Understanding the Graphs

Peak: Indicates how hard the pancreas must work to produce enough insulin. A high peak, as in this example, promotes type 2 diabetes.

Slope: A steep slope, as in this example, means glucose will enter your bloodstream faster than you can burn it. Excess glucose will be stored as body fat. A shallow slope means you can burn the glucose before it is stored as body fat.

Shaded Area: Indicates the amount of glucose put into your bloodstream. A big, shaded area, as in this example, means weight gain. A small, shaded area means weight loss.

The graphs you are about to review have five major elements you need to understand.

The horizontal axis of the graphs is the measure across the bottom of the graph. It’s labeled 0 through 90 minutes and represents the time in minutes that I measured the change in my blood glucose.

The vertical axis of the graphs is measured along the left side of the graph. It represents the rise in my blood glucose measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Note that it starts at 100—a number in the mid-normal range—not at zero.

The slope of the graphs is the angled line and represents the speed of the rise in blood glucose.

The steeper the slope, the faster the rise in blood glucose. Remember, a rapid rise in blood glucose usually means the glucose will be stored as a form of glucose or fat before you get a chance to burn it. That’s bad for weight loss.

The flatter the slope, the slower the rise in blood glucose. A slow rise usually means much of the glucose will be burned before it ever gets stored as fat, and your body will have to burn existing fat to provide energy. That’s good for weight loss.

The peak of the graphs shows how hard your pancreas is asked to work to get the glucose from that particular food out of the bloodstream and into the cells. This is very important for anyone who wants to avoid or reverse type 2 diabetes.

If you are overweight, you have probably already overworked your pancreas, so you should do everything you can to lighten the workload of your pancreas. Please pay attention to the peaks of the graphs.

The shaded area of the graphs—The Crucial Measure of Weight-gain or Weight-loss.

The shaded area of the graphs shows the comparative weight gain the food or combination of foods will cause. 

The faster the food causes your blood glucose to rise, and the greater the rise, the more weight you will gain, as illustrated by the large, shaded area in some of the graphs. Avoid or minimize foods or drinks that create large, shaded areas.

The slower the food causes your blood glucose to rise and the smaller the rise, as illustrated by a small, shaded area in graphs, the more likely your body will have to draw upon existing fat for energy, and you will lose weight. 

Foods that create a smaller shaded area promote weight loss. If you eat those foods without changing your activity, you will lose weight. If you also increase your activity—which you will naturally do as you lose weight—you will lose weight even faster and find it easier to keep off.

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