Health and Fitness 101: What is the Glycemic Index?

So if you jumped on the band-wagon like most at the
beginning of the year to improve and resolve a body or health issues you had,
you should have made some progress by now.  Improving your overall health is usually instigated by
wanting to lose weight and look better. 
There is nothing wrong with that reason.  Any reason is a good reason to become healthier and for most, that involves losing some weight. 
Whether it is a wedding dress, a pair of jeans or the need to make
exercising easier, you will need to become more educated on nutrition if you
expect your efforts to last.

glycemic-index-and-glycemic-load-af.jpg

Without putting some time into learning more about how to eat better and change your overall cravings and choices when it comes to eating, you will not keep the pounds off .  Sweating is not enough.  This week will be dedicated to learning more about how to make better decisions overall on eating and exercising.  It will be a crash course on exercise science.  It will give you the summarized versions of glycemic index, strength training, cardio, anaerobic, fat vs carbs and so on.  I am not discouraging you from reading a book, just trying to expedite your learning and discovery of this life-changing information.

What is Glycemic Index?

Foods high in glycemic index
cause the body to experience a rapid increase in blood sugar, which in turn
causes the pancreas to release a hormone called insulin.  Insulin has two responsibilities in the
body: 1) it helps to get the glucose distributed throughout the body to be used
or stored as fat, 2) it restricts the conversion of body fat back into a
glucose.  In addition, foods with a
high glycemic index are digested quickly by the body causing you to feel hungry
soon after eating them. 
Carbohydrates that break down slowly in the body leaving the stomach
feeling full for a longer period of time are preferable and are considered to
be healthy.  Eating foods that
quickly digest and spike insulin levels in the body is considered to be a
fundamental dietary cause of weight gains, mood swings and lethargy in both
adults and children.  Consumption
of white flour based foods like cakes, white rice, white bread, cookies,
crackers, white cereals have infected children's diets and are 'bad'
carbohydrates.  The processing of
whole grains into white flour is simple explained by Rick Gallop, author of The
Glycemic Index Diet,

"White flour starts off as whole wheat.  At the mill, the whole wheat is steamed
and scarified by tiny razor-sharp blades to remove the bran, or out shell, and
the endosperm, the next layer.  Then
the wheat germ and oil are removed because they turn rancid too quickly to be
considered commercially viable. 
What's left after all that processing is unbleached flour, which is then
whitened and used to make almost all the breads, bagels, muffins, cookies,
crackers, cereals, and pastas we consume."[1]

 This entire process strips
all nutrients away and since it is over-processed, the body digests it quickly
causing you to be hungry soon after consuming.  In addition, it does not provide a viable and efficient form
of fuel for the body and brain. 
Foods that are low in glycemic index are vital, whether you are on a
weight loss program or trying to create a healthy life long eating program.

 


GREAT FOODS - VERY LOW
GLYCEMIC INDEX

GOOD FOODS - MID RANGE
GLYCEMIC INDEX

BAD FOODS - HIGH GLYCEMIC
INDEX

 

Egg beaters, egg whites

Omega 3 eggs

Regular eggs

Sausage

Turkey bacon

Canadian lean bacon

Buttermilk

Low fat cheese

Cheese

Fat free cottage cheese

Skim milk cottage cheese

Whole milk cottage cheese

Soy or whey protein
powder

 

 

Fat free and sugar free
yogurt, Non fat cream cheese, sour cream

Low fat yogurt with sugar

Whole milk yogurt, Nonfat
cream cheese, Fat free sour cream

All bran cereals, fiber
one, kashi, large flake oatmeal, oat bran

Post shredded wheat and b
ran cereal

Most white cereals, cream
of wheat, granola, grits, instant oatmeal

Apple bran muffins,
homemade granola bars, 100% stone ground whole wheat bread, whole grain high
fiber bread

Whole grain breads

Bagels, croissants,
doughnuts, English muffins, pancakes, waffles, white bread

Apples, applesauce,
grapefruit, grapes, oranges, peaches, pears, plums

Apricots, bananas, fruit
cocktail, pineapple

All canned fruit in
syrup, all dried fruit, cantaloupe, melons, raisins

Instant rice, white rice
and short grain rice

 

Brown rice, basmati, long
grain and wild rice

Almonds, canola oil,
hazelnuts, soft margarine, promise ultra olive oil

Soft margarine (non-
hydrogenated), vegetable oil

Butter, hard margarine,
tropical oils, vegetable shortening

Asparagus, beans, bell
peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, berries,

Corn, kiwi, papaya,
potatoes (boiled),zucchini, tomatoes, snow peas, spinach

Baked or mashed potatoes,
peas, lettuce, eggplant, olives, onions, pickles



[1] Gallop,
Rick,  The Glycemic Index Diet.
Workman Publishing, New York, 2002.

http://www.glycemicindex.com

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