Blood sugar is the best indicator of how healthy, energetic, and alert you are. If consumed in
excess, sugar can be toxic since it can’t be stored anywhere in the body. It’s important to
keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Fats and proteins have minimal impact on blood sugar levels. The major cause of rising
blood sugar is actually carbohydrates. Are you surprised?
Natural carbs can be found in:
When these carbs are refined into sugars and starches, they digest quickly and cause your
blood sugar to rise.
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are a type of nutrient found in foods. The three basic forms of
When you eat or drink something with carbs, your body breaks down those sugars and
starches into a type of sugar called glucose: the main source of energy for cells in your body.
Fiber passes through your body undigested.
Glucose needs to be regulated in your bloodstream; this is a task completed by two main
hormones from your pancreas:
– Insulin moves glucose from the bloodstream into cells
– Glucagon helps release glucose stored in your liver when you have low blood sugar
levels (blood glucose).
This process helps keep your body fuelled, and ensures a natural balance in blood glucose.
Different types of carbohydrate foods have properties that affect how quickly your body
digests them and how quickly glucose enters your bloodstream.
The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index (GI) is a system of assigning a number to carbohydrate-containing foods,
according to how they increase blood sugar.
The term “glycemic index diet” usually refers to a specific diet plan that uses the index as
the primary–or only–guide for meal planning. Unlike some other plans, a GI diet doesn’t necessarily specify portion sizes or the optimal number of calories, carbohydrates, or fats for weight loss or weight maintenance.
All popular commercial diets, diet books, and diet websites are based on the glycemic index,
including the Zone Diet, Sugar Busters, the Slow-Carb Diet, the paleo diet, the Atkins diet,
the high fat diet, and even the high fiber diet.
The purpose of a GI diet is to eat carbohydrate-containing foods that are less likely to cause
extreme increases in blood sugar levels.
The diet could result in:
– Losing weight
– Preventing chronic diseases related to obesity, such as diabetes and cardiovascular
The GI principle was first developed as a food-choice guide for people with diabetes. The
concept was put forward by Dr. David Jenkins and his colleague, Thomas Wolever, in the
1980s. Today, an international GI database is maintained by Sydney University Glycemic
Index Research Services in Sydney, Australia. The database contains the results of studies
conducted at research facilities around the world.
Understanding GI values
There are various research methods for assigning a GI value to food. In general, the number
is based on how much a food item raises blood glucose levels, compared with how much
pure glucose raises blood glucose. GI values are generally divided into three categories:
– Low: 1 to 55
– Medium: 56 to 69
– High: 70 and higher
Monitoring these values can help guide you to healthier food choices. For example, a slice of
white-flour bread has a GI value of 77. A slice of whole-wheat bread has a GI value of 45.
Ultimately, there are ways to cope with the rising popularity of carbohydrates and refined
sugars in today’s diet, as long as you have the patience to learn. Start by being more aware
of your food choices, eating healthy, listening to your body’s needs, and utilizing the world’s
first carbohydrate optimizer: Uncarb. Every step toward better health is a step toward a