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Losing Weight With The Glycemic Index

By William McKinney

You have probably experienced a sugar crash before where you suddenly feel exhausted a short time after eating sugary sweets. You may not realize what is going on inside of your body when you have a sugar crash but it happens when you have a swing in blood sugar levels and your blood sugar drops too low.

Your body performs its best when it has a constant and steady supply of blood sugar. If you use the glycemic index, you can select food that gives your body a slow and constant supply of blood sugar throughout the entire day.

The glycemic index is a way of ranking foods according to how much of an effect the food has on blood glucose levels. Foods that are predominantly fats or proteins don't affect glucose levels too much but carbohydrates have a wide range of effects. Carbs raise your blood sugar levels and some carbs cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Carbs and other foods are compared against the standard of how much pure glucose raises blood sugar levels. Other things can affect the glycemic index of carbohydrates such as the way the food was cooked, how highly processed it is, and how much of it you eat.

A particular food is assigned a value from 1 to 100 on the glycemic index. 100 is the reference standard of pure glucose against which all other foods are measured. For a food to be considered to have a high glycemic index, it should score 70 or above on the glycemic index scale. Foods with a low glycemic index score under 55 and those with scores of 55 to 69 are considered moderate. As an example, pretzels are considered to be high glycemic index foods because they have a score of 81. Fruit cocktail is rated at 55 and is considered moderate. Broccoli has a score of 15 and is a low glycemic index food. If you consume high rated foods slower then insulin will be released slower which is healthier for your body. To achieve that you can eat a small amount of foods that have a high glycemic index value along with a large amount of food that has a low glycemic index value. Eating according to the glycemic index can help you lose weight since when your blood sugar levels are stabilized, you have a full feeling for a lot longer after you eat.

The glycemic index is a measurement of the quality of foods and carbs, not the quantity. Quantity comes into play with the total glycemic load but not the glycemic index. If a food has a rating of 60, it is the same for a 10 gram portion and a 100 gram portion. Using the glycemic index to plan; your meals helps keep your blood glucose at a constant level.

Researcher assumed in the 1980's that the human body absorbed and digested simple sugars quickly, producing rapid increases in blood glucose level leading to the assumption to avoid sugar. But now scientists understand that simple sugars don't cause the blood glucose to rise any more rapidly than some complex carbohydrates do. But, simple sugars are still empty calories and should still be minimized. With regular exercise, little saturated or trans fat, and a high-fiber diet the glycemic index helps keep the average person at a healthy weight.

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