a glycemic spike from occurring.

After some comparative testing, we’ve found that major leading breads have a glucose increase of 156% – 244%1 greater than Sola bread. It’s known that high-glycemic foods increase blood glucose, insulin, and fat storage. Meanwhile, low-glycemic foods tend to decrease the formerly stated symptoms2. At Sola, we want to make sure that we are using ingredients that help you along the way to cutting out the excess sugars hiding in the food aisles.

Another reason to change to Sola bread is our commitment to taste! We’ve created bread that looks, feels, and tastes exactly like bread without the bad stuff. Whether you want White Wheat, Sweet Oat, or Deliciously Seeded, our bread is here to provide a keto-friendly, low-sugar, healthy alternative bread. No matter your usage for Sola bread, it won’t let you down with its savory taste.

We didn’t want to keep our bread confined to only several locations… so we put up our bread on Amazon! Yes, you read that right, you can now order 2-pack and 3-pack of your favorite Sola bread and get it delivered right to your doorstep. Our mission at Sola is to provide healthy substitutions for everyday staples, while getting rid of all the bad processed carbohydrates and refined added sugars.

We also have our Sola Nut Bars, Sola Granola, and Sola Sweeteners available to purchase through Amazon. No matter where you are, you can indulge in your favorite Sola snacks.

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How Much Sugar Do You Consume?

sugar sugar
The average person consumes 19.5 teaspoons of sugar every day. That’s about 66 pounds of added sugar every year for every American. It’s easy to put away too much sugar. A cup of low-fat yogurt can contain almost 12 teaspoons of sugar. Just one generous helping of barbeque sauce can give you more than 3 teaspoons of sugar. A serving of granola may have more than 6 teaspoons of sugar. A large flavored coffee from popular chains may be loaded with up to 25 teaspoons of sugar. A cup of baked beans may contain 5 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that: Men should have no more than 9 teaspoons of added sugar a day Women should have no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

How Can You Get Control Over Your Sugar Consumption?
Start by putting it into perspective. When you read a label on a food product in the grocery store, it will measure sugar in grams. A teaspoon of sugar contains 4 grams. If a label says a product has 20 grams of sugar, it contains 5 teaspoons of sugar. Other ingredients, such as rice syrup, are also sugars. Eat too much sugar and you increase your risk for being overweight. That increases your risk for diabetes. Sugar is also linked to increased risk for high blood pressure, fatty liver disease, and chronic inflammation of your arteries. These conditions make you more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

How To Cut Back on Sugar
Here is a new option with SOLA products Switch to SOLA granola, yogurts, snack bars, bread, and more. Our products are made from sweeteners found in nature and do not cause glucose spikes or large spikes in insulin release. SOLA sweetener bakes, measures, and caramelizes just like sugar, and you can use SOLA in your own recipes and enjoy the sweet taste—without the sugar. To help your patients stay on track, SOLA has launched a line of products that people typically eat every day. These products include yogurt, granola, bread, and snack bars. SOLA also has a delicious ice cream with no added sugar!

References
  1. University of California, San Francisco. How Much is Too Much? Available at: http://sugarscience.ucsf.edu. Accessed January 29, 2018.
  2. West H. 18 Foods and drinks that are surprisingly high in sugar. Healthline. July 18, 2016.
  3. Ervin RB, Kit BK, Carroll MD, Ogden C.L. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). NCHS Data Brief No. 87: Consumption of added sugar among U.S. children and adolescents, 2005–2008. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/. Accessed January 29, 2018.
  4. By any other name its still sweetener. The American Heart Association. Updated April 21, 2017.
  5. Harvard Heart Letter. Abundance of fructose not good for the liver, heart. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/. Accessed February 9, 2018.
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SOLA® for the Low Carb Dieter (Is It Keto-Friendly?)

keto friendly?
SOLA was first introduced into grocery stores in February 2018 with one goal in mind: provide healthy low-carb, low-glycemic alternatives to the carb-filled shelves. We first ventured into sweetener as our Chef Ryan had created SOLA a zero carb, a zero-calorie sweetener which worked well for those in a diabetic, low-glycemic, and low-carb lifestyle. After some tinkering around, we came out with 5 additional products: bread, granola, yogurt, ice cream, and nut bars.

