Sugar Sugar: GI Janes of Blood Sugar Control, Keep The Control

90. 120. 5.6. Not your new IP address, not your new om to meditate by, not the coordinates of the next GI move, but important numbers we all need to live by. Fasting blood sugar under 90, no higher than 120 one hour after meals, and levels over the past month that are low measured by a number called the hemoglobin a1c that shouldn’t be over 5.6. You may need to gab with your own gyno to get your own lab’s target numbers.

So even though we are on the Sugar attack for some of us that may still be a bit high to set the bar. After a meal just how high will those sugars go, is something you need to understand. It will affect a pregnancy, it will affect how well you tolerate hormones and contraception, it certainly will affect your weight. So that we can understand by how quickly blood sugar rises after some sort of carbohydrate consumption, in doc speak, we have to understand what is called the glycemic index of a particular food. Simple sugars (Pick up that bottle you are drinking, do you see glucose, fructose, sucrose or the like? Those are simple sugars in case you were wondering;) are broken down and released into the blood stream nearly immediately, and thus, have an astronomically high glycemic index (GI) compared to other foods that may have the same carbs. In food talk that you would understand that would be candy, white bread, and potatoes to name a few. Complex carbohydrates are sugars strung together. Brown rice and whole grains have a low glycemic index and tend to have that slower and surer blood sugar levels as they have to be digested more completely to release sugars. The pace of the sugar release into the blood stream will reflect on other hormones.

Although the formulas are not so cut and dry, diets consisting of foods with high glycemic indices have been linked to an increased risk for both diabetes and heart disease, and of course, well, being fat. Other ways to control your GI: Fiber, it will compete for sugar release into the blood stream, as does some fat, yes, slows carb conversion into the simple sugars, the form of your grains, so too finely ground, you got it, even an overly processed brown rice will be more rapidly digested, eat your vegs and fruits unripe? Well yes, ripening increases the sugar content, and of course, control people, do not LOAD…your glycemic load is measured by your GI x total no. of carbs…so be GI Janes and try to be in control.

Fear carbs? Hate carbs? Totally want to avoid carbs? No, you actually don’t. Carbohydrates are a component of other important molecules for health. Glycoproteins, sugar and protein linked are the form of our serum proteins, including enzymes, hormones, immunoglobulins which help fight infections, and are believed to have a roles in both cell growth and communication between our cells. Glycolipids, are sugars and fats linked together and they found in the protective myelin sheath covering  of neurons, and proteoglycans are found in cartilage, the synovial fluid of the spine, vitreous humor the substance of our eye, and in our skin as well. So like a good soldier, balance is the answer!


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