Glycemic index: The difference between simple and complex carbohydrates


Glycemic index: the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body. A healthy diet contains sufficient but certainly not too many carbohydrates. But it is important to choose the right carbohydrates! A tool to choose between simple and complex carbohydrates can be the glycemic index.

How quickly glucose from carbohydrates is absorbed into the blood varies per product. The slower the glucose is absorbed, the lower the glycemic index. Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index are also called fast carbohydrates and carbohydrates with a low glycemic index are called slow or complex carbohydrates.

A glycemic index is a tool against obesity

Choosing products with a low glycemic index is a tool for weight control. If you eat mainly fast carbs, your body will store a lot of fat.

A glycemic index is, therefore, a good tool for making the choice between simple and complex carbohydrates.

Research on the glycemic index

glycemische index graphic

Several studies have been conducted into whether a diet with products with a low glycemic index is healthier than a standard diet. The results of these studies are clear.

In a meta-analysis of 24 studies, it was concluded that people who mainly eat products with a low glycemic index have less chance of developing type 2 diabetes than people who mainly eat products with a high glycemic index.

In a similar study, it was concluded that a diet with main products with a high glycemic index is more likely to cause cardiovascular disease.

The World Health Organization advises products with a low GI

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also advised in 1999 to mainly eat products with a low glycemic index. This is to prevent diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity/overweight.

The glycemic index can thus help you with your overall health, with healthy weight loss and keeping your weight under control. Below an explanation of the differences between a high and a low glycemic index.

Fast carbohydrates have a high glycemic index

Glycemic Index graphicCarbohydrates with a high glycemic index are also called fast or simple carbohydrates. Because of the simple structure of the carbohydrate, the body can absorb it quickly.

The body therefore quickly has the energy available, but the energy release of the carbohydrate is short-lived. The body receives an insulin peak due to the rapid absorption. After the peak comes to the dip and the desire for more rapid sugars.

The characteristics of the fast carbohydrates at a glance:

  • A short but high energy boost.
  • It takes little energy to process the carbohydrate.
  • The body receives an insulin peak due to the rapid absorption.
  • After the peak, an energy dip follows and the body wants food again.


 Examples of products with a high glycemic index

Some examples of products with simple (fast) carbohydrates:

  • Chocolate: sprinkles, chocolate spread, chocolate milk, chocolate cake
  • Bread: pastries, white bread, rusk (biscuit)
  • Pasta: pizza, white pasta
  • Candy: all kinds of sweets
  • Sweet spreads: jam, syrup, all types of hail
  • Drinks: Non-light soft drinks, beer, wine, energy drinks

An exception to the above fast carbohydrate examples is fruit. Fruit sugar (fructose) is a natural product with a simple structure. Most fast energy generators such as dextrose consist of processed fruit sugars.

Despite the high glycemic index, it is important to eat 1 or 2 pieces of fruit to get the much-needed vitamins.

Complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic index

Complex CarbohydratesCarbohydrates with a low glycemic index are also called slow or complex carbohydrates.

The carbohydrate has a complex structure that makes the digestive system more difficult to absorb the carbohydrate.

As a result, the carbohydrate gradually releases energy. This makes it take longer for the body to ask for new energy.

An overview of the properties of complex carbohydrates:

  • The carbohydrate gradually gives energy.
  • It takes the body more energy to process the carbohydrate.
  • Part of the energy yield is used for the processing of the energy.
  • Due to the slow absorption, the body does not get an insulin peak.
  •  Due to the long energy release, it takes longer before the body is hungry again.

Examples of products with complex carbohydrates

Some examples of complex carbohydrate products:

  • Vegetable: Spinach, endive, broccoli, kale, sprouts, green beans, cucumber, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, tomatoes
  • Pasta: Dark brown bread, wholemeal bread, multigrain bread, rye bread.
  • Breakfast cereals: oatmeal, shredded whole wheat, bran flakes.

Bowl of oatmeal
How can the GI help with weight control?

Products can be divided into 2 categories according to the glycemic index:

  • A high index: 55 and higher
  • A low index: 55 and lower

If you eat a lot of products with a high glycemic index, your body makes a lot of insulin. This hormone ensures that the sugar from the blood can enter the remaining tissues or is stored as fat.

It ensures the storage of fat and after the insulin, peak comes to a dip and the uncontrollable hunger for even more fast carbohydrates. You do not want this!

Therefore, try to get as many carbohydrates as possible from products with a low glycemic index. This ensures that you have fewer fluctuations in your sugar level.

Examples of the glycemic index of products

Below is an example of the glycemic index of different products. For a complete overview of all products, you can view the glycemic index database.

