Losing Weight With The Glycemic Index Chart

By Kathleen Adams

When losing weight, you need all the help you can get. Choosing food wisely is key, and a glycemic index chart is a very useful tool. Knowing how a food impacts your system is as important as portion size, freshness, whether it's organic, or how much fiber it contains. The chart will tell you how each food impacts your blood sugar levels.

Metabolism is a complex process, but understanding the basics is all that's necessary. When a food is digested, glucose is released into the blood stream. This is a normal process that fuels your body, giving you energy and allowing the body to carry out its many functions. However, extra glucose is a signal to the pancreas to secrete insulin. This hormone causes the extra to be stored, to be burned later for energy or accumulated as fat.

Some foods are digested more quickly than others, which is why you can't simply count calories. A bagel, for instance, contains mainly white flour and water, so it's digested easily and its glucose is rapidly released into the blood stream. The resulting insulin release is greater than if you ate a chocolate chip cookie, a more complicated food. A Snickers bar has a lower glycemic ranking than popcorn. Since the object of any weight loss program includes limiting the insulin response, you need to make choices.

A candy bar, even if loaded with peanuts, is not a good choice, of course, Its sugars still promote tooth decay, further an addiction to sweets, and count as empty calories. It's better to just eat peanuts, dry roasted and seasoned with a little sea salt. Peanuts have an extremely low number on the chart.

When planning a weight-loss program, knowing how a particular food impacts your system is helpful. The trick is to select healthy foods with a low rating on the chart. If the major part of your diet comes from low-index foods that are also full of fiber, high in protein, and packed with vitamins and minerals, you will lose those extra pounds and feel good doing it.

A lot of the chart will make sense. Ice cream, candy, dried fruit, sodas, french fries, and white bread are generally known to cause weight gain. These are all ranked at the top of the chart. Some of the things in the 'to be limited' range of above 55 may surprise you, however. Granolas, flavored instant oatmeals and yogurts, orange juice, and rice do not promote weight loss. Fortunately, there are many, many foods that have a count of 54 or lower, so there's no need to feel deprived.

Finding enough foods that you like so you can have a varied meal plan is one benefit of the index. While avoiding mistakes, like eating a plain baked potato or a cup of diced watermelon, you can remember that you like lentils, yams, and hummus. It's also easier to stay on the diet if you can eat bigger portions. It takes a lot of hummus to get you into the danger zone.

The index is a useful tool that can make this your most successful diet ever. Knowing more about the foods you eat can also help you avoid conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

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