The Glycemic Index

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The words Glycemic index seem to be everywhere lately. So what exactly is the Glycemic index and how does it pertain to our health? To begin the Glycemic index will be defined. The Glycemic index is the scale on which the influence of foods that are comprised of carbohydrates affects our blood glucose levels, and has been a tool in helping people to lose weight. Using the Glycemic index (GI), foods are ranked on a scale of 1-100. The lower the number assigned to a food, the less of an affect on blood glucose levels. On the other hand, foods that have a great affect on glucose levels in the blood are assigned a much higher number.

Characteristic of high GI foods is that they are more quickly digested and absorbed into the blood stream. This event causes a dramatic spike in insulin and glucose levels in the blood. Foods that have a high GI value will provide a quick burst of energy. For example, dates are assigned a value of 103, and will more quickly be absorbed into the bloodstream. Having the opposite approach are low GI foods. These foods have a very gradual affect on the levels of insulin and glucose in the blood, an example of a fruit with a low GI value is the prune, which is assigned a value of only 15.

Benefits of diets comprised of low GI foods

Diets comprised of foods that are low on the GI scale are most beneficial for people who suffer from diabetes as well as those who want to lose weight. Studies show that reduced levels of insulin as well as reduced insulin resistance were correlated to diets of low GI foods. Low GI foods also are known to suppress the appetite and put off hunger, thereby making them an ideal choice for quick weight loss.

Other than weight loss, a low GI food diet has been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes as well as coronary heart disease.
Posted 17 Nov 2008

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