If you’ve ever wondered why some foods leave you feeling full and energized, while others leave you feeling sluggish and hungry again in no time, you need to know about the glycemic index.
The glycemic index (GI) was first developed in the early 1980s by Dr. David Jenkins and has become a tool for understanding how different foods affect our bodies. Specifically, the glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a particular food raises your blood sugar levels after you eat it. Foods with a high GI value cause your blood sugar levels to spike rapidly, while those with a low GI value are absorbed more slowly and cause a slower, more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
Foods are given a GI value based on how quickly they raise blood sugar levels when compared to pure glucose, which has a GI value of 100. Foods with a GI value of 70 or higher are considered high, those with a GI value of 56 to 69 are considered medium, and those with a GI value of 55 or lower are considered low.
Why is this important?
High blood sugar levels can lead to a number of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. By choosing foods with a lower GI value, you can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and reduce your risk of these and other health problems.
Some examples of foods with a high GI value include white bread, potatoes, and sugary drinks. Foods with a low GI value include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
It’s worth noting the GI value of a particular food can vary depending on a number of factors, including how it’s cooked, how ripe it is, and what other foods you eat with it. For this reason, the GI should be used as a general guide rather than a strict rule.
It’s also important to remember the GI is just one tool for making healthy food choices. Other factors, such as nutrient content, portion size, and overall calorie intake, are also important to consider when planning a healthy diet.
By choosing foods with a lower GI value, you can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and reduce your risk of health problems. More information on the glycemic index is taught during Healthy Lifestyle Secrets classes. Click here for a list of classes currently open for enrollment.