What Is Glycemic Response?

October 2, 2011

glcemic responseAre you confused about which foods to eat because of your glycemic response?  You are probably wondering “What Is Glycemic Response”?  Glycemic response is how your body reacts to the carbohydrates you eat.  Some carbohydrates will cause your body to secrete more insulin to digest the food.  This high increase in insulin is not very healthy and can make you obese as well as increase your incidence of Heart Disease and Diabetes.  Therefore, the goal should be to consume foods that are do not have a high glycemic response.  So which foods are good and which ones are bad for your Glycemic Response?

Just remember that all carbohydrates are not created equal.  Carbohydrates are broken down into simple and complex carbohydrates.  The easiest way of understanding the two types of carbohydrates is that simple carbohydrates are white (sugar, white bread, white pasta, etc…) and complex carbohydrates are brown (brown rice, wheat bread, wheat pasta, etc…).  I know there is more to it than just the color of the food, but that is a good rule of thumb without having to carry around a chart listing foods and their glycemic response.  Check out glycemic response chart for a detailed list of foods if you want, but stick to the color and you can get by 70% of the time.

So what is the difference in carbohydrates except the color?

Simple carbohydrates are easily broken down by your body and are used quickly for energy.  That is why it is a good idea to consume a high glycemic response carbohydrate 30 minutes prior to a workout.  This will provide you with the energy you need to perform your workout so you do not get too fatigued with your workout.  However, if you are eating high glycemic response foods throughout the day and not exercising then your body will store these calories as fat rather quickly.  When simple carbohydrates are digested your body secretes high levels of insulin and if you are eating this throughout the day then you will have insulin spikes throughout the day.  This up and down effect with the insulin is what leads to the altering levels of blood glucose and feeling tired, irritable, no energy, etc…  Furthermore, you will store more calories as fat around your waist and increase your body’s resistance to insulin over time which can lead to Diabetes and Heart Disease.

glycemic response 3

Complex carbohydrates have a low glycemic response and a more steady pace of digestion.  This steady pace of digestion releases insulin in a steady pace and decreases the spikes of insulin secretion.  This allows your body to digest the food over time and therefore provide you with sustained energy throughout the day.  You will decrease the fast storage of calories as fat because you are digesting the food over time and can even burn calories while you are digesting your meal.  If most of your diet is from the low glycemic response foods then you will store less fat around your waist, increase your energy levels, become more active, and decrease your risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease.

If you love to cook and are good at putting food together and counting calories then you are one step ahead of everyone.  However, if you want to take the guess work out of putting the food together you can find some good programs and cookbooks that can do it for you.

Learn this concept and stick to it and you will benefit from Higher Energy Levels, Less Fat On Your Midsection and a Healthier Life!!

To Your Healthy Weight Loss ASAP,

Dr. B

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