Thursday, February 2, 2012

Is The Glycemic Index More Valuable Than A Pay Rise? by Andrew Mason

During a recent survey by one of the diet industry leaders, it was revealed that many Americans would rather forgo a job promotion or a raise, if they could find a solution that would allow them to control their weight more effectively. This is an especially troubling revelation, given the fact that we are all under so much financial pressure, these days. It just goes to show how conventional diets have been unable to satisfy our collective weight problem and how we really crave a solution, rather than craving our next meal.

In recent times, a revolutionary approach to dieting and weight control was developed when scientists came up with what is known as the glycemic index. This index is not only effective at regulating weight, but it is also a primary tool in the battle against diabetes. The index is based on the fact that certain types of food cause a variation in our blood sugar. We can most clearly see this when we try and exercise, for example. A concerted amount of exercise will result in a lowering of our blood sugar levels and associated lethargy. To counter this, we eat a certain carbohydrate to raise our blood sugars quickly and continue with exercise.

As certain carbohydrates have an ability to quickly elevate our blood sugar levels, these should be avoided at all costs if we are to try and regulate not only our weight, but also our vulnerability to diabetes. You see, when blood sugar levels are raised too quickly, high levels of insulin are produced and this also leads to an elevation in the production of fat reserves. The body is, quite simply, getting ready for the onslaught of this type of food and preparing accordingly. However, these fat reserves, once produced, do not simply go away, but rather they contribute to our ever-growing weight control problem.

To determine just how a certain type of carbohydrate affects our body, scientists decided to test each carb on a cross-section of volunteer individuals. Each carb was adjusted so that a 50 g portion was standard. Then, each food was rated according to its level in relation to pure glucose. While many people are not used to consuming pure glucose, of course, others have determined that white bread would be a far better reference point. This is, after all, part of the staple diet of a large portion of the population and more recognizable.

For the glycemic index to be absolutely effective, we have to adjust it according to the way that each food is prepared and the actual size of the portion and this is referred to as the glycemic load. This determines how a particular carbohydrate will affect the body based on its origin, quantity and preparation.

The glycemic index diet is one of the most progressive of the modern era, especially as it has an ability to control not only weight variations, but also diabetes, one of the most prevalent and costly illnesses of our time.