We were proud to be one of the few options available at a grocery store whose whole concept revolved around chef-quality low-carb products that taste just like your favorite. After a while, our community continued to grow and with it, additional communities became part of our own such as the keto community.

Therefore, one of our most asked questions tends to be: is SOLA keto-friendly? Let’s break it down, shall we?

Sola Sweet… but how?
The main four sweeteners in our bread and granola are a mixture of erythritol and allulose rounding it out with dashes of monk fruit and stevia leaf. We use this mixture to give the same taste and texture as sugar without being annoyingly sweet or leaving an aftertaste. We’re foodies at heart and wanted to make sure we were giving enjoyable replacements without any of the funky aftertaste or texture. With allulose, we are able to maintain the perfect nutty and balanced sweetness to our granola, while making sure our bread properly rises with the erythritol sweetener.

Allulose and Erythritol
You’re probably wondering where these two sweeteners originate from. Erythritol, a low-carb and low-glycemic sweetener, is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in some fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods. Erythritol stimulates the sweet taste receptors on your tongue, similar to sugar, but without the calories or carbs. Allulose is a low-calorie sweetener with the same sweet taste and texture as table sugar. Allulose is often referred to as a “rare sugar” due to its discovery in small quantities in nature. It can be found in certain fruits including jackfruit, figs, and raisins. It’s absorbed by the body but not metabolized so it is nearly calorie-free

On Allulose, the FDA’s new rules for labeling means excluding it from the total and added sugars but including it for total calories and on the ingredient statement. This means subtracting it from total carbs to calculate net carbs.

We also use less than 2% of the following ingredients: stevia, monk fruit. These two sweeteners are also low glycemic and low carb.

SOLA Bread & Granola
Our SOLA products are primarily made up of erythritol and/or allulose which after thorough research we have conclusive evidence that our SOLA products cause minimal glycemic response and suppress levels of insulin in the blood.

Both Erythritol and Allulose are sugar-free, and low on the glycemic load. Because of the zero glycemic spikes, we believe it should be subtracted from the total carbohydrates when calculating net carbohydrates.

A Note
As of June 17, 2019, , SOLA has announced the removal of maltitol from our ingredient list. In July, all of our bread was maltitol-free and in February 2020 Sola granola transitioned into a maltitol free formula. As we continue to grow we want to thank our community for bringing their concerns to our attention about this ingredient. While we do conduct studies to make sure we are not spiking anyone’s blood sugar, we understand our community’s stance on this particular ingredient. Thank you for your support!

Show Me the Math
Of course. We have our net carb calculations clearly visible on all our packaging because we want you to know what you’re putting in your body.

Our calculation for all SOLA bread and granola: Total carbohydrates – fiber – allulose – sugar alcohols (when present) = Net Carbs

The total sugar alcohols, erythritol, can be subtracted from the total carbohydrate count and allulose (included in the total carbohydrate count due to the FDA 2018 ruling) can also be deducted since it minimally affects blood sugar.

Keto Friendly… But as Always Moderation is Key.
While we wouldn’t suggest eating a whole box of nut bars, or a pint of ice cream in one sitting in general. You can rest assured that in moderation (just like everything in life) our products work perfectly with your keto meal plan.

Follow SOLA on Facebook and Twitter for all the things relevant to your healthy lifestyle!

Want to see Sola come out with a new product? You can help us by filling out our product request form.

References:
https://hcp.solasweet.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/SOLA-Clinical-Study.pdf


Last edit: 08/25/2020
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Why should you replace sugar?

all the sugar

Why should you replace sugar?
Sugar has permeated many food products and average consumers in the United States, and other countries are consuming up to 130 pounds annually.

This over consumption has led to epidemic proportions of obesity, diabetes, and has led to many other disease states.

We’ve all heard how ‘processed foods’ are bad for us but what does that mean exactly?

The ‘processing’ of foods can mean sugar has been added. From a manufacturing viewpoint, sugar has many benefits. Sugar adds flavor to foods, it is a natural preservative, it typically adds weight to a food therefore reducing the price per ounce making it more inexpensive. This makes sugar ideal from a manufacturing and profit viewpoint. Sugar is hiding in many foods we wouldn’t normally expect to see it in. This includes spaghetti sauce, ketchup, BBQ sauce and many other foods. Additionally, there are as many as 25 teaspoons of sugar in some of the most popular beverages from leading food service chains.

