So, a question occurred to me: Why is it important to know the glycemic index (glycemic load) of food?
Very simply put…The higher the glycemic index, the more sugar produced in the blood, which means higher insulin levels. Insulin works to keep your blood sugar in check. When your blood sugar increases, more insulin is produced to drive the blood sugar back down. When this happens, two not-so-good side effects happen:
- Because your blood sugar is low, you feel tired and when you feel tired, you want a ‘pick-me-up’. What’s the first thing you do? Find something heavy in sugar/carbs. And the cycle is repeated.
- When insulin spikes in your body, then your body’s fat-burning capabilities are halted. What can happen if your insulin is on a constant up and down roller coaster? You can’t lose weight and more than likely, you end up gaining weight. Yes, even if you are exercising.
And this I know from years of my up and down battle. I know what foods work to help me lose weight and what does not work. There is also a lot of research that explains how insulin and glucose levels work in your body. One other source I’ve found is the Harvard School of Public Health. The information I mention in this blog is located at The Nutrition Source – Carbohydrates: Good Carbs Guide the Way. This page also links to a list of low glycemic index foods, e.g. healthy carbs.
The trick now is to be more diligent about putting the right kinds of carbs in my body.