The term glycemic index is closely related to the subject of zero carb foods and no carb recipes because it is a ranking of how quickly the carbohydrates in the food are absorbed into the body as blood glucose. The glycemic (pronounced glie-see-mik) index is simply a measure of the raise in blood sugar caused by a certain food. It is really a very simple concept to understand. A food with a high glycemic index, or GI, will contain carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed into the body giving a spike in the blood sugar count and thus an increase in the body’s need for insulin. A food with a low GI will be absorbed much slower and thus does not give the glucose spike. These foods do not require massive amount of insulin to me manufactured quickly but instead allow the insulin levels to stay more consistant.
Why should you care about whether a food has a high glycemic index or a low index? The GI levels in foods have a direct relationship to onset of disease and obesity in individuals. High glycemic index foods eaten over time have been shown to increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and even cancer. One study at the University of Sydney in Australia showed that over time the foods eaten at breakfast may have dramatic affect on a person’s health. It was found that a breakfast diet containing white bread and sugar laden cereals may contribute the incidence of heart disease, cancer, and most noticeably diabetes. Zero carb foods on the other hand would not have the same affects because their GI is, or close to, zero.
Zero Carb Foods
If you are concerned about glycemic index, and you should if you are obese or diabetic or pre-diabetic, then you need to understand how zero carb foods affect GI. Do they have a high GI or a low GI? Almost by definition foods with low or no carbs are going to have a low glycemic index. The higher the level of simple sugars, or simple carbohydrates, in a food the higher the index level because these simple sugars are easily absorbed into the body and thus cause a huge spike in glucose levels. Since no carb foods and no carb recipes do not contain these simple sugars you can see that the blood sugar levels will not be near as high. Any raise in blood sugar and thus need for insulin will result over a longer period of time and will not be near as severe.
No carb meals are thus great if you are watching your weight or if you are worried about diabetes. There are a lot of no carb foods that you can partake in which will dramatically affect the glycemic index of the meal. Beef, pork, poultry, and eggs are all foods that have very low GI. By structuring meals with these foods you can limit the spikes of sugar in your blood stream and help with both weight loss and insulin control.
No Carbohydrate Food
Recent studies on animals indicate the glycemic index can have a dramatic affect on weight gain. A high GI diet leads to an increased risk for obesity. A study with animals showed that the ones who were on a high glycemic index diet showed 71% more fat than the animals on the low GI diet. Glycemic and insulin levels were also higher after meal in the first group of animals. A diet rich in no carbohydrate foods would counteract this affect because the foods would be low in GI. The study also showed a negative affect on the pancreas when the diet loaded with carbs was consumed. The indications are that continually eating a diet with high glycemic index carbohydrates would likely lead to a problems with a person ability to metabolize, or utilize foods, in a normal way.
A diet rich in no carbohydrate foods did not have this same affect. In fact, by eating no carb foods along with high GI foods the people were able to actually limit the effects of the glycmic load. This is just another reason to find out about no carb food diets and no carb recipes.