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Why do we need to know about the glycemic index of food? The answer is simple. Whatever food we eat, we should know how fast the food is digested and absorbed in our body and raises our blood sugar level. Knowing this, we can arrange our daily meal plan and maintain good health. It will help us to lose weight if necessary, and avoid lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart diseases.
Six facts to know:
1. Glycemic index refers to how fast a type of carbohydrate consumed is digested and absorbed in the body and raises the blood sugar level. Insulin then helps the sugar molecules to be absorbed by the cells of our body for energy. To be precise, the Glycemic index is referred to the measurement scale of 0 – 100 of the rate at which the carbohydrate is digested and absorbed in the body.
2. Note that the Glycemic index is influenced by other food content also like protein and fat content, as we usually do not consume carbohydrates in isolation during a meal.
3. On the Glycemic index scale :
Low GI – Less than 55
Medium GI – 55-69
High GI – 70 or more
Low GI index means that the particular food has a slower rise of blood sugar levels but has a sustained release of energy.
High GI index means that the particular food indicates a rapid rise in blood sugar and release energy quickly for a shorter period.
4. It is relatively healthy and safe to prefer food with a low GI index as:
It reduces hunger as the energy is slowly reduced.
Helps to lose weight.
Improve cholesterol level.
It helps to lower the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
This doesn’t mean that all food with higher GI index like potatoes, rice, watermelon, dates, raisins should be avoided entirely, but can be consumed in moderation. But, we should avoid high GI foods like processed, refined, sugary food altogether for better health and wellbeing.
5. Glycemic load: This is a term which is used commonly along with Glycemic index, often as well. It refers to both the quality and quantity of carbohydrate that is eaten during the meal. It indicates how food choices in the feed would affect the blood glucose level in the body.
The equation is Glycemic load = Glycemic index, multiplied by how much quantity of carbohydrate is eaten.
6. Some practical tips:
a. Fibrous vegetables are best in the sense as they are dense and rich in fibres. They are digested by the gut microbes, which in turn provide food for the microbes and in exchange causes a slow and steady absorption. Subsequently, blood sugar is released slowly.
b. Some food like eggs, lean meat, fishes, pulses, full-fat dairy, cheese are not considered in the GI index. So, these foods have little effect on blood sugar level directly. We should consume these foods regularly.
c. Enjoy daily a considerable portion of vegetables and fruits, preferably with a low GI index along with a limited quantity of carbohydrate to regulate the blood sugar efficiently.
d. Acid content in food can slow down the digestion of food so lemon, vinegar, should be added to the meal.
Thanks for reading.
Blessings and much love to all 💐
Pic courtesy :Pinterest