What Glycemic Index (GI) is and why low GI foods should be part of daily healthy eating
This entry was posted on July 25, 2012.
If you are looking to increase energy, lose fat and just feel better, you would need to understand an important tool called the Glycemic Index (GI). All carbohydrates that you ingest (including the carbs in fruits and vegetables) convert to blood sugar- some fast, some slow -and the Glycemic Index measures the rate the conversion takes place. High GI carbs convert to blood sugar pretty quickly in your body thus causing a spike in your blood sugar level. When this happens, your brain signals your pancreas to secrete more insulin. Insulin brings your blood sugar back down, but primarily by converting the excess sugar to stored fat. Also, the greater the rate of increase in your blood sugar, the more chance that your body will release an excess amount of insulin, and drive your blood sugar back down too low. If your blood sugar drops too low, you become lethargic (“you crash’) and/or experience increased hunger. Thus, eating high-glycemic carbs (the ones that cause a high rate of increase in blood sugar) will hinder the fat burning process and will decrease energy levels.
Low GI foods contain carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream. The slower rate of digestion suggests less impact on your blood sugar level and insulin response. When insulin levels are normal, your body burns fat more efficiently. Thus, with low GI foods, your body will experience more consistent energy levels and will keep weight off more efficiently. The slow release of energy will also make you feel full longer - which means you tend to eat less throughout the day.
The Glycemic Index range is as follows:
Low GI = 55 or less
Medium GI = 56 - 69
High GI = 70 or more
What are the Low GI foods you should incorporate into your daily diet? Examples are most fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains like barley, bulgur, quinoa, oats and the sprouted grains.
You'll be glad to know that all of Nature's Superfoods offerings belong to the low GI category, including our organic coconut palm granules - a natural unrefined sweetener with a low GI of 35 - as compared to refined cane sugars (white/brown/raw) with a GI of 65 and above.