Glycemic Index – Why you should pay attention to it

 

The Glycemic Index (GI) of a carbohydrate source is an important factor to take into consideration. Entire books have been written on the subject and I will not attempt to go into great detail, but here is the “gist” of it. The Glycemic Index shows the various rates at which a carbohydrate breaks down and releases glucose into the blood stream. The faster the food breaks down, the higher the index. The Glycemic Index sets sugar at 100 and scores other food against that number, making it a great indicator of our body’s insulin response. As a rule, insulin levels should be kept as steady as possible for optimal health.

There is a ton of information available to you on the topic. You can go online and download lists of high and low Glycemic Index foods to guide you with your carbohydrate choices. The goal should be to choose more food from the low GI index to avoid a spike in your insulin levels. Insulin is an important hormone in regulating fat storage. Eating a low Glycemic Index diet promotes lower body fat and a leaner physique in the long term.

High levels of insulin could lead to unwanted stress on your pancreas and later lead to diabetes. Research shows that one out of three North Americans is now being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and 90 percent of those cases could be avoided with lifestyle changes. Insulin secretion can also have an impact on cancer development as it triggers the release of IGF (insulin growth factor) which stimulates cell growth. Therefore, it could potentially increase the number of cancerous cells. Insulin and IGF also promote inflammation in the body which can lead to other inflammatory diseases such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease.

It has been shown that 75% of what happens to us is lifestyle related – there is a lot one can do to live to 100 years of age! Keeping your blood sugar leveled is definitly one of them!

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