How to use a glycemic index

How to use a glycemic index

The Glycemic index is the relative ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0-100. Carbohydrates could either be sugar, starches, or fiber. When you eat them, your body breaks them down into glucose to provide energy for your body. 

Food with a high glycemic index tends to digest quickly and results in an immediate increase in blood sugar levels. 

On the other hand, foods with a low glycemic index tend to gradually digest, producing smaller blood sugar levels. 

You can imagine high glycemic index food as giant waves in an ocean and that of having a low glycemic index as ripples, a pebble produced in a calm lake.

The good news is that it is not rocket science. It is all about making the right choices regarding food selection. Like, replace high glycemic index food such as white rice with brown rice, cornflakes with bran flakes. 

However, some other factors are also significant like cooking process, cooking time, ripeness of food, its constituents, and type of sugar it contains. 

For example, the glycemic index of potato may vary greatly depending on its kind and cooking method.


Categories of Food based on their Glycemic Index

  • Low glycemic index food (less than 55) includes fruits, vegetables, beans, unprocessed pasta, nuts, and low-fat dairy.
  • Medium glycemic index food (between 56 and 69) includes breakfast cereal, corn, sweet potato, white rice.
  • High glycemic index food (greater than 70) includes bagels, waffles, donuts, white bread, and packaged breakfast cereals.


Use of Glycemic Index

For Diabetes:                 

 It can help reduce the risk of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Various associations recommend people to use the glycemic index for their nutritional management of food for curing diabetes.

For Cholesterol: 

Long term intake of low glycemic index diet reduces LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

For Weight Loss:

A low glycemic index diet causes a delay in appetite and food cravings and is highly appropriate for people struggling with weight issues.

For the Food Industry:

The glycemic index of foods has replaced terms like complex carbohydrates and simple sugar with terms and carbohydrates content present in food with its glycemic index value.


Limitations Regarding How to Use the Glycemic Index

The concept of the glycemic index has some limitations.

  • Its value can alter significantly in the case of mixed food. So it lacks clinical accuracy.
  • It leads to ambiguity regarding the portion size of the meal.
  • Different countries have assigned different glycemic index values to other varieties of food, depending on the location. So these values are not universal.

Final Verdict 

In a nutshell, the concept related to the use of the glycemic index is of vital importance in determining the idea of the right food, which ultimately leads to a healthier lifestyle.

Remember, Feel Great, look great.

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