What Is A Glycemic Response Roller Coaster?

January 10, 2012

in Health Protection,Heart Health,Weight Loss



Glycemic” in health terms has to do with the amount of sugar, mainly glucose, in something. Most of us know what a roller coaster is from our experiences at amusement parks. Roller coasters go up, down, make circles vertical or horizontal, and make sharp turns suddenly. Even when you know what is coming next on a roller coaster, it usually gives quite a thrill with all those quick downs and sudden turns.
The amount of sugar in a person’s diet can cause sudden highs and lows. This can affect many things such as; energy level, weight loss or weight gain, blood sugar, and more. These situations in turn can leave a person at risk for health risks like diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems.
These sudden highs and lows of sugar in the bloodstream are like a glycemic response roller coaster. Obviously your overall health will be better if your blood sugar levels stay more in control without the sudden peaks and valleys.
What can cause the glycemic response roller coaster?
  • Low physical activity can affect how your body responds to high glycemic foods.
  • Excess body fat can affect your glycemic response.
  • A diet of high glycemic foods is usually the main cause of being on a glycemic response roller coaster.
What are high glycemic foods? Most generally they are refined carbohydrates that have high sugar content or a high sugar conversion rate. Foods like white rice, most bread, potatoes, pasta, and any foods made with refined, white flour and sugar have a high sugar conversion rate.
When you eat this type food throughout the day, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year you are in danger of putting yourself on the glycemic response roller coaster and then entering the insulin trap. The insulin trap puts you at risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, eye disease, obesity, and other possible health problems.
Let me explain a little about the insulin trap.
The body responds to high blood glucose (glycemic response) in 2 ways.
First, if your body has a demand for energy (activity) the high blood glucose will produce energy. Second, if your body has no need for energy to the extent of the blood glucose level, then your pancreas produces insulin. The pancreas will then produce too much insulin causing an increase in fat storage and a decrease in fat burning. At this point, you are in the insulin trap.
What can you do to get off the glycemic roller coaster and/or released from the insulin trap?
It really comes down to bringing balance into your life by eating a more balanced diet and by being more active. This does not mean going on a “no carb” diet but eating low glycemic response foods like vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole unrefined grains and bread, unrefined brown, basmati, or wild rice.  If you are a meat and potato person, just cut back on the serving size of the potatoes. It really is about balance.
Please note: your brain, nervous system, and muscles need blood glucose for energy so that is the danger of the “no carb” diets. Most people eat more carbs than they really need.
In order to balance your nutrient intake you need protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Healthy ratios of 2-to-1 for protein versus carbs assist your body in protecting its lean body mass and helps it function at optimal level.
Do not allow your body to experience quick highs or sudden lows and throw you into a sharp curve and a downward spiral. It is not a roller coaster you want to be riding. You can reprogram and re-energize your body by avoiding the glycemic response roller coaster.
Enjoy the power of a healthy diet!
Pat Moon

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Pat is a Health and Nutrition Coach.  She helps people make healthy lifestyle and nutrition choices.

Pat has been married to the same man for over 50 years, is the mother of 3 adult children, and grandma to 7 grandchildren.  Growing up in the country gave her a head start to living a healthy lifestyle.  This grandma became interested in nutrition as a mother and the past 26 plus years she has specialized in teaching others the importance of good nutrition.  Challenges along the road have been many; her father overcoming congestive heart failure with nutrition, her husband's battle with GERD and avoiding a major heart attack, her daughter's battle with a brain tumor, her grandson beating Hodgkin's Lymphoma, and others.  Her goal is to help others have the BEST REAL HEALTH possible and slow the aging process.  The products Pat personally uses are featured at www.bestrealhealth.gnld.net.

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Comments on this entry are closed.


1 Mark kaddu September 4, 2018 at 2:29 am

My name is kaddu mark and am a nutrition student am really grateful for this info.. Thanks alot for your efforts… I have some great solutions to those having trouble with working on their blood glucose levels and diabetes… Thank you very much

Get me on my account #marckkard12@gmail.com

2 Carrie Huskey July 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Thank ya for this post. This describes me. I had weightloss surgery and since then my glucose has been runnin low. Anywhere from 80-60. Is it because of the small intake of food?

3 Pat Moon July 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Hello Carrie,
Thank you for taking time to read my post on glycemic response. I suspect it is not so much the small intake of food but more what food you are eating. In order to keep your glycemic response more even you do need to eat protein with every intake of food. For example let’s say you are eating 1/2 of an apple… eat 6 to 8 raw almonds at the same time. Carbs give you immediate energy but the protein gives your body the tools it needs to build muscle, tissue, etc. as well as sustained energy. The protein helps keep your blood sugar more stable. Please feel free to email with more details about what your food choices are as well as how often you eat and any other information that might help me know more about your individual situation. My email is: pat@bestrealhealth.com
Until next time, best regards.

4 MarVeena January 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

Well said Pat,
We all need to be more aware of waht we are nourishing ourselves with.
Sadly but true, I put more thought into how I feed my horses than my self a lot of times.
I am very strict with their diet , even their snacks are healthy.
Thanks for the ideas!

5 Pat Moon January 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm

It is interesting how many people take better care of their animals than they do themselves!

6 Andrea Beadle January 16, 2012 at 4:36 am

Thanks for presenting this so simply Pat. I have changed the way I eat considerably and resonate with everything you say. Thank you!

7 Pat Moon January 16, 2012 at 10:35 am

Andrea, I am so pleased you are seeking wisdom on your path to better health. I just read your story on your site so I realize where you are coming from. Thanks for your comment.

8 Sarah January 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Thanks for breaking it down so simply! I also appreciate that you give credit to the cabs we need, I get so nervous when people declare a 'no carb' diet.

9 Pat Moon January 14, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Sarah, I too get nervous when people declare a ‘no carb’ diet. Balance is key.

10 Susan Myers January 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

Pat this is a timely message for me.  I have high blood pressure and I was forced to change my diet.  Since making this change, I have seen my blood pressure go down.  Thanks for providing this information. 

11 Pat Moon January 14, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Susan, so happy you have had success with your blood pressure going down. That is wonderful news! What changes did you make in your diet?

12 Michelle Barr January 14, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Great analogy, Pat, and very good information. This was presented in a way that is very easy to understand. I think it's a term that gets thrown around, and people don't always know what it's really about. You have shed some light.

13 Pat Moon January 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Michelle, happy to shed light on glycemic response for you!

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