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The Glycemic Index And Heart Disease

Most of us do not think of the foods we eat in terms of heart disease, except the obvious ones such as those high in cholesterol. Failing to recognize the potential for any food we consume to lead to heart disease is a dangerous idea to hold. Although carbohydrates that have a higher glycemic index will not on their own cause heart disease, when they are combined with other risk factors, the potential risk is increased ten fold. The highest potential risk lies in the fact that those who are not eating a healthy diet that includes carbohydrates that have a lower glycemic index are not likely to be eating other foods that are healthy.

The greatest risk factors for heart disease include high cholesterol and high blood sugar (diabetes) both of which can be reduced with a healthy diet and an exercise regiment. A healthy diet begins with one that is low in fat and cholesterol and includes low glycemic index carbohydrates such as whole grains and other complex carbohydrates. The importance of this lies in the fact that simple carbohydrates or those with a high glycemic index value are those that turn to sugar rather than energy and thus have the potential to cause diabetes. The combination of high blood sugar content and high cholesterol make for an unhealthy situation for the heart, and thus the potential for heart disease is increased.

For many people, eating healthy is not something they are prone to do, and unless they grew up in a family where nutrition was stressed, they may not even know that what they are eating is bad for their health. This is especially true of those who do not suffer a weight problem because even though you may feel that because your weight is within normal range, your eating habits are healthy; this is not always the case. Quite often people who are within normal weight range are able to do so because they simply eat less of the foods they consume or they have a very high metabolism that allows them to burn calories quickly. Being within normal weight range does not guarantee that you will not develop diabetes or heart disease, though you may be less at risk than someone who is overweight. To avoid this possibility, follow a diet that is high in low glycemic index carbohydrates and high in whole grains and fruits and vegetables.

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