What is it and Why Should You Care If Your Weight Loss Program Includes It?
Lennie Campbell, Yahoo! Contributor Network
A report written June of 2011 showed that the life expectancy for most US counties falls far behind the other industrialized nations. The report addressed different counties in the US where the life expectancy was the lowest and when I compared it to the counties with the highest rate of obesity, they were the same. For me, this means a direct correlation between the two. Obesity has been linked to heart disease, cancer type 2 diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia. It's now an epidemic in America.
The glycemic index is just starting to take hold in the US and accepted as a valuable resource to help control weight gain among a variety of health issues. To me it is a key tool that can create an enormous impact on obesity. I have been using it as a tool to help my weight loss clients maintain a healthy weight and it's working.
What is the Glycemic Index?
Authors Lucy Beale and Joan Clark, R.D., C.D.E in their book entitled, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Glycemic Index Weight Loss state the simple definition as "The glycemic index is a scientific measurement of how a person's blood sugar levels change while eating different types of carbohydrate foods. The glycemic index's ranking system is only for carbohydrates and not for proteins or fats".
In the beginning the index was only used to help diabetics control their blood sugar levels but as non-diabetic American's began to eat more highly refine carbohydrates and simple sugars ( foods with high starch content and high fructose corn syrup) the glycemic index has become a valuable tool for health in general.
Now all edible carbohydrates in all their forms have been given a value of high, medium or low from the glycemic scale. The carbohydrates with the lowest score are the best. For example: a 1/2 cup of Grapenuts has a score/value of 75 compared to a 1/2 cup of cooked Oatmeal that has a score/value of 53 which is low. The lower, the better.
Why Should You Care?
1. The glycemic index indicates how fast your insulin level rises after eating certain foods. The faster your insulin rises your body can only deal with a certain amount and your body stores the excess blood sugar as fat.
2. When your body begins to store the fat....your metabolism slows down. Slow metabolism equates to more weight gain.
At one time, I was 35 lbs overweight myself. Yes, even me who had been in the weight loss industry for over 15 years. A friend recommended the Medifast program to me and I was totally thrilled to find out the Medifast meal replacements all had a low glycemic index. Once I started the program I could immediately tell a difference in how I felt and my energy remained high. Not to mention the 35 lbs I lost in 2 1/2 months. I even became a health coach for the company through their division called Take Shape For Life and now enjoy seeing dramatic changes happen to all my clients in a very short time because of the of the low glycemic meals.