A Great Healthy Heart Diet Secret
Did you know that not all carbohydrate foods are created equal, and that they act very differently in our bodies?
The difference in carbohydrate behavior is ranked by the effect on blood glucose levels. This ranking system is known as the Glycemic Index(GI). Our blood glucose rises and falls when we eat a meal containing carbohydrates. How high it rises and how long it remains high depends on the types of carbcarbohydrates (the GI) and the quantity eaten. The Glycemic Index divides carbohydrate behavior in our bodies into three numerical tiers. High Glycemic Index range is 70 and greater, the medium Glycemic Index range is 56 to 69, and low Glycemic Index range is 55 and below.
Eating a lot of high GI foods can be harmful to your health because it pushes your body to extremes. This is of particular importance if you are overweight and your life style is sedentary.
When you eat a slice cake, the sugar in that treat, also known as a simple carbohydrate is quickly converted to glucose in your bloodstream. Your blood sugar levels rise and spike when simple sugar is eaten alone. If you eat a candy bar for a mid-afternoon snack your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin to move the glucose out of the blood stream and into your cells for energy. As a result, your blood sugar level may drop dramatically. When your blood glucose levels have a very high spike followed by a very low drop you tend to get hungry again. Also low blood sugar can leave you feeling shaky, dizzy, and searching for more sweets to regain that sugar "high." High blood glucose levels can be a threat to your health even if you don't have diabetes. In fact, elevated blood glucose levels within the 'normal' ranfe can damage the blood vessels and circulatory system, increasing the risk of a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and even certain types of cancer. It does so by increasing the production of damaging free radicals and creating oxidative stress and inflammation.
Low GI carbohydrates are the ones that produce low fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels. Switching from high to low GI carbohydrates that slowly trickle (slower gastric emptying time) glucose into your blood stream will not only keep your energy levels balanced, but will also allow you to feel fuller for longer periods of time between meals.
Glucose is your brain's primary fuel source and it needs a steady supply of it throughout the day. Eating that healthy low GI breakfast provides the brain with a more constant level of blood glucose compared with the highs and lows of a high GI breakfast. You can start your day in high gear every day of the week with a healthy low GI breakfast that will nourish and sustain you. Also the effect of a low GI carbohydrate food carries over to the next meal, reducing its glycemic impact. This means that a breakfast eaten after a low GI dinner the previous evening, or a lunch eaten after a low GI breakfast carries an unexpected and beneficial effect that is called the "second meal effect". The experts caution us not to take this information to the extreme, and they recommend that you strive for at least one low GI food per meal. Choosing low GI carbohydrates is one of the secrets to long-term health and reducing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and the added benefit of sustainable weight loss. Now that you know one of the secrets of a Great Healthy Heart Diet share it and enrich the lives of loved ones and friends.