Let me start by saying that everything I post is for informational purposes. What may work for one person, may not work for another. I do however like to share the information I find with anyone who is interested in living a better lifestyle.
I started researching the Glycemic Index or GI after seeing a Natural Path to aid in weight management. I currently eat clean which means I eat almost everything without preservatives. I buy Organic when possible but until recently found I can eat even better, and by doing so, hopefully losing weight in the process.
What is the Glycemic Index?
"The Glycemic Index (GI) is one the best tools for understanding foods and how they can effect you. It measures how quickly foods breakdown into sugar in your bloodstream. High Glycemic foods turn into blood sugar [or glucose] very quickly. Starchy foods like potatoes are a good example. Potatoes have such a high GI rating; its almost the same as eating table sugar".
Many Diabetics are familiar with the Glycemic Index, but if you do not have Diabetes, the GI can still be of great help. The following information is written through the lens of Clean Eating.
There are three categories all food fall under in the Glycemic Index.
According to AMSA.org "The higher the rise in glucose in the blood stream, the more insulin is produced to store it . Over time this can lead to higher insulin levels that can result in inflammation, weight gain and insulin resistance. The end result can be the progression to type II diabetes".
Okay Now What?
Now we know that we need to eat low GI foods to help reduce spikes in blood glucose. The spiking of glucose can slow down the metabolism, and hinder weight loss progression. So how do we know what foods fall into Low, Medium or High categories on the GI scale? There are many websites out there that will tell you what the food ratings are on the GI scale but the most comprehensive is glycemicindex.com here you can search for foods, with a database containing thousands of foods. (If this site seems too intimidating I found a more simplistic list of GI foods. Click here) You may be surprised to find out that some foods rank lower on the GI scale than you would think. Dr. Hu states in the Harvard Health Letter,
"The glycemic index is a useful guide for choosing healthy foods. But it shouldn't be the only one. The amount of carbohydrate you take in matters too. Spaghetti, for example, has a low glycemic index (42). But eat a huge plate of it and your blood sugar will head into the stratosphere. And "not all foods with a low glycemic index are health foods," cautions Dr. Hu. A Snickers bar has a GI of 43; Coca Cola one of 63. Both deliver little more than sugar".
Good Advice, don't you think?
Remember when eating clean and trying to maintain or loose weight, the Glycemic Index can be a powerful tool in the fight against fat. One big example of this is, clean eaters like me may say, it is important to eat whole grains as in bread with little to no preservatives. This is true, however for someone like me trying to loose weight and using the GI scale, whole grain breads fall under the High category and is ranked between 59-70. If I want to keep a steady digestion of glucose then I need to eat foods that are 50 or below. Therefore I will stay away from breads.
This blog post has opened my eyes even more, I have been juicing, eating clean, working out but no weight loss. That is why my Natural Path suggested learning about the Glycemic Index. I was eating too many "clean foods" with high GI rankings like oranges, dried fruit, melons, carrots, corn, rice ect. It's not like I will never eat these foods again, but I do believe knowledge is power, and I now know what foods I should avoid.
I hope this post was informative and will give you another tool in your
Staying Fit Journey.