This list below is meant to give you an impression of the differences in a number of products.

Product Glycemic index
Apple 40
Banana 48
Orange 35
Grain products
Spelled bread 50
White bread 70
Whole wheat bread 45
Croissant 67
Oatmeal 54
Beer 110
Fanta 68
Full Milk 30
Full yogurt 35
Brown beans 40
White beans 30
Split peas 25


Glycemic index database

Australia is at the forefront of using the glycemic index. A logo was introduced in 2002 so that consumers can recognize products with a low glycemic index. The University of Sydney has also started a database to register the glycemic index of products. In an easy way, you can choose between simple and complex carbohydrates in this database based on the glycemic index.

Choosing products with a low glycemic index in many countries is not as easy as in Australia but with the help of this database a lot easier. The glycemic index database can be found here:


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If you like this blog, share it with your friends, customers, colleagues – Tommy






Can a DNA test help you lose weight and live a healthier life?

DNA string

Our DNA is the main carrier of our hereditary information, it makes us unique. The more we know about it, the better we can respond to the possibilities (and impossibilities) of our body. You can now also specifically train and eat based on your personal DNA. But how does that work?

Can a DNA test help you lose weight and live a healthier life?

Everyone is different, we know that. It is therefore not surprising that some people lose weight very easily, and others strictly follow a diet without result. It is especially difficult to find a diet that suits you and have results. Perhaps the key is in your DNA. At least, that is what some companies want you to believe. With DNA dietary tests you would know exactly how to lose weight and get a tailor-made diet. Does that really work?

The link between your genes and nutrition is certainly discovering scientists more and more. The Inuit from Greenland, for example, have certain genes that enable them to better handle their traditional diet. Another study shows that many of us have a gene called FTO that gives you more chance of obesity. Fortunately, the same study shows that diet and exercise can significantly reduce the effect of the gene. These are just a few examples, but the link between genes and nutrition is there.


According to the report of one of the test results,

“A gene is a segment of the DNA (short for deoxyribonucleic acid) molecule that contains the instructions for how, when and where your body makes each of the many thousands of proteins required for life.

“Each gene is comprised of thousands of combinations of four letters that make up your genetic code: A, T, C, and G.”

Those letters can be seen in the DNA report. The different variations can indicate a weakness to dietary issues or sporting potential.

Thanks to new developments, the way that we can access DNA testing has changed significantly, because now you can easily order a test online.

Gene test tubes


Nutri-genetics is the discipline that researches this, and ultimately the goal is to provide nutrition advice to people based on their genes. But that is the ultimate goal, this does not stop companies such as Atlas DNA test, DNAFit, 23andMe, MyDNA weight Management and many others from starting already with it.

For a certain amount and a little saliva in a tube, you get a fully personalized report with all kinds of health advice based on your genes. Although your DNA is billions of letters long, these types of companies only look at a number of letters. Finally, 99.9% of the letters are the same. Based on the variations, SNPs or snips, they give health advice.

This sounds pretty attractive because it gets rid of those one-size-fits-all diets, and you would really get something that suits you. The guaranteed result you would say. Not surprising, for example, that top athletes sometimes use it and a few different professional football clubs have also considered it or even tried it.

What more do you need?

What we still miss is real scientific evidence

The sales pitch sounds good, and there are athletes who really use it, but what is missing is scientific evidence. For example, not all snips are known and therefore not everything can be included. Even though companies say that they know exactly what the snips do and what conclusions you can draw from them.

The snips are only associated with certain diseases. Now does this happen more often, and also in this case, that research contradicts each other. Or new associations are discovered through which different conclusions are drawn. You may be surprised, but your DNA is intensely complex.

Christopher Gardner, a nutrition researcher at Stanford University, says:

I do not think we’re going to find someone with a genetic profile showing that they have to eat more jellybeans to lose weight without knowing it.

No matter how personalized your dietary advice will be, it will not be drastically different from what we all know: more vegetables, more exercise, a better night rest sleep.

E=mc2Well, there is no scientific evidence for the fact that a DNA test will help you lose weight, but that does not mean that you have to finish it off immediately as a bunch of bullshit. Yes, the companies are trying to sell you something that is probably not worth the money.

But I can think of worse things to live healthier than talking to a coach who tells you to get rid of your lazy ass. They will not tell you anything that an average nutritionist or dietitian will tell you.

Moreover, you can use the DNA test as a kind of own research. See what works and what does not, and go from there and draw your own conclusions. Do not let your choices depend on one source of information.

