Glycemic Index and Weight Loss in Scottsdale and Chandler

glycemic-indexThe glycemic index (GI) is a measuring system that shows how foods containing carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. GI uses a scale of 0 to 100, with pure glucose measured at a GI of 100. Foods with high GI are foods that are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods are slowly digested and absorbed; therefore they produce gradual rises in blood sugar levels and have proven health benefits and promote weight loss.

Why is Glycemic Index Important?

If your blood sugar drops too low, you may become lethargic and experience increased hunger. If it spikes too high, your brain signals the pancreas to release more insulin to bring the blood sugar back down. This is tricky because the faster your blood sugar increases, the more likely it is that your body will release excessive amounts of insulin and drive the blood sugar levels down too low.

The theory behind glycemic index is that you can minimize blood sugar related problems by identifying and avoiding foods that have the greatest effect on your blood sugar. Low GI diets have been associated with weight loss and decreased risk of various chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, stroke, depression, kidney disease and many more.

Glycemic Index of Foods

Some common glycemic index interpretations are:

  • Low GI (55 or less): beans, small seeds, most whole grains, most vegetables, most sweet fruits (mangoes, strawberries, peaches), tagatose which is a natural sweetener and fructose or fruit sugar. These are the foods that will absorb slowly and increase blood sugar levels gradually.
  • Medium GI (56-69): not intact whole wheat or enriched wheat, pita bread, unpeeled boiled potato, grape juice, raisins, prunes, pumpernickel bread, cranberry juice, regular ice cream, sucrose and banana.
  • High GI (70 and above): white bread, white rice, corn flakes, processed breakfast cereals, glucose, potatoes, parsnip and bagels. These are the foods that cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate quickly from low to high.

Glycemic Index and Weight Loss

Your body is going to perform at its best when blood sugar levels are relatively constant. Low glycemic index diets are beneficial for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger while keeping your blood sugar levels at a normal level. If your blood sugar levels fluctuate frequently this can increase hunger and may lead to overeating.

Glycemic index diets are different from low-carb diets because they do not have you count carbs. In fact, a low GI diet will steer you towards certain carbohydrates that will keep your blood sugar relatively balanced.

A low glycemic index diet may be right for you if:

  • You want to change blood sugar imbalances related to your current diet
  • You want to change your overall eating habits
  • You don’t want to count calories or carbs
  • Want a long-term diet you can stick to

Consult your doctor or weight loss specialist if you believe that a glycemic index diet is right for you. Your doctor can help you decide which weight loss approach will benefit you the most.

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