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Understanding Glycemic Index

Understanding Glycemic Index


Simply put, GI or Glycemic Index expresses the extent and speed with which the concentration of blood sugar is increased by the food you consume. In other words, GI identifies the extent to which glucose levels in the blood rise due to consumption of each gram of carbohydrate in certain foods, compared to pure glucose consumption (the GI of glucose is 100). Basically, GI measures the reactions of your body based on the foods consumed. Usually, a higher GI value has the potential to damage the balanced glucose levels in your blood.  


Why foods with low GI are recommended


If you’re looking to lose a few extra pounds, foods with low GI make the process easier. The risk of breast, pancreatic, or colon cancer is reduced by the consumption of such foods. Stroke and heart problem risks are also significantly reduced along with that of diabetes. Foods with low GI increase your energy levels, making you feel smarter and more energetic, and also reduce the frequency of flu and cold. 


GI’s connection with weight loss


Most weight loss diets revolve around limiting the consumption of carbohydrates and fats, and increasing the consumption of proteins. Carbohydrates must be given special attention as compared to fats. Carbs with low GI and proteins must be the main elements in your food if you want to lose weight quickly. GI must be carefully watched if you have been making efforts to lose weight for a long period of time. 


Foods that are rich in carbohydrates have the potential to increase the sugar levels in your blood. The insulin hormone is washed out when the blood records a rise in sugar levels after consumption of food. Insulin ensures that blood sugar levels are reduced. However, when hypoglycemia occurs (sugar levels reduce significantly), headaches, nervousness and hunger arrive again. You can fight the situation by consuming your next meal, but it will result in swinging your sugar levels in the blood. If these fluctuations occur very frequently, there are more chances of becoming overweight. Watching the glycemic index on foods will help in achieving balanced blood glucose levels. 


GI Levels


Foods that have the presence of carbohydrates are divided based on the GI levels. These can be low, medium, or high Glycemic Index levels. Foods with a level of 55 or less are said to be low GI, those between 55 and 69 are medium GI and those above 70 are high GI foods. Foods with a GI of 55 to 69 are recommended for those who want to shed weight. Medium GI foods can be tried at times, but the ones with high GI must be avoided at all costs. Sugar levels in the blood are balanced with the consumption of low GI foods.   


The GI value is determined by three major nutrients (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates), fiber, the processing of the food, its acidity, and the quantities of food consumed. In general, consumption of low GI foods will help you lose a greater number of pounds.   


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