Gardner compares it with a horoscope: “Choose the parts that feel good, and forget the rest”.

Get to know yourself with the online DNA test from 23andMe or from DNAFIT

Where you used to be able to have a DNA test done via the GP or the hospital, we now live in an age where you can order your DNA test online. One of the companies that have become known worldwide is 23andMe. But what is 23andMe? What do you learn from a 23andMe DNA test? What are the experiences with 23andMe?

How does 23andMe work?

You order the home test kit, with which you take a saliva sample that is delivered to you along with a return envelope. You fill the supplied tube to the indicated height with saliva and then send it to a laboratory.

You register on the 23andMe website with the barcode of the test you submitted and then wait for the results …

What do I learn about my health at 23andMe?

Thanks to the powerful health care lobby, 23andMe in the United States is limited in what they can tell customers about their health. The argument here is that an average person does not know what to do with all this genetic information and that they may sometimes make bad decisions about their health. Fortunately, the EU has more confidence in its citizens and we can receive complete health reports based on the DNA sample that you send to 23andMe.

What do you find in the health report?

  • 40+ reports on various hereditary medical conditions
  • 10+ reports on the effect your genes have on the effect of certain medication
  • 10+ reports on your genetic risk profile, so you learn more about your chance of Alzheimer’s, breast cancer and more
  • 40+ reports on certain genetic traits, such as lactose intolerance or premature hair loss

What do I learn about my genealogy at 23andMe?

A DNA test of 23andMe can help you give a longer, healthier lives thanks to the various information points about your health, but can also be just ‘fun’. For example, if you wish, you can have your DNA compared to that of the million + other people who have had a DNA test carried out worldwide to see to what extent you are related to each other. Other nice information in the genealogy report of 23andMe is:

  • How many percents of your DNA comes from different parts of the world or even countries
  • How many percents of your DNA comes from the Neanderthals
  • How this information differs for that part of your genes that you inherited from your mother and the part that you inherited from your father

Are my genetic data safe?

In principle, your data can only be viewed by yourself. You can, however, choose to have your data recorded anonymously in a large database that can then be used by international researchers to get a clearer picture of the influence of genes on certain diseases. Even then there is really nothing more to see then your gender and age and so a DNA sample cannot be traced back to you personally.


DNAFIT is offering DNA-based diet and fitness testing.

DNAFit offers a simple DNA test for health, fitness and diet. We identify the genetic predisposition of an individual for a sports and fitness profile, a diet plan and training advice through a test where you get a cotton swab along the inside of your mouth. This DNAFit analysis report is entirely based on genetics. This optimizes your training so that you train more effectively and achieve the best possible results.


The test kit from DNAFit. was well presented, clear and with easy to follow instructions.

The test itself is incredibly simple; a case of waking in the morning, opening a pack containing a swab and rubbing it on the inside of your cheek for a minute. This was then enclosed in a tube, bar-coded, and returned to DNAFit for processing.

What can I learn from my DNAFit test?

Your DNAFit test takes a scientific dive in a number of important matters. Your unique DNAFit test shows your genetic strength, endurance, a potential risk of injury, recovery speed, personal recovery time after exercise, nutritional needs and potential aerobic (VO2 max). The DNAFit Diet gives you bite-sized information with regard to your food and vitamin intake so that an ideal diet can be prepared for your genes. You get information about whether you are sensitive to carbohydrates, saturated fat, lactose, gluten, salt, caffeine and alcohol. But also your need for anti-oxidants, your detox ability and your personal nutritional needs. Plus you will receive a 12-week diet plan with recipes from nutritionists.

How reliable are the results of DNAFit?

The DNAFit results are the interpretation of an expert based on published studies. This test is the best available knowledge about the relationship between genetics and physical activity.


The report is really comprehensive, explaining each aspect before providing you with your results and recommendations.

The report included:

  • An introduction to the report
  • An introduction to genetics
  • A disclaimer including the assumptions that the report is based upon
  • An overview of key results
  • Your results including an explanation, genes analyses, your allele, its relationship to the attribute tested (e.g. carbohydrate sensitivity), and a brief recommendation
  • Additional explanation where necessary (e.g. glycemic index overview when discussing carbohydrate sensitivity)
  • Glossary

DNAFIT definitely presented the information in the clearest way possible, but it was still essential to talk through this with one of their experts.

What does DNAFit tell me about my health?

DNAFit tests are not designed to be used for general health or for medical purposes. They are only aimed at those genes that play a role in our sports and diet profile.

What happens to my DNA after the test?

After the test, your DNA will be safely destroyed according to our laboratory quality manual and process.

