The Glycemic Index & What It Means To You

by Jason Yun

The Glycemic Index, GI, is something that was created to help gauge the effect that carbohydrates have on your blood sugar levels. It was originally designed to help the diets of people with diabetes.

When you eat carbs your body breaks them down. How fast they are broken down will give that carbohydrate a number between 1-100, 100 being the fastest, which if losing weight and unsightly body fat is your goal you do not want.

A higher GI number means that it is absorbed by the blood stream much quicker. The only time that you would want this is for your post-workout meal or shake—that’s when it’s going to be shuttled to all your muscles and organs that have been depleted during the workout. Other times it is bad. You ever eaten something, get a quick surge of energy, and then 1/2 – 1 hour later feel either really tired or really hungry? You probably ate a high GI meal. Doing this consistently will probably have you snacking on things you shouldn’t in between meals. And guess what, those snacks are usually high GI.

Want to know what food scores 100 on the GI index? White bread. That’s right! Wonder Bread makes you wonder, huh? If you are still eating this monstrosity of a food please stop—and stop feeding it to your kids. A high GI score is a double-edged sword. It also results in a high release of Insulin. I’m not going to get too much into insulin, but when you have high releases of it time after time, it significantly increases your chances for adult-onset diabetes (which more and more kids are getting), and it also severely retards your natural fat burning abilities.

Low GI is what I recommend throughout the day, except for your post-workout meal or shake. Eating these types of foods are going to help reduce your hunger and give you sustained energy throughout the day and in between your meals. All types of vegetables, whole wheat, oats, and rice are just a few. They’re also the type you want to get about 30 – 90 minutes before your workout. These types of carbs help prolong your strength and endurance, especially when combined with protein. Plus, there are a whole slew of health benefits, such as reducing risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancers, and lowering cholesterol.

So what score makes it high and what makes it low? High is considered 70 and above. Medium is considered 56-69, and low is 55 and under. Check out http://www.lowglycemicdiet.com/gifoodlist.html for a list of popular foods and their scores. Some are a shock. But keep in mind not all high glycemic foods are bad for you, but also not all low glycemic foods are good for you. Like watermelon, 72, and M&M’s, 33.

Jason Yun CSCS, CISSN, is the founder of the widely popular Yun Fitness Boot Camps in Columbus. It provides the best Group Training Camps in Columbus, OH for a third of the cost of personal training. For a FREE 2-week trial to his Columbus Yun Fitness Boot Camps and to receive your Fat Loss Starter Kit please visit http://www.yunbootcamps.com

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