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Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Glycemic Index & Weight Loss

by Lisa Drayer, MA, RD

Just when you thought fruits and vegetables were key to staying slim, many new diet plans say hold the carrots, corn and even those ripe bananas. Why? Because these foods have a high "glycemic index" (GI) that effect weight loss.

The Scoop:The glycemic index was actually developed as a research tool, to measure how quickly our blood sugar rises after eating a carbohydrate-rich food. The higher the GI value of a food, the more quickly it gets broken down in the body, and the faster the rise in blood sugar.
Now, many diet books (including Sugar Busters and The Glucose Revolution) tell us to avoid foods with high GI values because they say these foods cause the body to secrete more insulin, (the hormone that lowers blood sugar levels) and this leaves us feeling hungry. In other words, your blood sugar spikes and then crashes -- and before you know it, you're craving the cookie jar. Additionally, proponents say that any extra sugar gets stored as fat.

Before we get too excited about GI theory, there are a few points to consider:

This weight loss continued in part 2...

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