How do you guarantee my privacy?

DNAFit is part of DNAFit Lifesciences Ltd that is registered with the Data Protection Commissioner in the United Kingdom. We strongly enforce DATA Protection within our company.

Are you testing all my DNA?

No, we only test the genes that relate to the sports and diet profile and that we explain in the personal report. There is no testing for other genes.

Additional research

In order to be able to substantiate the results of DNAFit, a study is currently being conducted in collaboration with the University of Manchester. Here the effect of genetically guided training programs is analyzed among athletes from the university who practice different sports. The first results are expected in the first quarter of 2015.

Push forward

Let’s not forget that it is also about business. We all spend money on our health, beautiful sportswear or a gym membership. We are prepared to pay for something that makes us ‘better’. The fact that there is business is also apparent from the fact that there are more providers. Not only Health City is engaged in training and nutrition based on your DNA.  In China and America, they have been able to carry out such a test for years and to take a report. DNA insights are also increasingly used in top sport. How you approach or turn, insight and advice based on certain genetic aspects are on the rise.

What’s in it for you?

But what do you have now, as a seasoned fitness chick, a novice healthier or a conscious sports fan? Do you already know a lot about your own body, about training and nutrition and what works for you on the basis of experience? Then DNAFit does not give you so many new insights. However, it can help you in your motivation to keep up or change something. If you do not have that much knowledge and experience yet, but would like to give direction to a new sport and diet, then a DNAFit analysis may provide you with more guidance.

On their website, DNAFit summarizes this issue well:

“DNA testing for nutrition and fitness is an emerging science. Knowledge is evolving rapidly but is still far from complete. DNAFit prides itself on basing its genetic analysis and recommendations on the best science available, but that science is dynamic and may not always be conclusive. DNAFit may benefit some people more than others, and in some case possibly provide no benefit.”.


I felt that taking the DNAFit Diet Fitness Pro-test was really worthwhile. The reports included an abundance of manageable and easily understandable information about my DNA and also provided focussed and implementable advice, which wasn’t just based on eating less and exercising more. I was particularly impressed with the strength of the connections DNAFit made between my genetics and the practical implications the results might have in terms of my diet and fitness.

At times it was slightly difficult to navigate the wealth of information included in the reports, but this was a minor issue in an otherwise excellent experience. I would recommend this test to anyone interested in improving their health and fitness, regardless of whether you’re a complete beginner or training for a marathon.

Overall, if you are curious to learn more, go ahead and take a test! Just bear in mind that they may be unable to provide the full guidance that you are searching for.

Have you taken a DNA test of this kind? Would you consider it after reading this article? I’m really keen to hear your thoughts on this!









Metabolic syndrome – Global health issue!

Global health issue caused by poor lifestyle factors

Many lifestyle factors such as poor diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, stress, and pollutants can throw the metabolism of the body out of balance. As a result, this makes you more susceptible to disease and illness such as metabolic syndrome, type II diabetes, and cardiovascular risks. When using supplements products along with implementing the proper nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits, in doing so, your metabolism is able to function at its best and improve your quality of life.

Illness or wellness

Why Supplements?

1. Many of the foods consumed today are highly processed and lack the nutrient density (vitamins and minerals) your body needs to function properly.
2. For the average individual, it is challenging to consume all the necessary vitamins and minerals from food alone due to poor nutritional habits.
3. Pesticides, pollutants, and environmental toxins have decreased the nutrient density in soil over the last 50 years. This has resulted in lower amounts of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in the food we consume today.

My advice would use the right supplement products, to ensure that with each serving your body is receiving the proper amount of vital nutrients necessary for maintaining proper metabolic function and health.

Metabolic health

Metabolic refers to the lump sum of all chemical reactions that occur in living organism metabolism.
The human body performs 10.000 classes of chemical reactions and millions of individual reactions every single second.
These reactions are involved in all facets of human health.

(E.g. cognition digestions, respiration, circulation, gut health, etc.)

What are the 5 risk factors for metabolic syndrome?

A metabolic syndrome is a group of five risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing

1.) heart disease, 2.)diabetes, and 3.) stroke, 4.) increased blood pressure (greater than 130/85 mmHg) 5.) high blood sugar levels (insulin resistance)


Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic reboot program

Functional Foods

Proven Results

  • Blood test/photo/measurements
  • Metabolic reboot program set
  • Smart eating 4-4-12 (Habits change)
  • Metabolic nutrition (Build your plate)
  • Exercise science
  • Do not restart your 4, 8, or 12 hours if you snack between the 4-4-12. Continue as planned for the rest of the day. 8. Your meal timing begins once you start eating a meal, not after you finish a meal. 9. Do not skip or forego a meal if your schedule causes you not to “perfectly” follow the 4-4-12 or 4-4-4-8 outline.

