Index – Do You Know How This Affects You?
The Green House
by Margaret Durst: Sport
Supplements – Stay Active Naturally
Index or GI is a measure of the effect of the carbohydrates in foods
on blood-glucose levels. Carbohydrates that break down quickly in
the process of digestion have high GI values, while carbohydrates
that break down slowly have low GI values.
of glycemic index is so important as it is helpful to the many people
that struggle with diabetes and metabolic syndrome, also known as
pre-diabetes. Not knowing how to eat for balanced blood sugar is
an underlying cause in most diseases that plague Americans. Anyone
can benefit by eating a low glycemic diet especially those
with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes,
excess weight and many other conditions.
index rates specific foods using the effect of pure glucose on blood
sugar as the reference point with pure glucose being 100
percent. High GI foods have a GI of 70 or greater. Intermediate
GI foods have GIs of 56 to 69 and low GI foods have a GI of
less than 55.
high GI foods include candy bars, sodas, many breakfast cereals
such as corn flakes and Cheerios, sweet treats made with white flour,
etc. Examples of low GI foods include less refined foods such as
old fashioned oatmeal, All Bran cereal, beans, lentils, pumpernickel
bread, Ezekiel bread, stone ground grains, apples, and plain yogurt.
is important because it helps to predict the blood glucose response
to expect from eating particular foods. Being able to predictably
lower blood glucose levels with food helps those with diabetes or
glucose intolerance. It is also a great tool for weight loss as
seen in diets such as Sugar Busters and Carbohydrate Lovers.
There are several
defining qualities of particular carbohydrates that seem to influence
the GI. One of these is called physical entrapment. This refers
to a fibrous coating typically around a grain or legume that acts
as a physical barrier and slows access to the starch inside. Examples
of these are grains such as barley, grainy breads and legumes.
is another factor influencing GI. Smaller particles make the food
easier to digest and therefore, the GI higher. An example is finely
milled flour which is high GI.
also influences GI by slowing down digestion, making the GI value
low. Good examples of foods with soluble fiber include rolled oats,
beans, lentils, and apples.
are another factor in GI. Acid in foods slows down the rate starch
will digest. Things like vinegar, lemon juice and pickled vegetables
will lower GI by slowing down starch digestion.
factor is the amount of water the starch contains. Raw starch is
hard and granular and difficult to digest. When starch is cooked,
the combination of water and heat expand and soften the starch molecules
making them easier to digest. Using potatoes as an example
the GI index of the raw potato is lower than that of mashed potatoes
which are high GI.
of grains with sugar actually make the starch more difficult to
access. This makes cookies tend to have intermediate GI values especially
those made with low GI grains such as oatmeal.
There is lots
of information available on glycemic index get your list,
eat low GI for 4 weeks and see what happens.
November 16, 2011
Durst owns The
Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason,
© 2011 Margaret
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