Carbohydrates and Glycermic index

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Ever heard of the word glycermic index? This is an index to watch out for in diets, if you want to decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, depression, chronic kidney disease and so many others. Glycermic index is an important factor in blood sugar level management.

When carbohydrates are consumed, they are digested to provide energy for the body. All carbohydrates are not created equal and do not produce the same amount of energy. In the past they are classified as either simple or complex but recently they are classified according to their glycermic index.

What is glycermic index.

Carbohydrates are classified according to how quickly they release sugar into the blood. According to, The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Glycemic Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose serves as a reference point, and is given a Glycemic Index (GI) of 100. Glycermic index measures the impact of food on blood sugar instead of counting the total amount of carbohydrates in foods in their unconsumed state.

The glycermic index of foods can be classified as high, moderate or low.

High glycermic index foods quickly release sugar into the blood causing the blood sugar levels to rise and fall rapidly.  This puts pressure on the pancreas to produce insulin, which converts the excess sugar to fat. Examples of high GI foods include ice cream, sweetened drinks,white bread, white rice etc.

High glycermic index foods can be consumed when a sharp increase in blood sugar is needed for example after strenuous physical exercise to speed up recovery.

Moderate glycermic index foods. 

The glycermic index is between 55-69.  Examples include spaghetti, sweet potatoes, fruit juices

Low glycermic index   foods                   

Food with low glycermic index are digested slowly,absorbed and metabolised. They release sugar slowly into the blood stream. Consumption of low GI foods is good for weight control because it stays longer in the stomach thereby delaying hunger. Also low GI food produce less insulin which means that fewer blood sugar is converted to fat. Following a low glycemic index diet helps control diabetes, and also plays a role in cardiovascular disease prevention, according to the Linus Pauling


Glycermic index of Processed foods

Processed foods are classified as high to moderate glycermic index. Processing foods is like partly digesting it, so that when the food eventually gets to the stomach the glucose is easily assimilated into the blood.

Fibre slows down the rate at which glucose is flushed into the bloodstream. Whenever the fibre in food is removed it makes the food to be hyper glycermic.

Glycermic load/Quantity matters too

Increase in blood sugar is not only affected by glycermic index, equally important is the amount of carbohydrate one consumes. The concept of Glycemic Index combined with total intake is referred to as “Glycemic Load.

The theory behind the Glycemic Index is simply to minimize insulin-related problems by identifying and avoiding foods that have the greatest effect on your blood sugar.

Now you can understand why it is safe to take certain types of carbs and risky to eat the others. So before you take that carbohydrate check the glycermic index.

Carbohydrates and glycermic index

Glycermic index of foods



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