As our modern carbohydrate supply becomes more processed, our bodies are experiencing more rapid absorption and intense spikes of sugar into our blood streams. The elevated blood sugar levels forces our bodies to produce higher and higher levels of insulin in order to maintain a normal level of blood sugar. The degree to which our bodies produce insulin in order to normalize blood sugar levels is represented by a measure known as the Glycemic Index.
The Glycemic Index is a comparative index that tells us relatively how much insulin certain foods require to return the body’s blood sugar back to normal as compared to other foods. The increasing proportion of processed, high glycemic carbohydrates in our diets is speculated to be one of the main reasons for the increasing incidence of obesity in our society.
Our hunger increases because high glycemic, processed carbohydrates cause our bodies to produce very high levels of insulin. High levels of insulin are known to trigger to an increase our hunger. The high glycemic carbohydrates also decrease a hormone called glucagon that helps to normally control our hunger.
Glucagon’s role in the body is to communicate to the brain about how much body fat we have stored. When we have ample body fat, our glucagon levels are elevated thereby suppressing our desire to eat and create more body fat. When we eat highly processed carbohydrates, our glucagon levels are abnormally suppressed, and we lose the effect of one of the bodies most potent appetite suppressants. There are scientific studies that illustrate this point.
One such study fed one group of teenage boys a high glycemic breakfast and lunch and compared them with another group of boys fed a low glycemic breakfast and lunch. The boys spent the entire day is a research center where there was a constant supply of food available to eat throughout the day. Researchers monitored the amount of calories the boys consumed over a 12 hour period.
The boys who ate the high glycemic meals ate an astounding 83% more calories in 12 hours that did the boys fed a low glycemic meals. This study illustrates the harmful power of processed carbohydrates to increase our hunger.
In the end, more processed carbohydrates leads to an increase in insulin levels that stimulate our appetite and decrease our appetite-suppressing hormone, glucagon. Just think how this might be affecting you or your family in your daily lives.