What is Glycemic Index?
Glycemic index is a type of measurement that determines how quick a food breaks down and how it likely raises your blood sugar. Glycemic index or GI is measured in weight by gram. A high glycemic index would indicate that glucose or blood sugar will quickly rise. Same is true when GI is measured to be at its moderate. This means that glucose will rise slower than that of a high GI. Same goes for food with low GI measurement.
There are three known levels of the glycemic index ‘“ high, moderate and low. Food with glycemic index of 40 and below is considered low. It is considered to be at a moderate level if the GI measures between 41 and 59. On the other hand, all food having a glycemic index of 60 and above is considered to be a high level.
To understand GI better, it measures the effect of a food to the rise of the glucose present in the blood in an hour after eating. The objective of measuring the glycemic index is to consume food that are under the low level of GI. Glycemic index basically deals with carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates or sometimes called carb, is a type of nutrients found in food. However, foods that are known to be high on or contains carbohydrate are called carbohydrate foods. On the other hand there are another type of nutrients found in food namely, fats and proteins. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins make up the three major nutrients in food. However, this article will mainly focus on the carbohydrate, since it is the nutrient that highly affects the glycemic index.
There are two types of carbohydrates ‘“ simple and complex. What is the difference between the two types? Simple carbohydrates are those foods that contain only sugar but has no real nutritional values or calories. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are those foods containing real nutritional value. Since you know which type of carbohydrate food is better, there is now no reason for you to take more on simple carbohydrates.
The following are some food examples containing complex carbohydrates.
- Noodles and all kinds of pasta
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grains and cereals
- Legumes and beans
- Pure honey
The following are some food examples containing simple carbohydrates.
- All types of pastry foods
- Ice cream and frozen yogurt
The reason why complex carbohydrates food are called complex is basically due to its complex sugar content. On the other hand, simple carbohydrates is the opposite. In controlling the disease called diabetes, a diet for complex carbohydrate is highly important. Our body needs carbohydrates for it is the human body’s source of energy. When carbohydrate is broken down it turns into glucose which the body will need. In fact, the human brain functions mainly because of glucose. That is why people who are hypoglycemic, or the ones with low glucose count in the blood often feel, confused, and are having a difficult time concentrating on things. This is because the brain lacks fuel, which is glucose.
However, too much glucose will also lead to a disease. That is why glycemic index is a very important tool for people. The reason why GI was made-up is to ensure that people are eating the right or healthy foods.