The foods we eat, and the way we balance them in a meal has a dramatic effect on blood glucose levels. Quantity of food consumed plays a big role too, but we will focus this section on how and why we balance our meals with protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and how to choose our carbohydrates for optimal fat loss.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a list of carbohydrates, and how they affect blood glucose after consumption. The index is based on individual testing. After consumption of a specific amount of a carbohydrate, blood glucose levels are then monitored, and then that food is ranked from 0-100 according to the extent the food raises blood sugar after consumption. A food that ranks 100, causes high blood glucose levels, causing insulin to be dumped into the bloodstream, which in turn causes glucose to be taken into the cells for storage and blood glucose levels to drop swiftly. It is thought that these dramatic drops in blood sugar after eating a carbohydrate that has a high glycemic index can cause hunger and cravings for more of this type of carbohydrate. When carbohydrates with a low glycemic index are consumed, the blood glucose levels rise slowly, causing a measured insulin response, and subsequent glucose storage in cells, and a slow and steady decline in blood glucose. Low GI diets have proven benefits for glucose and lipid levels in people with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They have beneficial effects on weight control because they control appetite and delay hunger. They also reduce insulin levels and improve insulin resistance.
- A GI of 70 or more is high
- A GI of 56-69 is medium
- A GI of 55 or less is low
Glycemic Load (GL) takes this concept a step further, and takes serving size into consideration.
- A GL of 20 or more is high
- 11-19 is medium
- GL of 10 or less is low.
The equation for GL is: GL=GI/100 x net carbs (net carbs equals total carbohydrates minus fiber)
Glycemic Load / Glycemic Index Chart
Notice some of the worst offenders are starchy carbs like breads, cakes, bagels, most cereals, pastas, potatoes, rice, and corn. These foods turn into glucose very rapidly, causing a rush of insulin released into the bloodstream. Whole grain and gluten-free products tend to fair much better than their white counterparts on the GI/GL index.
Proteins and fats do not raise blood glucose levels. In fact, when eaten along with carbohydrates, they actually slow the absorption of the carbohydrate. This causes blood sugars to rise slowly, causing a more controlled release of insulin. For best weight loss results, balance your meals with low fat meat, fish or poultry, plenty of vegetables, and a small measured amount of a carbohydrate with a low glycemic index. Besides the obvious choice of vegetables as your main source of carbohydrates, other good sources of carbohydrates are: fruit, oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato/yam, and gluten-free or sprouted grain breads; but these must be consumed in small quantities at each meal for best fat loss results. A half a cup of quinoa, oats, or brown rice is perfect for a woman with a medium frame. Larger women and men will tolerate slightly more.
The new Shaklee 180 weight loss program is an incredible plan for weight loss. Its success is due partly to the fact that their products have low glycemic values. These values are prominently displayed on the packaging. Check out the Shaklee 180 program to turn your health and life around!