Using the Glycemic Index For Weight Loss

By: Ron Lagerquist

"According to the Blood Glucose Response Table, many processed grain-type foods spike blood sugar levels more quickly than fruit.”

Of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates are the most efficiently converted into the human fuel, glucose. But the rate of that conversion can greatly differ, depending on the type of carbs and how they are processed. Those concerned about weight loss and weight management need to really take note here. We are all caught up in counting calories, but being able to distinguish between fast-releasing and slow-releasing carbs is as important to weight management as knowing the calorie content of the food you are eating. Why? The body deals with excess blood sugar by releasing insulin, which converts harmful levels of blood glucose into—that’s right!—body fat. Most of the processed, refined carbohydrates people eat today contribute to weight gain and uneven energy throughout the day. Because they’re absorbed so quickly, they give you an energy “spike”, which is soon followed by a drop in energy. Also, fast releasing carbohydrates are hard on the insulin-producing organ, the pancreas. A diet high in sugar-spiking carbs plays a large factor in food addiction and diabetes.

Here is a little test. What enters more gradually into the bloodstream, the popular rice cake or a sweet fruit? Most would answer confidently that fruit enters the bloodstream at greater speed because it is a loaded with sugar, whereas, a complex carbohydrate like rice cakes must be digested and broken down into glucose. Wrong!

According to the Blood Glucose Response Table, many processed grain-type foods spike blood sugar levels more quickly than fruit. It may surprise some to discover that a boiled potato rises blood sugar faster than sweet tasting grapes. Protected simple sugars locked into the soft fibers of fresh fruit is a perfect fuel for human cells. Fruit is a low concentrated, slow-releasing, energy-sustaining, carbohydrate compounded with vitamins, minerals, water-soluble proteins, electrolytes, enzymes and trace elements.

What the popular low carb, high protein diets do not tell you is all carbs are not created equal and cannot be painted with the same brush. A quick look at the Glycemic Index will display vast differences within the carb family. The key is choosing foods that release their energy gradually, such as whole grains, brown rice, beans, fruits and vegetables, so as not to raise blood sugar levels, which forces the body to convert blood sugar to body fat. Slow-releasing foods will ensure uniform energy throughout the day, ridding the common roller coaster ride of highs and sugar blues most experience. Eat the right kinds of carbs and you might not need those four cups of coffee.

Related Article: Glycemic Index Of Common Foods

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