Saturday, October 13, 2007

What is "Glycemic Index"?

glycemic indexAfter my post about the 10 food you should avoid , where I point out the fats, saccharose and glycemic index of some of the most popular foods these days, I came across a bunch of e-mails asking me what exactly is "glycemic index" . So instead of answering each one of them I will write a post about it.

Glycemic index is basically a way to qualify foods with carbohydrate content. It shows how these foods work on the level of blood sugar. Some foods cause a rapid secretion of insulin in the blood, other not so rapid. Control on the level of blood sugar means control on your weight.

After eating foods with a high glycemic index the fast raise of blood sugar levels causes us to feel full, but the following drop is as fast and we are hungry again, so we eat one more time. This creates a big intake of calories, which your organism dosen't need and they get stored as fat.

The glucose is set to be a base for comparison when qualifying foods. It is given a 100% glycemic index

A low glycemic index is no more than 50%

Medium glycemic index is no more than 70%

A high glycemic index is more than 70%

Glycemic index chart...

For instance- Low fat milk has 45% , sweet corn has 80% and honey has the award winning 126%

Eating foods with a high glycemic index often leads to serious conditions like diabetes, heart problems and high cholesterol. Foods with low index lead to less insulin and a gradually rising of the blood sugar levels, which leads to longer feeling of satisfaction and lower calorie intake.

Recently researches show that when foods cooked under heat treatment have their glycemic index higher, but adding protein, healthy fats, fibers etc. lowers it.

It's good to know the glycemic index of what you eat, it can help you control your appetite, calorie intake and blood sugar levels, but thats not enough to keep it healthy- don't forget to work out!

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Related posts:

Weight loss: Green tea

List of 10 foods you should avoid! 

6 misunderstantings about food related to diabetes...


Cindy said...

Excellent introduction post! Thanks :) There is an excellent list of foods by glycemic load and glycemic index here:

Thanks again,

CAP said...

Thanks for a great definition post. You explained something I had been wanting to understand for a bit now, but never got around to really researching. Thanks for participating in Fitness for Moms Carnival.