The Glycemic Index is Your Key to Weight Control

The glycemic index is a measure of how fast certain foods burn in your body and how fast they raise your blood sugar. Paying attention to the glycemic index of foods will help you get control and keep control of your weight and will help you reduce the cravings for the kinds of foods that are making you overweight in the first place.

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Copyright 2006 Genesan3

How is our society doing today?

Let?s look at some facts. Today, two out of three adults in the United States and a staggering number of children are overweight. It is expected that, if current trends continue, 1 out of 3 children born today will develop type II diabetes. The rates of heart disease, stroke, depression, diabetes and many other chronic degenerative illnesses are rising. In fact, 1 out of 5 high school age children already have the beginning stages of cardiovascular disease in their arteries! I could go on for pages with these depressing statistics but hopefully I have made the point ? We are not healthy.

Why is this the case? That?s really not a very difficult question to answer: too much low quality food and not enough physical activity. There have been thousands of studies to support this conclusion. Don?t believe what you read in the media headlines about the latest ground breaking diet pills or wonder drugs. There aren?t any truly legitimate fast fixes. If you want to regain your health and stay healthy it?s going to take some work. But you can start with small steps by changing a couple of simple things on a daily basis. Before long you?ll be amazed at how much better you feel. Let?s take a look at what we can do with our diets.

Why are we so fat?

Again, the answer to this question is somewhat obvious. We eat too much of the wrong kinds of food. Let me talk about something called the ?glycemic index?. This is a measure of how fast a food burns in your body and how fast it spikes your blood sugar after you eat. A high glycemic food burns fast and raises you blood sugar quickly and a low glycemic food burns slow and raises your blood sugar slowly. High glycemic foods are full of simple sugars, like high-fructose corn syrup and low glycemic foods have more fiber and complex sugars like those you get from whole grains and vegetables.

Why is this important? This is really your key to weight control. Your body needs to maintain your blood sugar in a very tight window. If you are always eating high glycemic foods then your blood sugar goes up fast and your body needs to take drastic measures to bring it down by spiking your insulin levels, a hormone that decreases blood sugar. This has the effect of crashing your blood sugar back down and this makes you feel very tired after you eat. It also makes you feel hungry again too soon because your blood sugar falls below normal and you crave something sweet to bring it up again ? repeating the whole cycle. If you do this for many years, eventually your body stops reacting to its own insulin and you become pre-diabetic and have trouble maintaining your weight. If you pay attention to the glycemic index and eat foods that burn slowly you will have steady energy levels throughout the day, not get hungry as often, and not send yourself down the path toward diabetes. If you already have diabetes, then you probably know that low glycemic foods can help you maintain your blood sugar levels within the appropriate range. This is an extremely important concept in managing your weight. Forget all the crazy diets that don?t work, just pay attention to this and you?ll find yourself losing weight naturally.

Wishing you Good Health.

Simon J. Evans, PhD

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