A while back I wrote an article titled Calories In, calories out* that described the balancing act of weight loss. However, there was one caveat: not all calories are created equal. In other words, calories from the different foods/drinks we eat (from fats, carbohydrates and proteins) do not affect our bodies in the same way.
Many foods that contain natural sugars, added sugars, and starch (rice, potatoes, pasta, breads, baked goods) raise our blood sugar. These foods are considered to have a high-glycemic index. Proteins and fats on the other hand do not significantly affect our blood sugar and are considered to have a low-glycemic index.
So why does this matter? Well, research from the Harvard School of Public Health indicate that the risks of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease are strongly related to the glycemic index (GI) of the overall diet. Other studies show that low-GI diets improve our sensitivity to insulin, improve weight loss maintenance, and decrease our levels of LDL (aka “lousy”) cholesterol.
The moral of the story: eating lower glycemic-index foods reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes and also assist in weight maintenance. I am not touting for the Atkins diet here. I believe that low-GI diets are easier to stick to on a day-to-day basis compared to low-carb diets. Look forward to a later post on helpful recipes and ideas on how to eat the low-GI way in addition to ways to combine foods to lower their impact on our blood sugar. 'Till then here's a link with a list of the GI indexes of 100+ foods.
What are your thoughts on the glycemic index?
Hello and welcome! My name is Andrea Notch Mayzeles. I am a Certified Health Education Specialist, Mom, and Master of Public Health dedicated to the path of well-being. As a wellness professional I am committed to continued learning and am here to share research, recipes and musings on health, psychology, personal development, and parenting. I hope you enjoy!