GLYCEMIC INDEX

 

Is Glycemic Index important to your health?


You have heard it before or even seen it on food packaging, but what is this GI that everyone has been talking about? No need to fret, let us break it down for you.

 

What is Glycemic Index (GI)?

 

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking system that ranks from a scale of 1 to 100, the effects of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels. Food that causes a rapid rise in blood glucose is given higher GI values, while food that causes a more gradual rise in blood glucose are given lower GI values.

 

How does it affect you?


In order to understand how it affects you, it is important to note the fundamentals of how your body digests carbohydrates.


During digestion, food that contains carbohydrates is converted into glucose, which is sent into your bloodstream causing blood glucose levels to rise. Your body detects this increase and signals your pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin then tells your cells to take in the glucose from your bloodstream causing blood glucose levels to go back down.


Eating too much high GI food causes repeated spikes in your blood glucose. These blood glucose spikes cause the body to produce more insulin in order to get glucose out of your bloodstream. As more insulin is produced, the body cells start to get less responsive and stop taking in glucose from the blood. The presence of too much glucose in the blood stream can lead to a myriad of issues including an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes

 

So, why is low GI important?

When eating food with low GI, carbohydrates are broken down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream and allowing better digestion and absorption. This helps:


-   Control sugar rollarcoaster
-   Minimize energy crashes
-   Reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
-   Prolong physical endurance
-   Support weight management
-   Control the risk of Type 2 diabetes

 

4 tips on starting a low GI diet

  1  Replace the intake of refined, starchy carbohydrates (e.g. white rice) with quinoa or alternatives such as Xndo Zero Noodles or Zero Rice that has zero/very low carbohydrates and GI that is even lower than brown rice.


  2  Get more fibre from vegetables, legumes and whole-grains. Fibre helps stabilise the absorption of blood glucose by acting as a protective barrier in slowing down digestion. This helps protect sugar and starch molecules from being rapidly absorbed into the body.


  3  Include lean protein and healthy fats in your meals to lower down the GI. The impact of food on your blood glucose is different when it is eaten on its own and when it is eaten together with other food.


  4  Do not choose food solely based on their GI. GI measures the impact of carbohydrates on your blood glucose but it does not take into consideration the number of nutrients in food. Ensuring that you are eating a well-balanced meal is also very important.



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