SoLo Energy Blog

Harvard's Holiday Gift

Slow-carb diet for less cravings and more energy

In the December issue of Harvard Health Review, researchers note it’s “not fat” that you should be worried about while you fill your party plate this holiday season — the real Grinch are the high-glycemic (high-GI), refined carbs.


The best news is that you don’t have to sacrifice tasty bites and scrumptious meals during the holidays. When faced with carb options, go for low-glycemic (low-GI) foods to slow down the rate that carbs are converted into blood sugar or glucose.

Dr. David Jenkins at the University of Toronto developed the Glycemic Index to differentiate high glycemic, fast-releasing carbs (“gushers”) from low glycemic, slow-releasing carbs (“tricklers”).

Because blood sugar management is key for managing weight, sustaining energy and preventing disease, everyone can benefit from using the glycemic index as a guide to help substitute low glycemic carbs, for high glycemic carbs.

How High-Glycemic Foods Keep You Hungry

Harvard scientist Dr. David Ludwig, director of the Obesity Prevention Center at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, concluded that high-GI foods promote the spike and crash of blood sugar, followed by a craving for another high glycemic index snack to boost blood sugar back up. This is referred to as the “spike, crash and crave cycle”. This survival mechanism worked well for our ancestors to store calories as fat to survive the lean times, much like a bear fattening up for winter. Ironically, this same process is now compromising our health and driving diabesity and energy deficits.

Here’s why: High-GI carbs trigger the “spike” in blood sugar, which provokes a flood of insulin from the pancreas to quickly clear the glucose from the blood stream. Insulin not only stores glucose as fat it also inhibits body fat from being used as energy – not great if you’re trying to lose weight. To disrupt this fat storing mechanism, we need to prevent the spike of blood sugar and insulin levels by substituting high-GI foods with low-GI alternatives.

When it comes to losing weight then, it’s not so much a matter of “will power”. “Keeping weight off – even under the best circumstances – is difficult”, according to Dr. Ludwig. “But lining up biology and behavior can help.”

As developer of the first line of low glycemic energy bars, I am proud that Dr. Ludwig used our SoLo GI Bars in two of his clinical research studies. We share the view that our 40,000 year old body design is not suited to the modern diet and lifestyle.

Move from Low-carb to Slow-carb

There is plenty of confusion regarding carbohydrates. We know that all carbs are converted to glucose to be used for energy by the body. The solution then is not to reduce or eliminate carbs, as carbs are natures preferred source of energy for the body, brain and nervous system. The key is to choose low-GI carb foods as they are digested and converted to glucose more slowly, preventing the spike, crash and crave cycle.

SoLo GI Bars Make it Easy to Eat Low GI

As a 25-year veteran in functional food research and development, I developed SoLo GI Bars (i.e. So Low Glycemic Index) as a healthy and great tasting low glycemic snack to bridge the between-meal-gap. SoLo GI Bars fill up your tank with slow release carbs to sustain your energy and prevent cravings later on. The holidays can be hectic with all the hustle and bustle so consider trying one while you are shopping, running holiday errands or as a better-for-you snack on your way to a holiday celebration.

Each SoLo GI Bar is certified low glycemic and gluten-free. High in protein and fiber, with 8 indulgent flavours including Dark Chocolate Mandarin, Apple Cinnamon with Quinoa and Pineapple Coconut. Most people ask, “how can a bar that taste so good, be good for me too?” That’s what I love to hear.

Best wishes for health and happiness!
Saul Katz
Founder & CEO