The Effects of a High Glycemic Lifestyle


The topic I am exploring here is a big one – it’s a tough one to get a handle on.  At first it seems like all bad news, but I want to assure you there is a wonderful silver lining, a positive side to this.  A high glycemic lifestyle can be totally stopped by making healthy lifestyle changes, and in many cases – the negative effects can the REVERSED!!  How do I know this, you ask?  Personal experience!

Education and healthy lifestyle changes

Only a short time ago, my husband and I (unknowingly) had a very high glycemic diet/ lifestyle and we were experiencing many of the effects listed below.  Through education and a few healthy lifestyle changes – we were both able to completely reverse many of our health problems!  We totally value our good health, vitality and energy, so we will never go back to a high glycemic lifestyle!

drawn illustration of a fat person whose belly contains all manner to junk food and sweets

High glycemic foods and the negative cycle

So what exactly is ‘high glycemic’ anyway??  High glycemic foods have a high rating on the Glycemic Index (GI) scale and also have a high Glycemic Load (GL).  In a nutshell: high GI and GL carbs digest very quickly when eaten, and spike the body’s blood sugar, which causes health issues.  

Here is a simplified version of the negative cycle that happens in our body when we eat high GI or high GL foods:

Consumption of high glycemic foods (refined carbs) –> increased blood sugar (‘spike’) –> body has to secrete insulin to take sugar out of the blood, (glucagon – the fat burning hormone – is suppressed) –> insulin transports some blood sugar to cells for energy, excess is stored as increased body fat –> body now has low blood sugar (‘crash’) –> leads to low energy, mood swings, irritability, hunger, craving more refined carbs –> the cycle starts again with more consumption of high glycemic foods (refined carbs)….. on and on it goes.

Negative long term health effects

There are long term effects on our bodies that take years, or sometimes decades to manifest.  Some of these include:

  • Continuous (slow) weight gain, along with an inability to stop this and/or reverse it – fat seems to accumulate around the belly
  • Insulin resistance – when the body does not use insulin properly and has to produce more and more of it.  Studies have shown that insulin resistance is likely a major cause of a ‘fatty liver’.
  • Production of glucagon, the fat burning hormone, is suppressed – so the body holds onto fat (like a sponge holds onto water)
  • Five factors for Metabolic Syndrome increase:
  1. Increase of abdominal obesity (belly fat)
  2. Fasting blood sugar increases
  3. Blood pressure increases
  4. Good cholesterol levels (HDL) decrease
  5. Trigylceride levels increase
  • Increased risk for Type 2 Diabetes
  • Increased risk for heart disease
  • Low energy
  • Increased inflammation in the body

There’s good news!

Don’t despair! There is good news!! Choosing a lifestyle of healthy, low glycemic foods and whole foods in your daily nutritional intake, along with high quality cellular nutrition – can stop the ‘high glycemic /sugar craving’ rollercoaster!

Check out my blog The Benefits of Low Glycemic Eating – which focuses on what healthy, low glycemic food choices really are.

Are you feeling the roller-coaster effects of high glycemic eating?  Are you interested in learning more?  I’d be happy to help and support you in making healthy lifestyle changes to ‘kick’ the sugar craving permanently! Contact me


Informational Resources:

Dr. Ray Strand’s book Healthy for Life

Pub Med Health – Metabolic Syndrome

National Institute of Diabetes  – Insulin Resistance & Prediabetes

NY Times – Obesity & the Diabetes Puzzle

Harvard Health Publications – GI & GL for 100 Foods

Specifically Pages 9 and 10:  NY Times – Is Sugar Toxic


Copyright © 2013 Cathy Ormon – All Rights Reserved

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