Facts to Know about Glycemic Index

Woman choosing between a hamburger and salad

Ever feel guilty when you bite a piece of chocolate or a cup of brown rice, wary either will send your blood sugar sky high? Not all carbohydrates raise blood glucose equally. This can be explained by the glycemic index (GI), which ranks foods based on how much they may raise glucose levels.
The glycemic index (GI), a system introduced in 1981 that rates foods based on how much they raise blood glucose levels. It was originally developed for diabetics, but the GI has bled into the mainstream and helped bolster popular diets like Atkins, South Beach, and NutriSystem.
The idea behind this is that low GI foods digest more slowly and thus keep blood sugar levels in check, helping keep the hunger beast at bay. Subsequently, higher GI foods are thought to send your blood sugar levels through the roof, only to come crashing down faster.

Now let us see how it disconnects from your weight loss motive,

Context variation

In the case of the Glycemic Index, you have a tool that was created to help people with an actual health issue (diabetes) control their blood sugar, that is now being marketed towards people with no actual health issues as a way to lose fat. When you take the index out of its original context and apply to another vastly different situation, it ceases to become applicable, especially when you consider that the GI of a food is determined by eating it in isolation and after an overnight fast, both of which are not reflective of how we eat on a daily basis. Throwing in the fact that you can raise or lower the GI of a food by adding other foods to the meal doesn’t help make things anymore reliable, either.

Lack of scientific evidence

There are several diet books on the market that point to the Glycemic Index as the engine behind their results when in reality the only magic happening is that many of the lower GI foods also tend to be lower in calories, which helps in creating a caloric deficit, which in turn drives fat loss. As a general rule of thumb, whenever a diet plan or system focuses on one food group to show you that this is the reason why their plan is superior to all others, it is pure hype and they’ve simply managed to come up with a way of convincing you to eat less than you need to on a consistent enough basis to see results. All these roads lead to the same place in the end.

Acts as a magnifier

High glycemic foods are not harmful to health as they are projected. You’ve had some issues with losing fat in the past due to confusion about what to eat, but now you’ve finally figured out a way to eat that is in line with your goals.You get to talking about your newfound awesomeness to a friend whose opinion you respect greatly, and he tells you that while you’re losing fat now, it is simply a fluke and that your results aren’t “official” because you’re eating high GI foods. Because you respect this person so much, you abandon what was clearly working for you and start following their advice, and your fat loss stalls as a result. As a result, you deviate from your line and start omitting those healthy things you found that are opt for you.

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