It all became clear to me; like something inside of me clicked. How to loose weight, primarily body fat by using something called the glycemic index (GI).
Chris, a friend of mine, who was in excellent shape wanted to have lunch. We met at a Japanese restaurant for sushi and his reason for calling this meeting was to talk with me about nutrition and how food works within us to help or hinder us in reaching our goals. The year was 1997 at a time when I was at my early weight lifting stages competing in Miss Hawaiian Tropic contests.
"Do you know about the Glycemic Index?" Chris asked me. "No, what is it?" I replied. "This is something you need to know if you are going to be serious about looking your best. From building muscle to losing body fat, the glycemic index is very important."
As Chris continued, I took mental notes of what exactly this miracle index was and how it could work for me. I was hanging on every word like it was the gospel. In essence, knowing about the GI, is pretty much like knowing the gospel in the fitness world.
What Is The Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.
It compares foods gram for gram of carbohydrate. Carbohydrates that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. The blood glucose response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes.
"In a nut shell, eating foods that have a low GI level will help keep your blood sugar levels (BSL) stable." said Chris.
Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, cancer and diabetes have all been linked to (as well as other factors) diets that contain foods with a high GI.
Foods with a low GI maintain a healthy BSL and help us to lose weight - one proven way to lower our risk of developing the diseases mentioned above.
Below is what I learned. I urge you to educate yourself on the Glycemic Index. Some foods may be listed as having a higher GI then you expect. Example: potatoes.
To slow the rate at which potatoes enter your system, add a tablespoon of flax oil, or even better, opt for sweet potatoes or yams since they naturally have a lower GI level.
What Is The Significance Of Glycemic Index?
- Low GI means a smaller rise in blood glucose levels after meals
- Low GI diets can help people lose weight
- Low GI diets can improve the body's sensitivity to insulin
- High GI foods help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise
- Low GI can improve diabetes control
- Low GI foods keep you fuller for longer
- Low GI can prolong physical endurance
What Is Glycemic Load?
- Glycemic load builds on the GI to provide a measure of total glycemic response to a food or meal
- Glycemic load = GI (%) x grams of carbohydrate per serving
- One unit of GL ~ glycemic effect of 1 gram glucose
- You can sum the GL of all the foods in a meal, for the whole day or even longer
- A typical diet has ~ 100 GL units per day (range 60 - 180)
- The GI database gives both GI & GL values
- Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
- Use "grainy" breads made with whole seeds
- Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
- Enjoy all types of fruit and vegetables (except potatoes)
- Eat plenty of salad vegetables with vinaigrette dressing