The Glycemic Index Diet – What’s High, What’s Low and Why

The glycemic index diet is helping millions of people world wide to control spikes in their blood sugar levels and has resulted in untold tons of relatively rapid permanent weight loss.

The diet is based on the glycemic index which measures how fast the body digests various foods and turns them into glucose or blood sugar.

It’s now known that a rapid release of glucose triggers a series of bodily functions that causes much of that sugar to be stored as body fat. Foods that cause a relatively faster release of glucose are ranked higher on the glycemic index. Foods which take longer to digest rank lower. To avoid weight gain, and to eventually promote rapid weight loss, one should pursue a diet of foods that are relatively low on the glycemic index.

Here’s a quick overview of what’s high and what’s low:

Fructose which is found in fruits is a slow-moving sugar. As a result just about all fruits – with the exception of bananas, pineapple and dried fruits – are relatively low on the glycemic index.

So are all vegetables that are abundant in fiber (the exceptions here are carrots and corn!) And while these are somewhat higher than most vegetables, they are still well withing the safe range for most diets.

Higher on the index are just about all the whole grains, starches and pasta.

Coming in at the highest are the refined grains, white bread and, surprisingly, most forms of potatoes.

Continually eating foods high on the glycemic index not only causes you to eat more and eventually gain weight, it just plain confuses your system. It’s much like the little boy who cried wolf.

Every time your body digests a highly ranked food from the glycemic index, your body is producing a higher dose of insulin than it would for a lower ranked food. Glucose is your blood sugar and the energy your brain and the rest of your body uses for all its myriad of processes. But glucose can’t travel anywhere in your body without being escorted by insulin. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly!

In addition to serving as a kind of chaperon for your glucose, insulin is in charge of making sure your body keeps the supply at an even level. Thus when a high glycemic meal floods the system with too much glucose, it transports it to the storage area for future use. That storage area is your fat cells.

Thus the fundamental cause of weight gain has less to do with total calories or carbs consumed than it does with the type of carbs and how rapidly the body transforms them into glucose.

At some point if the body is continually called upon to produce excess quantities of insulin it can lead to a breakdown in the insulin producing process and or the effectiveness of the insulin in carrying out its missions.

This condition is called diabetes. And that is for whom the glycemic index diet was first created. It has proven over the years though to be the idea diet for people wishing to maintain a health weight, and a superior diet for those wishing to loose significant weight and keep it off.