Answering the question, “Is it paleo?” is your first step. This is helpful because it rules out like 99% of the shit people put in their face-holes on a daily basis. But then there is the next question… “Will it help me to my goals?” We call this categorization a split between the realms of “favorable” and “unfavorable.” Identifying these differences can be the key to your success. And also give you some shit to do since you won’t be spending all your time deciding on which flavor soda you’ll be filling your Big Gulp™️ with next.
When I was in elementary school, my teacher was teaching us about the conversion of starch into sugar. She had us chew on a piece of white bread for several minutes until the saliva broke the starch down and the “substance” in our mouths actually became sweet to the taste. Why the fuck I remember this, but not which teacher, or what school I was at, is a whole ‘nother blog. But one thing stuck with me from that foray into scientific investigation…
“I need to chew my sandwiches longer.”
Fast forward 30-something years.
If you give a shit about nutrition, performance, and body composition, you would benefit dramatically from learning how to use the glycemic index. There are many explanations of glycemic index available upon a quick Google search, but mine is better. So here goes…
The glycemic index is a chart that shows how effective a food is at spiking blood sugar level, and consequently, insulin levels.
If you have been around me and mine long enough, you have heard me communicate that the current obesity epidemic, diabetes rates, and a host of preventable cancers and chronic metabolic disorders can all be linked to chronically elevated insulin levels.
In a nutshell:
- Having a lot of insulin running though your body all the time is severely damaging (and can make you fat)
- Having a lot of sugar in your blood is what causes Number 1.
- Eating high glycemic carbs/food is what causes Number 2.
High glycemic index = High blood insulin = Chronic disease
Hyperglycemia = Hyperinsulinemia = Preventable Conditions
Skittles/Coke/Bread/Grain/Pasta = Death
So, to the point, how can I use the glycemic index to make better choices of foods? Real simple. Click here for the link to the glycemic index website. Type in the food and search.
(NOTE: If you search for shit like “paleo banana-glazed-cream-filled-almond butter brownie with sugar-free-paleo caramel apple-drizzle” and it doesn’t show up, guess why.)
Table sugar = 100
Foods create a higher insulin response the closer you get to 100.
>50 – limit or avoid
<50 – more preferable
Keep in mind that amount, method of preparation, and balance with protein all are factors in affecting insulin levels. We will talk about this stuff later. But this is a good place to start.