The glycemic index of foods is a very good source of proper nutrition. It is also referred to as GI, is a food-rating index. It uses a 0 to 100 scale to score foods. The body converts carbohydrates to sugar, which causes a glucose response in the blood. It helps rank the food according to how fast they raise the blood sugar level. A high GI food will produce a higher blood glucose peak and overall blood glucose response as opposed to low GI foods, which have a lower blood glucose response. The caloric amounts in GI foods vary with the type of food item. Eating foods with low carbs has a lot of benefits as the glucose level in the body raise slowly.
Here’s how it is scored:
- 55 or less- foods with lower carbohydrate density
- 55-70- foods with medium amount of carbohydrates
- 70 and above- foods that are very rich in carbohydrates
Di you know that eating foods with a high amount of carbohydrate can make you hungry fast? It is because carbohydrate is converted into glucose at a faster rate. Food with high amount of carbohydrate is unhealthy because it helps in building up of cholesterol and fats. Another disadvantage you may get is the sudden increase of sugar in your body. When there’s too much sugar on your body, it will send a message to your brain as the glucose will affect the brain to feel hungry. Even if it is not a need for your body to eat yet but your brain makes you feel hungry, hence you overeat. As a result, you grow fat. When you are overweight, you are prone to different diseases. You are more at risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, feel lazy and give you an inactive lifestyle. On the other hand, foods with low GI, makes a stable blood glucose level, resulting in improved energy levels and reduced cravings for sugar and sweet foods. Also, helps improve blood glucose control for people with diabetes. Research shows that a low GI diet can help to improve blood lipid profile. A range of low GI foods provide important vitamins, minerals and fiber especially when eating fruits and vegetables.
Active people can use a combination of high and low GI foods to ensure optimal energy stores for exercise performance. Using the GI foods as a reference to guide you and help you maintain the proper nutrition that your body needs. Fruits are rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals that cause cell damage and some types of cancer, according to the National Institutes of Health. They are an essential part of a balanced diet. A diet rich in vegetables can decrease your chances of having a heart attack or stroke, protect you against some cancers, lower your blood pressure, and protect against diverticulitis, an intestinal ailment. To maintain a good health, include two servings of vegetables and another one serving of fruit per day. However, not all fruits and vegetables are low in GI, most of them are in low or medium index rankings.
Here are some of the foods you will see on the glycemic index of foods rate according to its GI value:
FOODS WITH LOW SCORE IN GI
Fruits that are low in GI include cherries, grapefruit, peach, apples, strawberries, coconut and oranges. Also foods like Oats, porridge or natural muesli, multi-grain bread, pasta, low-fat milk and yoghurt, sweet corn, sweet potato and legumes. When it comes to vegetables– broccoli , cabbage, lettuce, mushrooms, onions, red peppers, carrots and green peas, has the lowest GI value indicated.
FOODS WITH MEDIUM SCORE IN GI
Foods that have a medium score on the GI list are papaya, raisins, apricots, fresh kiwi, figs (dried), apricots (canned) , cantaloupe and pineapple (fresh). When it comes to daily breakfast and cereals, oat bran, bran chex, raisin bran, cream of wheat, quick oats, pancakes and puffed wheat. Beets, pumpkin and fresh corn have medium score in GI Index. Included here are your favorite pizza and the macaroni and cheese.
FOODS WITH MEDIUM SCORE IN GI
Watermelon and dates have high index rating. Dates have the highest amount of simple carbohydrates. Also, foods like grapenuts, cheerio, cream of wheat instant, shredded wheat, waffles, rice krispies and corn flakes. And also, short grain (white), instant (white), wild rice and glutinous (sticky).
It is important to remember that although low GI carbohydrates are a preferred choice, this does not mean you can eat as much as you like! A mistake that many people make is replacing fat in the diet with carbohydrates, often in unlimited and excessive volumes. Eating too much of any nutrient, including carbohydrates, can lead to over consumption of kilojoules and this will prevent body fat break down and result in subsequent body fat gain. Portion sizes should be appropriate for activity level and individual energy requirements. A reduction in carbohydrate intake or total calorie intake may be warranted in many situations, however severe restriction of carbohydrate has a number of negative consequences.