Don’t eat this, eat that. You may have been told this by your friends or nutritionist a thousand times. And to you, those complaining are just jealous of your tasty meals and nothing more. But an understanding of the benefits low glycemic index (GI) foods can offer you will make you see reasons with your friends and nutritionist.
Let’s look at what the term GI (glycemic index) stands for, and the reasons low glycemic index foods should be your best friends.
What is the Glycemic Index?
The term GI is a system of ranking foods which Dr David Jenkins and his colleagues invented in 1981. Their primary goal was to help foodie like you and me, understand the influence carbs can have on blood glucose levels.
So, how does this glycemic Index work?
First, understand that there are high and low GI foods. When you consume foods that contain carbohydrates, the one that slowly breaks down to gradually release glucose into your bloodstream, is tagged a low GI (glycemic index) food. And this suggests that the starches and sugars are being digested and absorbed into your bloodstream slowly. The reverse is the case for high glycemic index foods.
Benefits of low glycemic index foods
Whether you have diabetes or not, knowing the GI for every food you consume can enable you to lead a healthy life. You will find hundreds of your favourite foods on the glycemic index chart, to help you make the right choice. So, if you are still in doubt, here is why health-conscious people always crave low GI foods.
- Help to reduce your cravings and urges
Eating low GI foods can slow down the rate at which your blood sugar levels increases, while high GI foods do the opposite. High GI foods can trigger a fast rise in blood sugar levels and prepare the body for a vicious cycle where a sudden crash follows the spike in blood sugar and insulin levels almost immediately after having a meal.
However, your system is going to look for ways to bring your blood sugar levels back to the high level it was before the crash. That is why you feel hungry almost immediately after having a high GI meal. But when you eat a low GI food, your insulin and blood sugar levels will remain stable from all through the day.
- Boosts weight control
High GI foods can be counterproductive when it comes to weight management. They can promote the postprandial carb oxidation process which alters fuel partition in a unique way that can prepare the body for fat gain.
On the other hand, favouring the consumption of low GI foods may help you to manage your weight better. Low GI foods help to control appetite and can make you feel full for an extended period. Of course, sugar cravings will cause you to eat more to satisfy your cravings which can lead to weight gain. So reduced physical activities, high-fat foods and others should not be the only things you have to consider for weight control. Consider the glycemic index of foods you eat as well.
- Reduces the incidence of cardiovascular disease
Obesity or being overweight can cause many life-threatening illnesses, and heart disease is one of them. Consuming high glycemic index foods can lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels which causes obesity and can even make it difficult for you to achieve your weight loss target.
However, consuming low glycemic index foods will, in no small extent, reduce the fluctuations of your blood sugar, and also limit the release of insulin. That is why low GI diets help to control weight better than the high GI foods that promote sugar spikes.
- Reduces risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes
Eating low GI foods can help to reduce your risk of coming down with metabolic syndrome or diabetes, which can increase one’s risk of developing a stroke or even a heart attack.
However, the real aetiology behind this incident is not very clear, but it is clear that insulin resistance can trigger metabolic syndrome, which then leads to the development of type 2 diabetes, enlarged waist circumference and increased blood pressure.
Low Glycemic Index Foods
Here is a quick list of low GI foods to help you make an informed decision. You can check the glycemic index chart for more information on this.
- Green beans
The things you eat on a regular basis can have a significant impact on your health. So, instead of focusing your attention on things like physical activities, consider the GI of the foods you eat. Low GI foods can offer you enormous benefits, which is the reason why most dieticians advise people to go for low GI foods. So to be on the safe side, always consider the glycemic index of what you consume.
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