ageist EDITORS | november 24, 2017


glycemic index

All calories are not the same. We know we need to understand how many calories we consume, but it is also important to understand the glycemic load of a meal. The glycemic index is the amount of glucose in a given food. The glycemic load is how many grams of it you eat per serving. A single blueberry is fine, a bowl of them on an empty stomach is not so great. When you add glucose (sugar) to your blood stream, if you don’t immediately burn it doing something intense like an hour of CrossFit, it will turn your blood to a pink foamy froth that is going to cause a cascade of health issues — the most obvious being it converts to fat. (The best description of this I have read is in Ray Kurzweil’s book Transcend, page 214.) This is why people are interested in low-carb diets. Simple carbohydrates such as white bread and potatoes convert quickly to glucose. For instance, a pancake has a glycemic load of 39 vs lentils which have a load of 5. If you put maple syrup on the pancake you had better be preparing to immediately climb Denali, otherwise you are about to bond a whole lot of triglycerides (fat) to your body. It is one reason why people go Paleo, which has other issues, but a turkey leg and broccoli have a very low glycemic load. For someone like myself, the worst thing I can imagine is a glass of orange juice and coffee for breakfast. Just thinking about it gets my blood foaming. But that is just me. You should eat however you feel happiest.