Eating Disorders and Your Heart: glycemic index and load factors
- Category: Food and Weight
Eating disorders cause so much emotional pain it's a trial to consider the health risks they bring to your body. Yet research shows that eating foods with high glycemic value has more links to heart disease in women than men.** You can help protect yourself with awareness and wise choices.
Heart Health Awareness
From my experience treating women with eating disorders in my Los Angeles private practice, women do not start recovery work because they are afraid of a heart attack. They come in because they feel the emotional consequences of their eating disorder and want to stop their pain. They are ready to do what it takes to free themselves of their eating disorder because they want to build a strong healthy life. They want to prosper with genuine pleasure in this world.
I think the numbness and compartmentalized thinking that goes along with an eating disorder makes the medical threats of these disorders seem mild, distant, vague and irrelevant to the individual. With recovery comes more realistic thinking.
Glycemic Index Awareness
But blocking awareness of reality doesn't block reality. Women eating foods with high glycemic value are more vulnerable to heart attacks than men. This affects women with eating disorders because high glycemic index carbohydratess are often favorite binge foods.
Regardless of your place in eating disorder recovery -- on the verge of beginning or well into your recovery work -- be wise and self caring. Eating disorders challenge your heart. You can reduce one risk component by considering glycemic value and glycemic load when making your food choices
* pix Butterfly garden; circa 2011 hila axelrod via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project; licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.
** Dietary Glycemic Load Linked to Coronary Heart Disease Risk in Women But Not Men reports Medscape Psychiatry and News, the results of a large, Italian cohort study reported in the April 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
• Heart disease is the most common medical cause of death in people with severe anorexia. University of Maryland Medical Center
• A heart attack is one of the most common causes of death in those suffering with an Eating Disorder. Something Fishy
• Included among the many medical complications of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and compulsive eating are cardiac arrest and/or death. Princeton Univesity Health Services
Glycemic Index from University of Sydney
Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods
Glycemic index description
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index: What’s the Difference and Why Does it Matter?
Joanna Poppink, MFT, Los Angeles eating disorder recovery psychotherapist