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The Glycemic Index


The Glycemic Index classifies foods based on how they affect blood sugar levels in the 2 to 3 hours following a meal. The index is based on foods high in carbohydrates since foods primarily made of fats and proteins have no significant effect on blood sugar levels. Further more, the Index is influenced by the size of your portions, fiber content, amount of fat, and the method of food preparation.

What’s Wrong with High Glycemic Foods?
Firstly, they break down too quickly and enter the bloodstream rapidly, spiking your blood sugar levels. This precipitates a sudden rise in blood sugar levels causing a surge of insulin in your body. Why? Because insulin is needed to transport blood sugar into the cells. High insulin levels reduce your body’s calorie-burning capability which means more calories are transported into fat stores by the insulin along with the blood sugar. Why? Because our body’s capacity to metabolize calories is influenced by insulin. More insulin=less metabolizing.

Next, your body’s blood sugar levels drop to excessilvely low levels because your insulin is working so well, your appetite increases (low blood sugar=increase in appetite), your moods swing, and you experience the dreaded “crash”.

“Grazing” during the day, eating the right foods, keeps your insulin levels stable and your appetite at bay. If you’re going to eat a food higher on the index, do it about an hour before you work out. AFTER your workout, feed your body some good protein to reward the muscles that just worked so hard for you.

FOOD GLYCYMIC INDEX
Examples of
High Glycemic Foods

Baked potatoes, dried dates, pretzels, corn flakes, raisin bran, white rice, bagel, waffles, white bread, graham crackers, pumpkin, broad beans, corn chips, Gatorade, parsnips, jelly beans,

Rating of over 70
Examples of
Medium Glycemic Foods

Shredded wheat cereal, basmati rice, spirali pasta, taco shells, blueberry muffin, pita or whole wheat bread, oatmeal cookies, beets, sweet corn, banana, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, ice cream, popcorn

Rating of between 55 and 70
Examples of
Low Glycemic Foods

All Bran cereal, Special K, brown rice, spaghetti, banana bread, sourdough bread, sponge cake, oatmeal, carrots, peas, yams, baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, soy beans, apple, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, kiwi, orange, peaches, pear, plum, milk, yogurt, peanuts

Rating of under 55