Understanding Your Glycemic Index

By , Category : Blood Sugar

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

The glycemic index (GI) has been making major waves in health |news for well over a decade. Just what exactly is this measurement? And how does it predict your risk for major chronic disease? How can you use it to shed pounds? I’ll explore these important questions and their equally critical answers in a multi-part article. Let’s begin with an overview of the index and its primary focus: carbohydrates.

As mentioned, the GI has much to do with carbohydrates. In the past, carbs were either simple (fructose, sucrose, table sugar) or complex (starch). This was based on the number of sugars in the chemical structure.

Now, to measure the GI of a food, people are given a test food with 50 grams of carbs and a control food (like white bread or pure sugar) that gives a similar amount of carbs. Blood samples are taken before people eat the foods, and then after eating them. Doctors look at how the blood sugar levels change.

How they change is the “glucose curve.” A food’s GI is calculated using this curve — how a food impacts your blood sugars compared to sugar itself! For instance, corn flake cereal has a GI of 83 relative to sugar itself, but whole-grain pumpernickel bread is only 46%. What this means is that the blood sugar response to carbs in the corn flake cereal is 83% of what the response is to pure sugar. The pumpernickel bread falls in at 46% of what the body’s response is to the same amount of carbs in pure sugar. Still with me?

Overall, we can use the GI to this effect: if you eat high-GI foods, you’ll have a higher, quicker rise in blood sugar and insulin. Over time, this puts you at greater risk for type 2 diabetes.

In part two of this series, I’ll assess the GI values of a variety of foods, so you can see which tend to impact blood sugar levels more severely than others.

Sign up for the latest health news, tips and special product offers with our daily Free e-Letters, the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and the Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors.

Opt-in by entering your e-mail address below and clicking submit. Your e-mail will never be shared, sold or rented to anyone for promotional or advertising purposes, and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Yes, I’m opting in for the FREE Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and
Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors:

Doctors Health Press Editorial Team

About the Author, Browse Doctors Health Press Editorial Team's Articles

Doctors Health Press publishes daily health articles and monthly health newsletters for a wide array of alternative and natural health topics like healing foods, homeopathic medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, hidden cures for common illnesses, and natural self-healing. Doctors Health Press also publishes books and reports that provide timely health breakthroughs, always focusing on natural and alternative health. Topics include omega health, prostate health, natural weight loss, natural diabetes cures, heart health, stroke prevention, secret herbal cures, vision health, anti-aging, sexual... Read Full Bio »