Understanding Glycemic Index

Introduction And Background
There are a lot of terms that many men and women would not understand because either they did not study sciences or are not well atoned with the general knowledge of scientific nutritional terms. Nonetheless, there are some terms that one should be aware of, particularly those that have the capability of having a long term impact on health. One of these terms is glycemic index. You might often read this word concerning some kinds of food and the terms are used as ‘high or low glycemic index’. Some packaged foods also boast of being low glycemic index, what is that all about? This article will help to explain that to you.

What Is Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index is basically a range which puts food in the order of how they can affect your blood sugar level. This means that if you’re eating a food which can raise your blood sugar level considerably, it is termed as a high glycemic index food. Similarly, if you are eating a food with a low glycemic index that means it will not give you any blood sugar spikes and your levels will be normal. Of course, there is a little more to it than just that.

High Glycemic Index Foods
While those foods which have a high glycemic index cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels, they cause a rapid decrease as well due to the normal function of the body and it’s feedback mechanism to normalize anything out of the ordinary. This can prove to be dangerous for you actually. This will lead to an increase in appetite and you will find yourself craving carbs more than usual in a short amount of time. Generally eating high glycemic index foods can make you gain weight because you get into the habit of stuffing yourself then. A lot of insulin is released in this process too and the release of insulin almost always makes the body turn on its fat storage process. Hence, high glycemic index foods are not generally favored upon due to the above mentioned factors.

Low Glycemic Index Food
Low glycemic index foods are generally favored because they do not give spikes of blood sugar levels and they maintain a normal appetite. In fact, the release of glucose is slow and gradual and the release of insulin is similar in the manner. This makes for a healthier choice and generally low glycemic index foods should be looked at.

The Twist In The Tale
You’ll be surprised to hear that a bar of a specific chocolate sometimes has a lower glycemic index than a watermelon. The index is generally calculated not by the equal portions of food but by the grams they contain so this can differ the ratings of the food on the index a little. However, at times sugars are present in certain packaged items that do not give a rise in blood sugar level whereas a natural food item can cause a spike. It all depends on how much you know about the food and how much carbs it actually contains. A lot of people are under the misconception that a low glycemic index means that the particular food item has low carbs. This is not the case. The quantity of carbs does not define the glycemic index. People have to understand that it is a completely different concept and the amount of carbs present in a food has no effect on how the glycemic index is calculated.

Another Thing To Consider
Even though low glycemic foods are generally better for health, it is not something to decide the food upon. Since everyone in the world eats a mixture of foods, not just one particular item, it creates a different scenario. Some people drink sodas with meals while some have salads and fruits with a meal. All of this generally causes a change in digestion anyway and the glycemic index is not something to abide by. As mentioned above, there are some chocolates with a lower glycemic index than fruits but that does not change the fact that fruits are healthier and contain much less carbs that a chocolate bar. See the difference?

Understanding glycemic index is a little difficult but hopefully you have a clearer idea with this article. Those who are suffering from a disease such as diabetes should care more about the glycemic index and the combination of foods so as to ensure that no trouble is caused and there is no rise in blood sugar levels which their body will not handle as well as a normal person’s. Nonetheless, it is always better to have some knowledge about the food you are eating and know what it actually means when you pick up a packet and it says low glycemic index!


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