Published on March 20th, 2013 | by George Conte0
This is the first article of an article series i have created about the Montignac diet, you can find all the articles below:
The Montignac diet or Montignac method, according to its creator, is the result of many years of research. It is the synthesis of numerous scientific publications dating from the 1980′s and the successful results of tests conducted by Michel Montignac with the help of a multidisciplinary team of doctors and researchers.
The Montignac method is not a diet in the traditional sense of the term and does not limit the amount of food intake. It is a balanced nutritional plan, where the best foods are chosen from each category: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. With this method the individual learns how to maintain his weight without sacrificing the pleasures of food. Also this method teaches healthy eating habits that will help you achieve weight loss, prevent the risk of weight gain, prevent type II diabetes, reduce the risk of heart disease, recover maximum vitality for your body and ensure the enjoyment of good food with friends.
How does the Montignac method work?
After the consumption of products that contain starch, the level of glucose (which is usually one gram per liter of blood) increases rapidly. This sudden increase in glucose after carbohydrate intake is described as hyperglycemia. Although hyperglycemia depends on several factors, the Montignac method deals mainly with the dependence on the glycemic index of carbohydrates.
When you eat a fruit that for example has glycemic index of 30 the hyperglycemia level increases slightly. However, with the consumption of sweets (with GI of 75) the level of hyperglycemia increases significantly and can reach for example 1.75 grams. As the level of glucose is 1 gram per liter, a mechanism is activated to regulate the glucose increase. The monitoring of glucose levels is conducted by pancreas, which releases insulin. Insulin enables the release of glucose into the organs that need it, causing decrease in blood levels. In addition, insulin promotes the formation of fat reserves.
If the pancreas does not work properly as a result of continuous and long-term activation, uncontrolled releases of large amounts of insulin happen, resulting in the formation of fat reserves. The reason that some people face obesity problems may be due to the fact that they have disturbed the function of the pancreas. This means that if strong hyperglycemia is observed, the pancreas secretes excessive amounts of insulin. This is called hyperinsulinemia.
Excessive consumption of carbohydrates with high glycemic index is manifested by a permanent increase of glucose in blood, which causes a strong activity of the pancreas. Initially, the pancreas is able to resist this activity, but after a few years it is starting to show the first signs of weakness, as it is not designed for such intense function. Michel Montignac, unlike those who believed that hyperinsulinemia is simply a consequence of obesity, suggests that obesity is a consequence of hyperinsulinemia. He also argues that based in his experience the following conclusions can be drawn:
- Consuming carbohydrates with a low glycemic index stops weight gain (and even leads to weight loss), since the cause of weight gain (i.e. hyperinsulinemia) decreases or disappears.
- Hyperinsulinemia is the result of high levels of hyperglycemia. This means that eating carbohydrates with high glycemic index causes indirectly (through the hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia) weight increase since it enhances lipid storage. Thus, to tackle obesity, you should consume foods of low glycemic index only.
The basic principles of the Montignac method
The Montignac method is based on two principles:
- The first is to overcome the misconception that calories are those that cause weight gain.
- The second principle is that we should be eating foods that are nutrient, i.e. selected according to their nutritional value and metabolic potential.
- The best carbohydrates are those with the lowest glycemic index.
- The quality of fatty foods depends on the nature of the fatty acids contained in them. Specifically, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fatty acids are the best choices, while saturated fat acids (butter, fatty meats) should be avoided.
- Proteins should be selected based on their origin (plant or