Have you ever noticed that after eating certain meals you feel hungrier than before you ate? The glycemic index is the key to explaining why this happens.
The glycemic index is the rate at which foods break down to be released as glucose into the bloodstream. Depending on their effect on insulin production, foods can be labeled high, moderate or low on the glycemic scale.
You see, when you eat, your pancreas reacts by releasing insulin, the hormone meant to take excess glucose (blood sugar) out of your bloodstream. When a high glycemic food (usually a carbohydrate) enters the bloodstream too fast, the pancreas responds by secreting high levels of insulin. While this brings the blood sugar level down, it also tells the body to store glucose as fat, and to keep it stored. Your metabolism signals that this drop in blood sugar requires attention, eating more food.
The bottom line? Too many carbohydrates, fat free or otherwise, will not only make you fat, but they will keep you that way. However, you can level the glucose release by eating a low index food (chicken) along with a high index carbohydrate (rice).
Insulin and glucagon are the primary hormones that regulate the storage and release of energy within the body. When you eat, insulin drives metabolism to store the excess sugar, fat and protein as body fat for your body to use later. When you need the energy, glucagone drives your metabolism in the opposite direction, burning your stored fat by converting it to glucose energy.
The chief function of insulin is to keep your blood sugar from rising too high, and if blood sugar rises, so does insulin. Glucagon is responsible for preventing the blood sugar from falling too low, if the blood sugar falls, so does the insulin level, causing the glucagon level to rise. Blood sugar controls the functioning of the entire metabolic system by releasing insulin and glucagon. Both hormones are always present, working together. As one increases, the other decreases to keep the metabolism balanced.
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