Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Think of Glycemic Index as a measurement of the how carbohydrates in foods will affect your blood sugar. It works like this: pure glucose is assigned the index of 100 to compare it to how other foods affect the blood sugar about two hours after eating. All other foods in the index are given a number relative to the glucose number.

Foods with a low index typically break down slowly and don’t cause drastic fluctuations in blood sugar. Foods with a high index typically do. For instance, broccoli has an index of 10, while corn flakes have an index of 92. Originally the index was developed to help diabetic control their blood sugar. The numbers will also help people losing weight, as well, because when the glycemic index is high, you get hungrier when your blood sugar starts falling again. The more it has to fall the more ravenous you can get when your blood sugar is not under control. If you can keep your blood sugar more stable, you don’t have such strong cravings.
Type II diabetes, as well as various cancers and cardiovascular disease, are all highly correlated with high index diets. There’s abundant research that shows that reducing the overall glycemic index also reduces the risks of those problems.

The index includes mainly carbohydrate foods, because protein and fat don’t have much immediate effect on blood sugar. At Before and After Weight Loss Clinics and with the Belly Buster Diet, we find the index more helpful than counting calories or grams of fat. We watch whether the foods we’re eating have a low, medium or high index, not individual numbers.
As with any rule, there are exceptions. For instance, watermelon has a pretty high glycemic index, about 75, which is even higher than table sugar. Does that make it bad for you? No. Because in spite of its high index, watermelon actually has a pretty low glycemic load. That’s a measure based on the amount of food you’d actually consume, not just an arbitrary quantity used in testing, as with the index.

The glycemic load of a food can be determined using the glycemic index number for a food, divided by 100 and multiplied times the available carbohydrate you’d eat. With most foods, low index is consistent with low load, but there are the quirky exceptions. Of course, to find them, you’d be back to doing a bunch of math again, and that’s just not the way people normally eat.
That’s we encourage people who are trying to develop a healthy diet to avoid getting caught up in the numbers game and look more generally at the foods in the index, leaning toward those at the low end. Anything over 70 is considered high index, 55 through 69 is medium and below 55 are foods with a low glycemic index.

And look what’s in those groups: high index foods include most breakfast cereals, white breads and other processed baked goods, most potatoes, ice cream, candies and table sugar.Lower index foods include cherries, grapefruit, broccoli, legumes like lentils and beans, most whole grain baked goods and most dairy foods. We like to encourage clients to think of glycemic index and glycemic load as just two more tools that can be helpful in developing healthier thinking and planning about dietary habits.

Fruits tend to have a high glycemic index, so I recommend that people take their fruits with a meal, or with some protein like cottage cheese or regular cheese. These protein sources help the fruit sugar be released in the blood stream more slowly. If you are snacking on a half of an apple for instance, eat a piece of cheese with it, or if you eating watermelon, eat it with a meal rather than an in between snack.

A final thing to remember: there’s not one standardized list and most indexes include brand-name items that people buy on a typical shopping trip, as well as the more generic items like vegetables and fruits. Her are some indexes I have found helpful:

Click here: Glycemic Index Food Chart

Click here: Glycemic Index Food List from FIFTY 50

Click here: Glycemic Index Food Chart: List of Glycemic Values of Foods

Click here: Glycemic Index List of Foods - BestDietTips.com

For more information on how you can be on a diet that uses the glycemic index to it's advantage, visit http://www.bellybusterdiet.com/ or fill out the health profile on http://www.beforeandafterdiet.net/
and get a FREE metabolic assessment!

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