From my experience in speaking with individuals struggling with weight loss it has come to my attention that many individuals out there do not know what The Glycemic Index is. Many people seem to have heard of it, but few seem to generally understand what it is and why it’s important to losing weight and maintaining excellent health.
What is The Glycemic Index?
Simply put, The Glycemic Index is a way of measuring foods with carbohydrates and what the overall impact of those foods will be on a healthy body after consumption. Keep in mind, this isn’t the same as simply adding the total number of carbs consumed. This is actually taking into consideration what those carbs are going to do inside the human body, and how that will affect blood sugar levels. A huge factor in this is the rate in which foods are digested and absorbed. Sure, some wheat breads and pastas have carbs in them, but my research reveals that these foods are absorbed at a slower rate, and therefore score low on The Glycemic Index. Processed foods are digested quickly in the body, which causes insulin levels to spike, therefore those types of foods almost always score high on the index.
Why is The Glycemic Index Important?
From my experience, which is also backed up by research, if you eat foods that are low on The Glycemic Index, your body will convert less carbohydrates to sugar and will therefore produce less insulin. This is important because producing less insulin has been associated with a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even help keep weight off and curb hunger. As a matter of fact, my research also shows that individuals who are on diets that contain low Glycemic Index foods have a decreased risk for many diseases and illnesses, like: Depression, heart disease, Type-2 Diabetes, and many different forms of cancer.
High GI foods include: white bread, pasta, potatoes, crackers, pretzels, breakfast cereals, sports drinks, cookies, pies and cakes, raisins, and ice cream.
Low GI foods include: bell peppers, cabbage, asparagus, avocados, carrots, garlic, green beans, oranges, pears, bananas, apples, and strawberries.
I believe that in order to effectively loss weight, and control your sugar and insulin levels, especially if you are diabetic, it’s important to understand The Glycemic Index, and how the different foods will impact the way your body converts food to energy, or fat.
Atkinson FS, Foster-Powell K, Brand-Miller JC. International Tables of Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load Values: 2008. Diabetes Care 2008; 31(12).
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