Glycaemic index - preventing obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
index (GI) of carbohydrates compares their ability to release
glucose into the blood (and therefore stimulate insulin
secretion) with that of an equivalent weight of pure glucose.
increase blood sugar levels and therefore cause insulin
to be released from the pancreas in order to control the
glucose levels. The more glucose that has been made available
in the blood, the more insulin is released to control it.
This happens in two ways.
the presence of insulin instructs the liver that energy
requirements are more than being met by current food intake,
so the breakdown of fat to provide energy from body stores
is unnecessary. Therefore, insulin stops the body
from burning fat for energy.
and at the same time, excess sugar in the blood is quickly
targeted to be stored for later energy requirements and
is converted to fat. So, insulin also causes the
body to store more fat.
the blood sugar level remains high, more insulin is released
in an effort to reduce it.
these two very simple rules, it should be easy to see that
any food that causes sudden increases in blood sugar and
therefore massive release of insulin is likely to lead
to increased fat production and storage.
therefore, people who eat a lot of sugary foods and other
foods with a high GI such as refined flour, potatoes, white
rice and cereal-based foods are more likely to retain fat
than those that don't. Unfortunately, this is exactly
what we are told to do by modern medicine and Government,
who clearly have no idea about weight control. For
more information on how this affects those who are overweight
and how to safely lose weight, click
The following table gives an indication of the relative
GI of various foods.
biscuits / cookies
water content fruits (melon etc)
*the GI of Maltose is actually higher than that of glucose.
i.e. malt and it's products (like beer) actually stimulate
more insulin release than pure sugar!
is clear from this table is that different varieties of
similar foods have different effects. For example, boiled
potatoes have a lower GI than baked potatoes and wholewheat
varieties of bread and pasta are much better than their white
counterparts. This is explained below.
of eating high GI foods consistently is to lead to constantly
high insulin levels. In this situation, the
body becomes accustomed to these high levels and starts to
respond to them less effectively over time. As this progresses,
more and more insulin is required to have the same effect
on the tissues. This phenomenon is known as insulin
resistance, and is the first step towards diabetes.
is made worse if the body has insufficient chromium.
Chromium helps insulin to exert its effect on the tissues,
sugar uptake and thereby reducing blood sugar. In
the absence of chromium, insulin is much less effective,
sugar levels stay high and MORE insulin is secreted in
an effort to
it is not all bad news. Whilst It is best to avoid foods
with a high GI, they often have direct alternatives with
a moderate or even low GI. This is because the insulin-stimulating
effect of carbohydrates is greatly reduced in the presence
of fibre, as found in some fruits and the wheatgerm present
in whole wheat. This moderates the insulin response, spreading
out the absorption of carbohydrate over a prolonged timespan
and so reduces the amount of insulin released.
the use of chromium supplements
makes insulin's job easier, helping reduce blood glucose
(and therefore insulin) to normal levels.
way, the effect of brown rice and wholewheat alternatives
to white flour products is much lower, and therefore much
less detrimental to health. This is why it is best to ALWAYS use
wholewheat / wholegrain versions of these foods.
resistance and diabetes.
diabetes is discussed elsewhere on this site, it is worth
touching here on the role of insulin resistance in the
development of the disease.
the inability of the body to produce enough insulin to
control blood sugar. As a consequence, those who suffer
from diabetes suffer from a number of problems related
to the massive spikes of sugar immediately following a
meal and subsequent troughs in between meals, which, if
unchecked can lead very quickly to coma and death.
long been known that frank diabetes is often, indeed usually
preceded by a period of insulin resistance, in which, as
described above, more and more insulin is released with
each subsequent dose of carbohydrate in order to overcome
the increasing insensitivity of the tissues to insulin's "demands".
the body reaches a stage where, no matter how much insulin
is produced, the tissues no longer respond and blood sugar
remains unchecked. In such a situation, the pancreas can "give
up" completely, and all insulin secretion may stop.
Whether this happens or not, diabetes is the result, and
huge doses of insulin are required to be injected to overcome
the problem. Needless to say, the high insulin levels mean
that many diabetics are overweight. This adds further stress
to the system.
to this "end stage" diabetes, there is much to
be gained from limiting the intake of high (and even medium)
GI foods (not just sugar, as advised by medicine) and taking
an appropriate dose of chromium supplements to make the
existing insulin more effective.
information on diabetes, click
diabetes using natural methods
weight loss using natural methods
heart disease using natural methods
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