Ask the Weight Loss Expert – William Audren
The Glycemix Index
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a number which is associated with a specific type of food. It indicates the food’s effect on a person’s blood sugar level. The GI number ranges between 1 and 100; where 100 represents the standard, which is an equivalent amount of pure glucose. Low-GI diets have been associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, depression, chronic kidney disease, formation of gall stones, neural tube defects, formation of uterine fibroids, and some cancers.
The GI represents the total rise in a person’s blood sugar level following consumption of the food. It does not, however, measure insulin production caused by the rise in blood sugar. So, two foods could have the same glycemic index, yet produce different amounts of insulin. In any case, the GI can still guide you in making healthy food choices and help manage your blood sugar.
People trying to manage their blood sugar level (and their weight) may find that choosing lower GI foods helpful. Low GI foods raise blood glucose SLOWLY which can improve your blood glucose levels after a meal. These foods, generally, are higher in fibre. High fibre foods help you feel full and are important if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight.
We can classify foods in three distinctive GI classes. “HIGH” (70-100) “MEDIUM” (56-69) and “LOW” (1-55). You can find glycemic index lists for common foods on the internet.
Just because a food has a low glycemic index does NOT mean that you should eat a lot of it. Calories, protein, food portions, vitamins, minerals and staying active are still important to maintain a healthy lifestyle.