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Some Facts On Glycemic Index You Need To Know

By Betty Brown


Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results from disordered insulin production and utilization by the tissues. Whereas type 1 disease is mainly seen in teenage, type 2 is mainly seen in adulthood. Lifestyle modification which includes regular physical exercise and having a proper diet are among the interventions that can be undertaken. If you are planning on making some changes to your diet, the glycemic index is something that you need to understand.

The index is expressed in absolute numbers. Foods that have high values are likely to increase the amount of blood sugar than those with a lower value. It is generally advised that an individual who has risk factors for diabetes or one who has already been diagnosed with the condition should opt for foods with lower values.

Food is said to have a low index if its allocated value is 55 or lower. Foods in this category are regarded as being healthy for diabetic patients. Those that have values of 56 to 69 fall in the medium category and those that have a value of 70 or more are considered as having a high value. These typically cause spikes in sugar levels as soon as they have been eaten. They should, therefore, be avoided as much as possible.

The glycemic value of food is determined by a number of factors. One of them is the method that is used in preparation. If acids, fats and fiber are added to food as it is being prepared its index will be reduced to some extent. Cooking starches for too long has been shown to increase their value. Ripeness is an important factor in fruits with those that are most ripe contributing to the greatest increase in glucose.

Note that the index is not the sole determinant of food choice. The nutritional value of particular foods also need to be looked at. Remember that while some foods may be deemed harmful due to a relatively high value, their nutritional value is equally high due to the presence of minerals and vitamins. Another factor that may affect the choice is the size of portions. Larger portions are more likely to increase blood sugar levels.

Various foods have been shown to have fairly low indices. They include legumes, grains, nuts and vegetables among others. Since carbohydrates are a direct precursor of glucose, they have a high glycemic diet. Examples include white rice, white bread and potatoes. The highest values will be seen with sugary and processed foods such as cakes, candy and cookies.

It has been shown that naturally occurring foods have lower values than those that are processed. Always look for the value of the index on food labels before you consume them. If you have doubts, get in touch with a qualified nutritionist. If you cannot find any, then look for an authoritative website on the internet where common foods have their values listed.

The strife for a healthier diet should not be a reason to starve oneself. The changes that take place in the levels of blood sugar can move in either direction. If the amount of calories taken is too small then there is a likelihood of suffering from the effects of hypoglycemia. Very low sugar levels have been shown to cause a reduced level of consciousness and coma.




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