Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Does The Glycemic Index Have More Value Than A Pay Rise? by Andrew Mason

It was a sign of the times when a group of Americans recently indicated that they would rather find a solution to help them control their weight than take a pay raise or job promotion. This is just what a leading diet industry company found during a recent survey. It just goes to show how concerned we all are with our weight issues and further underlines that conventional diets are not able to satisfy our needs.

Scientists recently came up with a revolutionary approach to dieting and weight control. Known as the glycemic index, it has been touted as a solution not only to regulating weight, but also to help in the battle against diabetes. The glycemic index calculates the interaction of certain categories of food as they enter our body. We know that these foods cause a variation in blood sugar, as we have seen the evidence during periods of exertion. For example, when we work out we often become lethargic and eat a certain category of carbohydrate to raise our blood sugar, so that we can continue with the exercise.

Knowing that certain carbohydrates are a key factor in regulating blood sugar levels, we can come to the conclusion that certain types of carb should be avoided if we want to try and regulate our weight. When blood sugar levels rise up too quickly, insulin is produced in greater quantity, also spurring the creation of additional fat reserves. As the body is getting ready for the onslaught of this food and is trying to pave the way for additional exertion, we nevertheless run the risk of developing diabetes in the long run. Those fat reserves do not simply disappear, either, and we will have a great deal of difficulty regulating our weight as a consequence.

The scientists who developed the glycemic index understood how certain carbohydrates affect your body differently and they set out to test each carb to see where it stood on the scale. A group of individuals were fed a 50 g portion of each cab and the effect was rated according to its level of productivity. At the top end of the scale was pure glucose and everything else was lined up against it. Of course, most people don't eat pure glucose and some have determined that white bread would have been a better reference point, especially as it is a staple part of the diet for millions of people around the world.

If the glycemic index is to be effective, it has to be modified to take into account the way that we actually prepare and serve our food. We know how different portion sizes can affect the glycemic load and part of dietary preparation is ensuring that the portion sizes are never exceeded.

Today, the glycemic index diet is known as one of the most advanced of the modern era. If used correctly, it can be effectively used to determine the progress of diabetes and can also be a powerful aid in the ongoing battle against obesity.