The 4-4-12 and 4-4-4-8 are structured guidelines based on the amount of time you wait between meals without any snacking in order to optimize metabolic function and how your body utilizes its own stored energy.


For individuals wanting to lose weight, decrease body fat, and increase lean muscle mass 4-4-12 Structure: 4-6 hours between breakfast and lunch with no snacking 4-6 hours between lunch and dinner with no snacking 12 hours between dinner and breakfast with no snacking


For individuals wanting to gain weight and increase lean muscle mass 4-4-4-8 Structure: 4-5 hours between meals 1 and 2 with no snacking 4-5 hours between meals 2 and 3 with no snacking 4-5 hours between meals 3 and 4 with no snacking 8 hours between meals 4 and 1 with no snacking

4-4-12 and 4-4-4-8 Guidelines:

1. Water, coffee or tea (as long as no creamer or sugar is added), and non-calorie supplements are OK to have outside of the 4-4-12 and 4-4-4-8 as a “snack”.

2. You can wait more than 4 hours before your next meal, it’s just important that you don’t eat before the 4 hours.

3. it’s recommended not to go more than 6 hours until your next meal to avoid the risk of blood sugar levels dropping

4. If you are not able to go the full 4 hours without snacking, you may not be adding enough food with your meals. Please make sure to review the “Build Your Plate Guide” and consume the recommended amount outlined.

5. At first, the 4-4-12 and 4-4-4-8 may be especially challenging for some. It may take a few days or even a week to adjust to the new schedule.

6. It is recommended that you strive to always stick to the 4-4-12 and 4-4-4-8, but if you are not able to at times, it is best to eat something found on “the enjoy” or moderation list, rather than risking a crash in blood sugar levels.

Make sure you are getting all your meals daily.

The goal is

for you to follow the 4-4-12 and 4-4-4-8 to the best of your ability and learn how to make it work for you.


Foods to enjoy


Grains: Bran, Black Rice, Quinoa, Wheat Germ, Wild Rice Fruits: Apple, Apricots, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cherries, Coconut, Durian, Dragonfruit, Figs, Guava, Grapes, Grapefruit, Kiwis, Lemon, Mangosteen, Nectarines, Oranges, Passion Fruit, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Pomegranate, Rambutan, Raspberries, Strawberries, Tamarind, Tomatoes

Healthy Carbohydrates

Vegetables: Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Bamboo Shoot, Beets, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Coconut Shoot, Cabbages, Carrots (raw), Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Pepper, Collard Greens, Cucumber, Eggplant, Green Beans, Green Peas, Jicama, Kale, Leeks, Mushrooms, Onion, Peppers, Pickle, Radishes, Rhubarb, Romaine Lettuce, Spinach, Turnip, Zucchini

Legumes: Beans, Lentils, Unsweetened Soy Milk


Meats: 95% Lean Ground Beef, Chicken Breast, Crab, Eye of Round, Flank Steak, Halibut, Herring, Lamb shoulder, Lamb Loin, Lamb Leg, Lobster, Mackerel, Pork Loin, Salmon, Sardines, Shrimp, Sirloin, Tender Loin, Tilapia, Tuna, Turkey Bacon, Turkey Breast, Whole Eggs,

Veal Dairy: Cottage Cheese, Plain Greek Yogurt

Soy Products: Tempeh, Tofu, TVP



Vegetables: Avocado, Olives

Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, Cashews, Chia, Flax, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts

Dairy: Cheeses Oils: Coconut, Fish, Flaxseed, Macadamia Nut, Olive

Beverages: Unsweetened Almond Milk

Healthy Fats


Basil, Cinnamon, Herbal Teas, Garlic, Oregano, Parsley, Shallot, Vanilla, Pepper, Lemon Pepper, etc.


Balsamic Vinegar, Bolthouse Farms Products, Hummus, Lemon Juice, Mustard, Salsa (no sugar added), Stevia, Vinegar


Some last words

As a metabolic health coach as well personal trainer I have a lot of good results with my clients. Usually, I advise them which supplements to use and to have a result measurement, I let them do a blood test so we have proof of the change in the metabolic health.


Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)

Metabolic cooking

Discover how you lose several kilos per week with tasty and easy to make slimming recipes!


Good luck with keeping the metabolic storm out of your body!

Important: Leave your reaction and any additions below.

If you like this blog, share it with your friends, customers, colleagues – Tommy