What is The Glycemic Index?
The Glycemic Index is described as a methodical system that assigns a number value to foods with regards to how slow or fast they increase the body sugar.
The main function of the Glycemic Index is to gauge the effect
carbohydrates have on blood glucose levels.
The value the glycemic index provides is imperative for anyone who must monitor their glucose levels due to conditions like
diabetes or hyperglycemia.
With diabetes reaching epidemic levels not only in
The USA and the UK, but other parts of the world, the evolution of the Glycemic Index couldn’t have come at a much better time.
Each year, more people are diagnosed with diabetes, a potentially life-threatening illness that may lead to a number of serious complications.
A proper understanding of the glycemic index values would help diabetic sufferers to make an informed choice of how to balance the intake of the different types of foods rich in carbohydrates to ensure they have a well-balanced diet without the fear of sugar rush in the blood.
What Are Carbohydrates Foods?
Carbohydrates (also typically called starchy foods) are a varied group of organic compounds that include starches, sugars, celluloses. The structural complexity of the compounds varies from very simple sugars to the more complex celluloses.
This thus means that the speed and rate at which each gets broken down in the body would be different.
Diabetes sufferers might have a challenging time
breaking down some kinds foods, especially those high in carbohydrates, in their system.
Diabetics are often advised to be cautious with the intake of carbohydrates and if possible, to limit their intake of carbohydrates. The simple reason, being that it takes a long time to digest most carbohydrates.
When digestion is slow, sugars and starches stay in the bloodstream for much longer. This results in the build-up of blood glucose in the body.
It can be a challenge to keep up with all the different carbohydrates and the rates at which they get broken down in the body.
This tends to be a reason why diabetics are non-compliant with their treatments.
Benefits of the Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index chart is quite useful because it assigns different numerical values to different carbohydrates according to their effects on the blood sugar levels.
Those foods which digest rapidly have a low glycemic index , and cause the least harm to the system.
The carbs that take more time to digest have a higher glycemic index as they take longer to digest, causing an increase in the blood sugar level. These, invariably affect the effective management of diabetes.
The Glycemic Index Range
This is from one to one hundred.
The glycemic index ranking of 1 to 55 signifies a low range. This means that the foods within this parameter would only increase blood sugar slowly, hence they’re deemed healthy.
These include fruits, veggies, whole grains and a few pastas.
The glycemic index ranking of 56 to 69 are described as medium range. Here, the carbs foods are deemed less risky than those in the low range as they only increase blood sugar slightly faster than those in the lower range.
Examples include some rice, croissants and some candy bars.
The glycemic index ranking of 70 to 100 are carbs that have a high range with the highest potential to cause the most harm to the body. They increase blood sugar longer than the previous ranges.
It is important for those who have being diagnosed with diabetes and even those considered borderline diabetics to be familiar with the different rankings of carbs. This helps to know which foods to avoid, and in turn, ultimately lead to a better control of the blood sugar levels.
There are lots of substitutes for carbs which rate high in the Glycemic Index and are available at most grocery stores. The onus is placed on the diabetic to use due diligence and choose the healthy carb.
Click here for a glycemic index list of foods and glycemic load
While diabetes is currently without a cure, there are a lot of different ways that people with this specific
disease can lifelong, productive lives.