Understanding the Glycemic Index

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,251
    Dr. Russell Greenfield explains the Glycemic index, how it affects you and which foods are best for your health.

    Russell Greenfield: Hi! I am Dr. Russell Greenfield. Today, I am going to talk about the Glycemic Index and how to classify certain foods. The Glycemic Index is a tool used to classify foods based on how rapidly they cause a rise in blood sugar relative to other foods. The higher the Glycemic Index, the more quickly blood sugar levels can be expected to go up, shortly after eating that particular food.

    High Glycemic foods score from 70-100 on the index. Medium Glycemic Foods from about 55 to 69 and low Glycemic Index foods score less than 54. The rapid rise in blood sugar that occurs when we eat high Glycemic Index foods is usually followed by a significant release of insulin which removes sugar from the blood stream, often leaving us feeling somewhat tired and hungry for some of those same rapidly digesting carbohydrates and placing a lot of stress on the body.

    Low Glycemic Index foods are digested more slowly permitting a more gentle and consistent rise in blood sugar levels and reducing hunger. Research suggest that eating a high Glycemic Index diet contributes to the development of heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammatory distorters, weight gain and even some forms of cancer.

    The Glycemic Index of various foods is easily available in the internet. But the easiest way to put the concept of Glycemic Index to work for you is to eat few or highly processed and white foods. Enjoy more whole grains, legumes and nuts and eat high Glycemic Index foods with a little protein or healthy fat and some fiber to slow absorption of sugar. By eating this way, you will be sure to keep your body healthy and happy.