The Glycemic Index – A Key Health Factor

What is the Glycemic Index and Why Is It Important

glycemic indexThe Glycemic Index represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming food. It is a system that ranks foods on a scale from 1 to 100 based on their effect on blood-sugar levels.

Why Is It Important

The current American diet contains excessive sugar, refined carbohydrates, poor oils, and processed foods resulting in an epidemic in obesity, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, cancer, eye disease, and even dementia related disorders.

High Glycemic Index Foods

These include all refined carbohydrates  and sugars, white foods including white rice, bread, pasta, sugar, most commercial cereals, instant oatmeal, baked potato, corn.

Glycemic Index & Foods

Low glycemic index (GI of 55 or less): Most fruits and vegetables, beans, minimally processed grains, pasta, low-fat dairy foods, and nuts.

Moderate glycemic index (GI 56 to 69): White and sweet potatoes, corn, white rice, couscous, breakfast cereals such as Cream of Wheat and Mini Wheats.

High glycemic index (GI of 70 or higher): White bread, rice cakes, most crackers, bagels, cakes, doughnuts, croissants, most packaged breakfast cereals.

A high glycemic diet is pro-inflammatory which coincides with an acidic diet. An alkaline diet is anti-inflammatory.

In general, it is helpful to maintain a strong alkaline diet further described in detail in our book “Natural Eye Care: Your Guide to Healthy Vision and Healing.”  The keto diet can be considered for its strong anti-inflammatory benefits, or the paleo diet,1 although there are potential long-term issues, also described in the diet chapter.

Your gut helps to manage levels of inflammation and therefore, keeping your gut healthy with the right foods is essential to keeping your brain healthy and reducing your risk of brain inflammation.

Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods. Avocados, broccoli, cocoa (dark chocolate 85 percent or higher), green, leafy vegetables, nuts (in particular hazelnuts and walnuts due to their high levels of brain-protecting, inflammation reducing vitamin E and antioxidants). Oily fish such as wild salmon, trout, tuna as well as sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Food Sources for vegetarians: chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, as well as algae.

Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates (particularly all white, refined foods). Low carbohydrate diets how been shown to reduce inflammation. Refined carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. Research has shown that just a single meal with a high glycemic load can impair memory in both children and adults. The effect on memory may be due to inflammation of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that affects some aspects of memory, as well as responsiveness to hunger and fullness cues.2 3 One study found that elderly people who consumed more than 58 percent of their daily calories in the form of carbohydrates had almost double the risk of mild mental impairment and dementia.4

Have a Healthy Diet

  • Avoid vegetable oils, sodas and other sugary drinks (including anything with artificial sweeteners such as Aspartame (NutraSweet®, Equal®), Saccharin (Sweet’N Low®, SugarTwin®), Acesulfame K (Sunett®, Sweet One®,)  Sucralose (Splenda®). For an excellent natural sweetener, try stevia.
  • Also avoid trans fatty acids such as those found in most margarines and many fast foods, frosting, crackers and chips.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats (cheese, milk, butter and other dairy products).

Recommended Products

Advanced Eye and Vision Support Formula – general whole-food-based nutrients for vision wellness.

Dr. Grossman’s Meso Plus Formula with Astaxanthin – essential nutrients for retinal and macular health.

Revision wild-crafted Formula – based on classic Chinese medicine formula for vision wellness.

Learn more about vision and brain wellness diets and how to care for vision conditions with our comprehensive guides

Natural Eye Care: Your Guide to Healthy Vision and Healing

Natural Brain Support: Your Guide to Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Other Related Diseases

  1. Shen Y, Kapfhammer D, Minella AM, Kim JE, Won SJ, et al. (2017). Bioenergetic state regulates innate inflammatory responses through the transcriptional co-repressor CtBP. Nat Commun. 2017;8(624).
  2. Beilharz JE, Maniam J, Morris MJ. (2015). Diet-Induced Cognitive Deficits: The Role of Fat and Sugar, Potential Mechanisms and Nutritional Interventions. Nutrients. Aug 12;7(8):6719-38.
  3. Volek JS, Fernandez ML, Feinman RD, Phinney SD. (2008). Dietary carbohydrate restriction induces a unique metabolic state positively affecting atherogenic dyslipidemia, fatty acid partitioning, and metabolic syndrome. Prog Lipid Res. Sep;47(5):307-18.
  4. Roberts RO, Roberts LA, Geda YE, Cha RH, Pankratz VS, et al. (2012). Relative intake of macronutrients impacts risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;32(2):329-39.