Understanding Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a way of categorizing food depending on how much they raise blood sugar. It is not a diet plan, but rather one of several techniques for directing meal choices, such as calorie counting or carbohydrate counting.
A glycemic index diet normally refers to the usage of the index as a reference for meal planning.
Doctors often suggest this way of meal planning as it can be an effective method to manage one’s blood sugar level.
Nutritionists calculate glycemic index numbers by observing how healthy people’s blood sugar levels fluctuate after eating food with carbohydrates. They can establish where a food falls on a scale of 0 to 100 by analyzing future blood sugar levels and comparing them to a baseline. The number reflects how much glucose is in that food; 100 represents pure glucose and zero indicates no sugar at all.
This tool can help people lose weight and prevent obesity-related chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease.
What Do High and Low Glycemic Indexes Mean?
Food with a high glycemic index (GI) tends to break down easily into glucose, causing levels to surge. In general, food with a high GI ranges from a value of 70 and higher.
People with diabetes refer to these sharp rises in blood sugar levels as spikes. Moreover, high GI food might cause the body to produce a spike of insulin to counteract quick-acting carbohydrates. This can result in a state of hunger within 2 to 3 hours, causing the person to seek more food.
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