What Is The Glycemic Index, Its Benefits And GI Food Ratings

The Glycemic Index Defined
Glycemic Index (GI) is a way to measure glucose levels after carbohydrate consumption. Glucose is a medical term meaning sugar that is produced from carbohydrate intake.
Carbohydrates are necessary to fuel the body and mind, but it’s easy to exceed carbohydrate intake. Too many carbs will eventually lead to physical challenges including obesity.
Managing your carbohydrate intake is important, in order to keep the GI in check and blood sugars from exceeding moderate levels.

We think of many carbs as “comfort foods” i.e.,  pasta, bread, rice, grains, potatoes. These are all sources of carbohydrates.  It takes a personal resolution to practice discipline when maintaining a steady, healthful diet and moderate carbohydrate intake.
Paying attention to blood glucose levels is important to keep your body running at an optimal level. However, most of us don’t sit down to a meal with the Glycemic Index in mind.
Sugar levels rise after food is consumed immediately signaling the pancreas to release insulin so blood sugar levels do not exceed normal levels.
This makes the GI important to keep in mind during meal planning.
After years of overindulgence, the pancreas eventually stops producing insulin as it should and this is when real health problem. These problems can include kidney damage and Type 2 diabetes that can eventually lead to permanent damage to the eyes and nerves. When blood quits circulating at optimum levels, it can even lead to digit or limb amputation.
No one wants to consider the hazards of growing old, but those who are more conscientious of their health in their youth will find it can mean a difference when middle and old age turn into a reality.
It is therefore never too early to begin giving GI levels consideration. Tests for the GI delve a little deeper when checked by a health practitioner, revealing the actual influence food has on blood sugar levels.
The Importance of Maintaining Steady GI Levels
Many diets over the years have focused exclusively on low carbohydrate intake in order to keep GI levels in check.  A diet high in fat and carbohydrates often makes the GI levels unmanageable.  Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease have all been linked to high GI levels.
GI Rating System & GI Values
Since the GI has become an integral part of how healthcare professionals measure blood sugar or glucose levels, healthcare organizations have classified foods in categories as “high,” medium,” “low,” and “very low,” on the Glycemic Index Scale.
• 0 to 55 is considered “low”
• 56 to 69 is considered “medium”
• 70 or higher is considered “high”
Examples Of Food Impact
Carbohydrate intake and GI go hand in hand but not all carbohydrates have the same effect and are unique when it comes to measurement. Although people may not want to believe it’s true there is a difference when it comes to a slice of whole wheat bread versus a slice of plain white bread.
Both share equal amounts of starch but when broken down by the digestive system, starch from the white bread releases more starch, turning into more sugar than the whole grain bread. The pancreas, therefore, has to work harder to maintain sugar levels than it would if the same person had made the whole-wheat choice instead.
The lower the GI level, the easier it is for the pancreas to keep blood sugar levels low. Consistently high blood sugar levels can then overtax the pancreas, which can lead to devastating health related issues later on in life.
Generally speaking, foods that are less processed will have a lower GI than those foods that are “over processed,” including those in which we tend to overindulge. If you tend to shun foods that have the words “whole grain” or “natural” as a part of their description, you may want to reconsider.
Your diet will be better and you will put less stress on your organs. This means you have fewer chances of future health problems with your kidneys or pancreas.
Choose foods that are lower on the Glycemic Index and lower your blood sugar levels.  The easier it will be for you to control your weight, curb out of control cravings, and prevent Type 2 Diabetes.
Bottom Line
 Pay more attention to blood sugar levels and the overconsumption of carbs and you will be well on your way to acquiring good habits that can last a lifetime.

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