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Glycemic Index And Your Health

What is the Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is an established, physiologically based method used to classify foods according to their blood glucose-raising potential.  It compares the level of glycemia of equal carbohydrate portions of foods and ranks them relative to a standard (usually glucose or white bread).  Research has shown that when foods are classified according to their glycemic index, people who consume foods with low glycemic index are less likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and high blood lipids.  The foods that produce the highest glycemic responses include many of the starchy foods consumed by people in industrialized countries, including bread, breakfast cereals, and processed packaged foods. The foods with the lowest Glycemic Index values include, relatively unprocessed foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole unprocessed grains and protein sources such as nuts or fish. 

The importance of Blood sugar  in your health:

  • All carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, the more complex the carbohydrate the slower the break down.
  • Sugar as energy: Glucose is the universal sugar molecule for producing energy in the cell, when we are not utilizing the glucose molecule it is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen.
  • Sugars as fat: when the glycogen storage areas are fully stocked the body turns glucose into a fat molecule for deep storage.
  • Sugars and hormones: the metabolic processing of sugars influences our hormones. When our bodies are unable to process excess sugars they influence our estrogen and our testosterone
  • Sugars and the immune system: Excess sugars in our system contribute to and fuel the inflammatory process and can result in disease. The most common are cardiovascular and auto-immune diseases.
  • Fasting glucose:  reflects glucose levels after a period of fasting. When your body is not actively processing foods the adrenals and the thyroid maintain healthy glucose levels.

5 Tips To Health:

  1. Eat foods that are low glycemic Index: below 70
  2. Foods high in fiber such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains are lower in the glycemic Index.
  3. Avoiding processed foods (even if they say whole grain) as they raise blood sugar.
  4. Balancing diet with proteins and healthy fats stabalize bloodsugar.
  5. Check your Fasting bloodsugar and lipid panel yearly.

 

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