The Basics About Glycemic Indexing

by Colene Stovall 11 months ago in diet

How Can Glycemic Indexing Help Me Lose Weight and Get Healthy?

The Basics About Glycemic Indexing

The root word of "glycemic" is "glyco," and this is a Greek word meaning sweet or sugar. And the meaning of glycemic, according the medical dictionary, is "the presence of sugar in the blood."

So then, the glycemic index is a tool to measure how individual foods are expected to impact blood sugar levels. This should be a concern for all of us, but who may be most interested in glycemic indexing?

  • People who have diabetes may use GI values as an additional tool for managing blood sugar levels.
  • People who have hypoglycemia, because it will help to know what are the most beneficial foods for you so it helps to control the blood sugar highs and lows.
  • People who are trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that when eating low GI foods, people tend to snack less, which actually is helpful in weight control.

So the “sugary" foods are not necessarily the obvious ‘sweet foods’ such as pastries, cake, pie, doughnuts, etc. These, in my opinion, aren’t even real food, they are junk. Although I feel it’s ok to have that small piece of birthday cake or piece of pie every once in a while, but everything in moderation.

The foods that I talking about are the starchy foods for the most part, like potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, cereal, corn, peas, etc. Now, not all starches are bad; there are some good ones. But what happens when you eat a higher glycemic food, if it’s a ‘bad’ starch, like white potatoes, white rice, white bread, or any product made with white flour for that matter, is it instantly turns into sugar in your body. It elevates the glucose level and this leads to the pancreas releasing larger amounts of insulin to bring that sugar down. You get a little rush of energy, but when the sugar starts coming down, so does you energy and feel very sleepy and/or tired. It also causes a vicious cycle of craving more carbs/sweets/starchy foods. And if that’s not enough, since your body can’t assimilate all the sugar, your body takes it and stores it as fat.

Below, I’ve listed a few high glycemic starchy foods:

  • Bread (white) (tortillas, bagels, muffins, waffles, pancakes, pastries, etc.)—80+
  • White potatoes—90+
  • Rice (white)—89+
  • Pasta—65+
  • Corn—60+
  • Peas—50+
  • Parsnips—97+
  • Here are some low glycemic foods:

    • Whole grain bread (best from sprouted grain and seeds)
    • Quinoa—53
    • Brown rice—50
    • Pearled barley—28 (Pearled barley gets soft, while the grains of hulled barley stay more distinct and chewier.)
    • Bulgur—48

    What the heck is Bulgur?

    Bulgur is quick-cooking form of whole wheat that's produced by cleaning, steaming, drying and crushing whole-wheat kernels. It’s an ancient grain with a nutty flavor and chewy texture and cooks up like rice; you only need some hot water or stock. You'll find it in coarse, medium or fine grinds—all with different purposes:

    • Coarse grind: For stuffing, casseroles, soups and salads.
    • Medium grind: An all-purpose grind great for salads, stews, soups, chili, burgers and anywhere you'd use rice.
    • Fine grind: For breakfast cereals and tabbouleh salad; also a good rice substitute.

    And just a side note: Stay away from any wheat products unless the wheat has been sprouted or it says organic. The reason for this is that not only is it high glycemic, all the wheat in America is GMO and is also sprayed with Glyphosate (Roundup). They do this so that it will “ripen” and dry out faster so they can harvest it sooner and then plant another crop. It’s all for the money and at the risk of the consumer’s health.

    Now let’s look at the glycemic index of some fruits:

    • Watermelon—72
    • Pineapple—66
    • Banana—54
    • Mango—56
    • Papaya—60
    • Grapes—53
    • All the berries are low GI, especially blue berries and they are high in anti-oxidents.
    • Grapefruit—25
    • Pears—38
    • Apples—39
    • Oranges—40
    • Plums—40

    Knowing the Glycemic Index of your foods is a great way to manage diabetes and even hypoglycemia. You need to know that low GI foods are foods with 55 or less glycemic index, 56 to 69 signifies the food is a medium GI food, and foods with 70 and above glycemic index are high GI foods and should be avoided with all consciousness.

    And I want to say this:

    In my line of work, I work and have worked with many personal trainers, most of them, count calories and have their clients do the same. There’s nothing wrong with that… I have nothing against it at all.

    But I personally find it time consuming, by having to separate the good calories from the bad calories, calories from fat, calories from good carbs, etc...

    It works for a lot of people, and there is even an app (MyFitnessPal) that makes it easier for some people. All you have to do is put in what you ate and the app counts the calories for you. But even that, for some people, is a tedious thing, so they don’t like to do it.

    But what I do know for a fact that if you are eating moderate to low glycemic foods and have cut out the high glycemic foods, then you are taking in fewer calories…

    You are cutting out the bad carbs, so you’re cutting out the bad calories.

    Also you are eating fewer calories and hopefully you’re exercising, which you should be. So as a result, you are burning more calories and causing a caloric deficit and this will cause weight loss, fat loss and inch loss. Therefore you are becoming healthier in the process.

    diet
    Colene Stovall
    Colene Stovall
    Read next: Best Running Shoes for Women
    Colene Stovall
    See all posts by Colene Stovall