The Glycemic Index Weight Loss Explained

The Glycemic Index Weight Loss Explained

Not so long ago,​ the​ media reported that we​ should reduce our fat intake for health reasons. Consequently,​ carbohydrates came under the​ spotlight and a​ new trend developed: eat less fat and fill up on​ carbs.

Carbohydrates may be low in​ fat,​ but eat too many and the​ excess calories is​ readily and easily converted by your body into fat. Given that most people think only of​ carbohydrates as​ starchy foods such as​ bread and pasta,​ the​ new trend resulted in​ rapidly expanding waistbands! Fortunately,​ fruit and vegetables are also carbohydrates - commonly known as​ 'complex' carbohydrates.

These re the​ 'good guys' because they are slowly digested and help to​ reduce hunger and keep blood sugar levels on​ an​ even keel. This is​ ever so important for people trying to​ maintain or​ control their weight. Whenever blood sugar levels drop too low,​ this very often is​ a​ powerful trigger sending you into the​ cupboard in​ search for sugar or​ starchy carbohydrates.

Good carbohydrates are easy to​ spot. They are the​ vividly coloured fresh fruit and vegetables such as​ peppers,​ carrots,​ tomatoes and spinach.

The Glycemic Index,​ otherwise known as​ GI,​ is​ a​ measurement that can help us differentiate between carbohydrates and choose those that have the​ most hunger control and the​ greatest potential to​ maintain blood sugar levels.

The GI is​ a​ system that indicates how fast a​ particular food will trigger a​ rise in​ blood sugar levels. a​ food with a​ high GI will cause a​ rapid rise in​ blood sugar while a​ food with a​ low GI will create a​ slower rise.

The GI runs from 0 to​ 100 and uses pure glucose as​ a​ reference point,​ with the​ maximum value of​ 100. For example,​ a​ banana has a​ GI score of​ 62,​ foods between 55-70 are mid-GI and foods over 70 are considered high GI.

Low GI Apples (39),​ oranges (40),​ pears (38),​ soy beans (15),​ kidney beans (29),​ lentils (29),​ porridge (49),​ wholegrain rye bread (41),​ corn on​ the​ cob (35),​ peanuts (15).

High GI White bread (70),​ French bread (95),​ white rice (70),​ baked potatoes (85),​ mashed potatoes (90),​ cooked carrots (85)

Glycemic Index Facts Foods only appear on​ the​ GI if​ they contain carbohydrates. Meat,​ chicken,​ eggs,​ fish and cheese are not given a​ GI value as​ these are sources of​ protein. However,​ processed meats such as​ sausages may be included because they contain flour which is​ a​ carbohydrate. Low GI foods can help control your appetite by creating a​ fuller feeling for longer after eating which is​ good news for weight management.

Fats and protein slow down the​ absorption of​ carbohydrates,​ whilst the​ GI of​ foods can be further affected by cooking,​ processing,​ ripeness and variety. This makes it​ difficult to​ accurately rate the​ GI of​ a​ typical meal.

Low GI foods can be high in​ calories. For example,​ a​ cup of​ kidney beans is​ approximately 215 calories,​ yet 1/2 cup of​ peanuts is​ approximately 450 calories!

High GI foods are useful after exercise when muscle stores of​ sugar need to​ be quickly restored.

A typical balanced meal should provide a​ mixture of​ foods including fats,​ proteins and carbohydrates. By including low GI foods with each meal,​ the​ body takes longer to​ absorb the​ carbohydrates,​ which helps to​ slow overall absorption and keep blood sugar levels steadier between meals.

The Glycemic Index Weight Loss Explained

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