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Glycemic Index and Your Heart

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The differences between men and women continue to amaze me. Not only do our emotions come from different realms of the universe causing women and men to think and respond differently, but it appears that our physical responses may stem from opposite ends of the galaxy as well. According to an Italian research, men and women were found to respond differently to foods containing a high glycemic index. Women consuming food with a high glycemic index were more likely to develop heart disease than men eating the same foods. It probably comes as no surprise to many of us women that eating foods with a high glycemic index did not impact men in the same way.

The Italian study consisted of 47,749 Italian adults. Both men and women participated in the study with a demographic of 15,171 males and 32,578 females. All participants were given questionnaires to detail their dietary habits. Researchers evaluated the responses to determine the amount of carbohydrates consumed, the glycemic index of the participants’ diet and the overall glycemic load. Participants were followed for an average of 7.9 years. At the midpoint of the study, participants were evaluated for heart disease. Researchers found that 305 men and 158 women had been diagnosed with heart disease.

The glycemic index is measurement of how quickly our bodies turn carbohydrates into glucose. The glycemic load is a measurement based on the food’s content of carbohydrates and the glycemic index. Eating a diet of foods which have a high glycemic index increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and (of course) may result in unwanted weight gain. In addition to raising your glucose levels, a diet with a high glycemic index raises your triglyceride levels and lowers your good cholesterol (HDL) levels which also increase your risk of heart disease.
Researchers found that a woman eating a diet high in carbohydrates in general was twice as likely to develop heart disease as their counterparts whose diets were low in carbohydrate consumption.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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