HomeNutritionBreaking Down the Glycemic Index

Breaking Down the Glycemic Index

Originally discovered in 1981 at the University of Toronto, the Glycemic Index (GI) is used as the inspiration for some of today’s more popular diets. Essentially, it is the job of the Glycemic Index to determine the time it takes for certain carbohydrates to be broken down by the body. Substances with a high rating on the Index take a long time to break down, and consequently do more damage to individuals with diabetes. Foods with a low rating on the Index are considered better for certain diets and for certain individuals, especially those with diabetes.

The body absorbs foods with low ratings on the Glycemic Index at a relatively slow rate. This allows the body to break down complex carbs in order to allow the body to use them in a better fashion. Since people with both Type I and Type II diabetes have problems with digesting carbohydrates, eating foods with low Index rating can in fact prove to be very beneficial to their health. Most diabetics on a diabetic diet tend to avoid sugars and carbohydrates altogether, especially considering the fact that their bodies have issues with their digestion. There are though, a few choices in terms of carbohydrates (carbs) that are considering acceptable alternatives for a diabetic diet.

Good foods have low ratings on the Glycemic Index (low Glycemic Index foods). Generally speaking, these foods still contain carbohydrates in various levels, but these particular carbohydrates are easier to digest, and significantly healthier to eat. Most supermarkets carry foods that serve as alternatives to the higher indexed foods.

Included in the list of foods that have low Index ratings are most fruits and vegetables. Despite the fact that fruits and vegetables are often high in sugar, the sugars they contain are digested at a slower rate than other sugars, providing valuable nutrients to individuals with diabetes. As far as vegetables are concerned, the one that should be avoided in the dreaded potato, since it has a very high Glycemic Index rating. Watermelon is considered a good source of vitamins and healthy and very low in calories, however, its Glycemic Index number is 70!it is very high in natural sugar and spikes your blood sugar levels forcing your body to release insulin to counteract and lower these levels.

White rice, white bread, and any other foods that are made from refined flour or sugar should also be avoided, as they too have high ratings on the Index.

On the list of low Glycemic Index foods are whole grain breads, pastas, low fat yogurt, soy milk, baked beans and brown rice.

When it comes to a successful and beneficial diabetic diet, it is not necessary to eliminate carbohydrates completely. It is more important to understand the benefits and problems associated with certain carbs in order to make the right choice. Diabetes can be successfully controlled, and a diabetic diet that makes use of the Glycemic Index is definitely one approach that can help.

Source by Liat Nachman

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