Glycemic Index: How to Use It to get different health benefits
Updated: Apr 5
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking system for carbohydrates in foods from 0 to 100 based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels.
Foods with higher glycemic index can lead to increased blood sugar spikes in individuals with diabetes. Various factors impact the glycemic index of a food such as cooking method, nutrient composition, and processing. This blog will provide a closer picture of the glycemic index and the ways it can influence your health.
What is Glycemic Index?
It provides you with an idea about how quickly your body converts the carbohydrates in a food into glucose.
Smaller the number, the minimum impact the food has on your blood sugar. The higher the food's GI is, the more quickly it elevates the blood glucose levels. Eating foods with low GI may help in decreasing an individual's risk of developing diabetes or heart conditions.
The Glycemic index scores are as follows:
Low GI foods: 55 or less
Medium GI foods: 56-69
High GI foods: 70 and above
According to the Glycemic index foundation, it is recommended to aim for a dietary GI score of 45 which may prove to be beneficial.
Different aspects can impact the GI of a food such as:
Processing: Fruit juices have a greater GI than whole fruit
Riper foods tend to have greater GI
Fiber minimizes the total GI of a meal
A cooking method such as boiling helps to retain resistant starch which causes lower GI. On the other hand, roasting can break down resistant starch which resists digestion and ultimately it raises GI.
Some Foods with greater GI include:
Rice: white rice(73)
Sweeteners: sugar (65), honey (61)
Snacks: chips, chocolates
Sugary beverages: fruit juice, sports drink
Bread: white bread (75) etc.
Foods containing lower GI include:
Nuts: almonds, walnuts
Seeds: chia seeds, flax seeds
Grains: barley (28)
Legumes: soya beans(16) lentils
A low glycemic food plan can help manage blood sugar levels and promote weight loss.
Advantages of the low glycemic diet
According to the 2015 international scientific consensus it was proven that a low glycemic diet can help manage health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, etc.
Helps to manage diabetes
According to a 2019 study, it was concluded that glycemic index is a major factor that can contribute to developing type 2 diabetes. Combining low-glycemic healthy foods with proper nutritional guidelines can give blood sugar control benefits. The CDC ( centers for disease control and Prevention) recommends that individuals with diabetes can control their carbohydrate intake using the glycemic index. To get more information, read our article " How to Reverse Diabetes Naturally."
Helps to manage weight loss
Studies conducted at the University of Sydney in Australia have shown that individuals who consume a low glycemic diet tend to lose five percent of their body weight more than those who consume a high carbohydrate diet.
Improved energy level
Consuming low glycemic index foods can help improve energy levels and aid you to stay active throughout the day. High glycemic foods on the other hand increase blood sugar levels and need more insulin to process. On the other hand, we metabolize low glycemic foods slowly which leads to a slow and continued amount of energy and does not cause sudden sugar spikes.
Helps to prevent disease
A review of 37 scientific studies on the effect of glycemic index on disease prevention showed that consuming a low glycemic diet plan can lower an individual's risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disorders, etc.
Prevents fat storage
Low glycemic foods contain lesser glucose levels therefore the body's insulin response is lowered. The less-dense food energy of low glycemic foods is available for muscle growth and not stored as fat.
Following a low glycemic diet may provide many health benefits, as it could help balance your blood sugar levels, reduce your cholesterol, and help in weight loss.
Disclaimer: The blog is generated for informative purposes. Views expressed in the blog are personal and belong to the author of the blog. Lifetrons is just publishing it on behalf of the author.