Glycemic Index (not a great index)

What is the Glycemic Index A system for classifying carbohydrates. The glycemic index ranks foods on how blood sugar levels are affected post-consumption. ( after one eats)

The harder your body has to work to convert the carbohydrate into glucose means that there is a delay on the amount of sugar that can be found in the blood. This delay in acquiring the sugar from foods eaten is suggestive of food with lower glycemic number.

The number is purely connected to the food, and even though there are variations from person to person- the general average is taken of how the human digestive system reacts to certain foods. Therefore, any carbohydrate part of food that slows the digestion and absorption of sugar, whether it is eaten alone or with other foods will have a low glycemic number.

It is important to note here and remember that every food is not one kind. Some breakdowns are more protein, carbohydrate, or fat concentrated, but all food has a mixture of these three elements.

There are factors that change the rate at which the body can digest and absorb sugar from carbohydrates.These factors include:

  • Particle size: Larger particle sizes found in stone-ground flour, as opposed to finely processed flours, will slow digestion and lower the glycemic index. Like Alicia says in Clueless, if you cut your food into tiny pieces then you will lose weight.. just kidding!
  • Soluble fibre: This type of fibre, found in some fruits, vegetables, legumes, oat bran, and oatmeal, slows digestion and therefore has a lower the glycemic index.
  • Fibre coverings: Foods with a fibrous cover such as beans and seeds are digested more slowly and therefore have a lower glycemic index.
  • Acidity: The acid found in some fruits, pickled foods, and vinegar slow digestion and lowers the glycemic index.
  • Type of starch: Starch comes in many different configurations. Some are easier to break into sugar molecules than others.
  • Ripeness: Some ripe fruits and vegetables tend to have more sugar than un-ripe ones, and so tend to have a high glycemic index.

For example, white bread is digested quickly into glucose, causing blood sugar to spike quickly. Therefore white bread has a high glycemic index number. In contrast, brown rice is digested more slowly, causing a lower, more gentle change in blood sugar. It therefore has a lower glycemic index number.

Diets filled with high glycemic index foods, which cause quick and strong increases in blood sugar levels, have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease.

Using the glycemic index can be somewhat confusing. Some foods that contain complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes, quickly raise blood sugar levels, while some foods that contain simple carbohydrates, such as whole fruit, raise blood sugar levels more slowly. This standard and chart, as most things the doctors use to tell you how healthy you are should be taken as just one piece of the whole story.










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