Sugar also comes by many names such as: sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, syrup, maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, powdered sugar. Even things like maltodextrin and dextrose can be considered sweeteners as they have a glycemic index higher than sugar. (Maltodextrin is about 155 versus sugar at 65.) Unfortunately, many low-calorie sweeteners including Splenda™ use maltodextrin as a carrier for their high intensity sweetener sucralose. The carrier is higher on the glycemic index than sugar! To be fair, the carrier is a small portion of the total weight of the product but this brings up another problem. This lack of weight or bulk is why many sweeteners like Splenda™ and Stevia in the Raw™ do not work in baking applications. They provide little structure during the baking process. To try and remedy this problem, some companies have products called ‘baking blends’ that are actually sugar with a high intensity sweetener added like sucralose or stevia. The directions then instruct you to use ‘half as much’ in your recipes. This flaw results in continued sugar consumption and about half of the proper structure during the baking process. Sola solves both of those problems…

All this added sugar has led to epidemic proportions of obesity and diabetes. As many as 70% of the U.S. population is considered pre-diabetic and currently this is an annual cost to the healthcare system of over $245 billion.

Our goal is to help people enjoy the foods they love during some of life’s happiest moments without the harm that sugar causes. We are trying to stop and reverse the trends of obesity and diabetes in the United States through sugar replacement. Sola is the easiest way to replace sugar. Taste the difference you can’t taste!

Clinical studies were conducted on Sola versus sugar and the resulting impact on glucose, fructose, and insulin. The results of the studies are quite impressive and the difference between sugar and Sola are graphically depicted below:

©Splenda is a registered trademark of Heartland Consumer Products.
©Stevia in the Raw is a trademark of the Cumberland Packaging Corporation.

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Sugar, Carbs & You

Sugar and Carbs

Most Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar each day. That’s exceedingly high, considering the American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to no more than 100 calories per day (or about 6 teaspoons) for women and no more than 150 calories per day (or about 9 teaspoons) for men. The World Health Organization agrees, and encourages people to stay below 10% of total calories coming from added sugars and better to be under 5% in order to improve overall health. And this includes fruit juice!

We know that an increase in consumption of sugar has been identified as an important contributor to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes worldwide. Sugar has also been implicated as a precipitating risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

More recent data is also implicating excessive added sugar in the diet as a risk factor for cancer and worse outcomes for those with cancer. Our own animal research demonstrated that added sugar in the diet of mice prone to get breast cancer or have their disease spread led to faster onset of cancer and more metastatic disease. This was the case even when the quantities of sugar were below the average consumed in Western diets. We found that sugar activated inflammatory processes, and inflammation plays a role in the development of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia and Alzheimer’s.

We also know from extensive research that it is ideal to consume a diet that reduces large spikes in blood sugar (glucose levels). Evidence shows that refined carbohydrates and excessive carbohydrates in general, both abundant in the Western diet, lead to spikes in blood sugar. Repeated spikes in blood sugar activate inflammatory processes and multiple studies have linked a high glycemic load diet to increased risk of cancer and other diseases.

 

So what does this mean for you? What type of sugar is okay and which type of sugar do we need to cut out?

Ideally, you should limit added sugar intake in general (table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sugary drinks – including fruit juice, and all other forms of refined sugars). Also, try to eat a diet that decreases major swings in glucose levels. Mounting evidence shows that eating a primarily plant-based diet reduces cancer risk and is recommended for cancer survivors. By consuming more plants, specifically fresh, non-starchy green vegetables, less animal protein, less refined carbohydrates, and less added sugars, we can decrease our risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and more. For more information on healthy diets for cancer prevention and control visit the American Institute for Cancer research.

Boundless, by Ryan Turner, is a unique cookbook designed to help people eat gourmet, exquisite food that does not deplete our health. Plentiful provides recipes and cooking strategies that will have you convinced that you are not depriving yourself, as often happens on low-carb diets. That is because Ryan provides the education, knowledge, tools, and healthful substitutes to continue to lead a gourmet lifestyle. Plentiful will help you maintain a balanced glycemic load with no deprivation. Buon appetito.


Note from Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D.

Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., Integrative Medicine Program MD Anderson Cancer Center