The glycemic index is a measure of how fast a carbohydrate is converted into blood sugar in the body. It is important to know and understand because it’s directly related to the number one killer of Americans. Our love of high glycemic foods has led this nation down a slippery slope in regards to our health. The following information is science based knowledge and endorsed by physicians and nutritionists alike. It’s never too late to improve your health, and eating smart is easy and effective.
The glycemic index (GI) of food is found by giving a healthy individual a portion of food containing 50 grams of digestible carbohydrates (carbs minus fiber), and then measuring the effect of their blood glucose levels over a 2 hour time period. It is determined by calculating the persons blood glucose level changes in relation to the reference food which is liquid sugar (glucose). Foods that have a high GI (above 70) metabolize into glucose fast, and low glycemic foods (below 55) slowly release the sugar into the blood stream evenly over a long period of time.
High glycemic foods raise insulin levels quickly, and can lead to type II diabetes. Diabetes is directly related to heart disease, which is the number one killer of Americans by a large margin. It is this relationship between diabetes and heart disease that is so alarming. Diabetes is growing at an epidemic rate. High glycemic foods can actually cause type II diabetes and increase the chance of a heart attack.
Low glycemic foods trickle sugar into the blood stream. This keeps you feeling full longer and stabilizes your blood sugar. But more importantly, it keeps your insulin levels from fluctuating. This combination results in weight loss and prevents things like heart attacks, strokes, and especially diabetes.