- The Glycemic Index (GI) was developed to help people (especially diabetics and athletes) maintain stable blood sugar levels (BSL).
- The GI ranks food on a scale from 0-100, according to how much the food raises blood sugar levels after eating.
- Foods with a high GI immediately release glucose into the blood, which causes a rapid rise in BSL.
- Foods with a low GI release glucose more steadily over several hours, keeping BSL more stable.
- Essentially, foods with a high GI lead to greater and more sudden changes in BSL than foods with a low GI.
Why is this significant?
- Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, cancer, and diabetes have all been linked to diets that contain foods with a high GI (among other factors).
- Foods with a low GI maintain healthy BSL and help us to lose weight – one proven way to lower the risk of developing the aforementioned diseases.
The Glycemic Index and Weight Loss
- High GI foods can force the body to store excess energy as body fat.
- Low GI foods can foster quicker weight loss.
- Low GI foods can keep you full for longer.
- Low GI foods can lead to faster metabolism.
- Low GI foods can make physical exercise easier.
Points To Remember
- Don’t judge a food only by its GI value – it doesn’t tell you everything about what a food offers.
- Watch how much you eat – if your portions are too big, you will gain weight, whether you’re eating foods with a low or high GI.
- Make sure you exercise as often as you can – being active helps to control your weight and your BSL at the same time.