Podcast #103 Dr. Terry Wahls On Being Wheelchair Bound To Riding A Bike And The Future Of Health


Dr. Terry Wahls on Not Just PaleoToday's Guest

Dr. Terry Wahls is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa and a staff physician at the Iowa City Veterans Affairs Hospital, where she teaches medical students and resident physicians, sees patients in traumatic brain injury and therapeutic lifestyle clinics with complex chronic health problems that often include multiple autoimmune disorders, and conducts clinical trials.

The show

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Today we discuss

  • How Terry Wahls ate her way back to health and went from being confined to a wheelchair to riding a bicycle
  • Eating out and how to manage a healthy diet at restaurants
  • Eating disorders and people not eating enough
  • Why you should eat 9 cups of vegetables

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Basics of the Glycemic Index Rating System


The glycemic index is an important aspect of your food. 

If you are not familiar with the Glycemic Index (GI), basically it is a number rating system for how quickly foods will digest and how much that particular food will raise your insulin and blood sugar levels.

Paying close attention to the GI is especially important for those who are diabetics, as low-glycemic foods usually make your body produce less insulin and keep your blood sugar from raising too significantly.

I personally don't see why food companies in America don't put the GI rating on the food items.

I think it would be neat and very informative and helpful for those wanting to pay close attention. Similar to the Genetically-Modified-Organism (GMO) labeling that was attempted, we need better labeling for our food in the scientific age of food.

Now, according to the GI rating scale, a score of 55 or below is considered a low-GI food.

Examples of low-GI food are:

  • Cherries - 22
  • Apple - 38
  • Pear - 38
  • Grapes - 46
  • Banana - 52
  • Walnuts - 15
  • Cashews - 22
  • Most vegetables fall in this category
  • Seeds such as sunflower and sesame

Foods that digest faster, raise your blood sugar levels more are those with a GI of 56-69. These are known as medium-GI food.

  • Kiwi - 58
  • Cantaloupe - 65
  • Pineapple - 66
  • Corn - 60

Lastly, I'll give a couple examples of High-GI food, look closely at what foods contain such a high-GI and you will understand why it's a good idea to avoid them. These are rated 70 and above.

High-GI foods are going to keep you full for a very short amount of time.

High-GI foods digest and process extremely fast and cause a large spike and drop in your blood sugar levels.

If you are familiar with how quickly you are hungry after eating a typical Chinese meal that contains sticky white rice, now you know why.

Here's a few more:

  • Rice crispies - 82
  • Dates - 102
  • Instant mashed potatoes - 86
  • Sticky white rice - 98
  • Pretzels - 83
  • White bread - 70+

Obviously these foods are "created" and you shouldn't be consuming them anyways. But, now you understand why unhealthy foods are considered that way. GI index does not have to be a list to base your diet around.

However, generally speaking the best foods for you such as berries and nuts have a low-GI rating.

Since meat does not contain carbs, it has a GI of zero.

This applies to other fats and oils which are usually rated at an extremely or nonexistent GI.

Thanks for reading!