12
Jun
12

The Glycemic Index

I am frequently asked about the glycemic index and it’s impact on body fat so I thought it would be best to share this answer with the class.  First, it is important to understand that carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels.  The glycemic index ranks carbohydrate foods based on how they affect blood sugar (glucose levels).  This is important because eating a lot of foods that rank high on the glycemic index will produce spikes in blood sugar and an over production of insulin (the hormone needed to allow the glucose to enter the cells for use as fuel).  These spikes over time can lead to insulin sensitivity and are associated with obesity, high blood pressure, increased blood lipid levels and increased risk for type 2 diabetes.  A professor at the University of Sydney, Australia found that if people consumed foods with low glycemic levels they lost weight because these foods didn’t stimulate a large insulin response.  When blood sugar levels rise, insulin levels rise, and insulin is the fat storage hormone in the body.  In other words, if there is too much insulin floating around your body, your body will store fat!  But on the other hand, you also have to have  enough insulin or else you can become hypoglycemic.

  The best ways to keep your blood levels stable is to eat several small, well balanced meals throughout the day.  In order to keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating, I recommend eating 6 times a day with each meal containing at least 4 ounces of lean protein, veggies, and some healthy monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados, olives, fish, nuts and seeds).  To find out what the glycemic index is of your favorite foods go to: http://www.glycemicindex.com/ to look them up.   If you happen to over do it on sugar at a meal, particularly starches, there are a few things you can do to immediately lower the glycemic effect.  One is to consume an acidic food because they lower the glycemic effect.  For example, if you were to have some vinegar in a salad dressing it will lower the glycemic index of the salad.  Capers, pickles, olives, lemon juice-any of these can work immediately.  So adding some lemons to your water will do the trick.  Fiber and fat are other thing that will immediately lower the glycemic index of foods.

So by only consuming low glycemic foods, you can live a long and healthy life and lose weight without starving yourself (which I would NEVER recommend!).

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