glycemic index

  1. High-glycemic index foods increase diabetes risk

    The foods you love are killing you

    No one will argue that processed foods and other junk are actually healthy.

    But advertising's another story -- and unfortunately, the message from medicine is being drowned out by the one coming from the advertisers. The message from them is to go ahead and eat up, because a little junk, even high-glycemic index foods food never hurt anyone.

    Well, it's time to put that myth to bed for good. A little junk food by itself can do plenty of damage on its own. But most people can't stop at a little -- and the more you eat, the more damage it will do.

    And now, new research confirms what's already all too obvious: The average amount of junk people eat these days is more than enough to dramatically boost the risk of diabetes.

    The study focused on high-glycemic index -- in general, carbs, especially the sugars and refined carbohydrates found in junk food, processed foods, and convenience foods.

    These high-glycemic index cause your blood sugar levels to spike, forcing your pancreas to pump out insulin. Eat them too often, and your pancreas will eventually break down from exhaustion -- and you end up with type-2 diabetes.

    All it takes is 100 grams of sugar (or the equivalent) a day--per 2,000 calories of diet--to increase your risk of diabetes by 45 percent, according to data on 125,000 people from 24 studies published over the past 15 years.

    That may sound like a lot of sugar and sugar equivalent. It is a lot -- but it's well below what most people eat, because the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that average consumption of sugar and sugar equivalents is 139 grams a day.

    So forget the message from the advertisers.

    While it might be tempting to give in to the convenience and even the taste of high-glycemic index, there shouldn't be anything tempting about a lifetime of meds and insulin injections -- a lifetime ultimately cut short by heart disease.

    The time to make changes is now -- before it's too late. And the best place to start is with the Mediterranean diet.

  2. Carbs tied to heart risk

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    Carb-based diets are bad for everyone... but a new study shows how they can be especially destructive to women.

    You might know how these diets can lead to big, bulging bellies, and how the sugars can rot your teeth right out of your mouth. But the latest research finds that loading up on carbs can also double your heart disease risk.

    Italian researchers say the problems are caused by simple carbohydrates--foods highest on the glycemic index, which are most quickly converted into sugar inside the body.

    Most of these are forms of sugars or highly refined carbs like white bread that you should be avoiding anyway... yet these are the foods that most of us are eating morning, noon and night.

    It's the starchy white backbone of the modern American diet of disease.

    The researchers studied data on 15,171 men and 32,578 women collected over eight years, and found that women who consumed the most total carbs had twice the heart risk as those who ate the fewest... but that the association was mostly caused by foods high on the glycemic index.

    In fact, these women had 2.25 times the risk of heart disease than women who ate low-glycemic foods.

    Of course, this isn't especially new--but the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms the dangers of these foods. Other studies, including the Nurses Health Study conducted here in the United States, have also found a heart risk for women from carbs.

    The researchers say they did not see the same risk in men... but that doesn't mean it's not there. Since a lifetime of carbs will make anyone, male or female, fat and diabetic, you'll eventually face that heart disease risk anyway--along with a host of other health problems.

    The easiest way to avoid these risks is to avoid the carbs--especially the deadly simple sugars. In an ideal world, you should minimize all your carbs, but cutting back on sugars and other high- glycemic foods is a great place to start.

    To learn more about them, check out the Glycemic Index Web site.The site has a searchable database, which shows you not only where each food ranks on the glycemic index, but what the overall carb load is as well.

  3. Diet linked to cancer risk in women

    For women, new research shows how the high-carb lifestyle can harm you in other ways: These foods, and foods that rank high on the glycemic index, can increase the risk of breast cancer.
  4. Skip the carbs and live better

    The latest science shows more clearly than ever how even the most "healthy" of the Torture Chamber foods can contribute to these conditions.

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