High Glycemic Index Foods
Foods with a Glycemic Index of 70+ are High GI Foods
Foods that score higher than 70 on the glycemic index are high GI foods. The higher the GI the faster the rate of increase of glucose in the blood, the greater the insulin response and the greater the potential to expose the body to the harmful health effects of high blood sugar and insulin. High glycemic index foods provide bursts of energy that may be followed quickly by blood sugar reductions and hunger. We can't avoid all high glycemic foods in our diet, but we can be aware of the glycemic reaction that foods cause and therefore make better-balanced food choices.
Glycemic Load (GL)
Low GI foods that are high in carbs may be as troublesome as higher GI foods that contain only a small percentage of carbs, if eaten in large amounts. This is why glycemic load (GL) is important. For more about carb content and the effect on blood sugar levels, see Glycemic Load
Reducing the Glycemic Effects of High GI Foods
If you want to mitigate the effect of high GI foods in a meal, you can do so in several ways, for example:
Health Problems of High Glycemic Index Foods
Eating high-glycemic index foods results in higher and more rapid increases in blood glucose levels than when we eat low-glycemic index foods. Rapid increases in blood glucose causes the beta-cells of the pancreas to increase insulin secretion. Over the 2-3 hours, this may cause a sharp decrease in blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia). By comparison, the consumption of low-glycemic index foods results in lower but more sustained increases in blood glucose and lower insulin secretions by the pancreas.
High blood glucose levels and excessive insulin secretions may (over time) lead to insulin resistance and ultimately to the loss of the insulin-secreting function of the pancreas, triggering diabetes. Impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance are known to be risk factors for cardiovascular diseases as well as type 2 diabetes.
Related Glycemic Index Links
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