Posted by: faithful | August 6, 2007

what is the glycemic index?

Not all carbohydrate foods are created equal, in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Choosing low GI carbs – the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels – is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss..

GI News gives you the latest on world GI research

Having diabetes doubles the risk of stroke. Take a tip (well 10 tips) from dietitian Nicole Senior on how to eat to beat stroke along with lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, and managing blood glucose levels and weight. Cinnamon is back in the news with a new study on how eating around 6 grams at a sitting can help with blood glucose levels. But which type of cinnamon? True cinnamon or cinnamon cassia? To make sure you don’t go barking up the wrong tree, check out our story. This month’s regular features include three delicious recipes packed with low GI ingredients, what you need to know about the blood glucose benefits of doing the ironing or putting out the garbage and of course the latest GI research.

For GI food lists search the GI Database

Use free GI database to find the GI value of your favourite carbohydrate foods that have been tested over the past 25 years from all around the world. You can also check the glycemic load (GL) and grams of carbohydrate per serve. This database is the most comprehensive GI resource on the web.

  

What are the Benefits of the Glycemic Index?

Eating a lot of high GI foods can be detrimental to your health because it pushes your body to extremes. This is especially true if you are overweight and sedentary. Switching to eating mainly low GI carbs that slowly trickle glucose into your blood stream keeps your energy levels balanced and means you will feel fuller for longer between meals.

  • Low GI diets help people lose and control weight
  • Low GI diets increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • Low GI carbs improve diabetes control
  • Low GI carbs reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Low GI carbs reduce blood cholesterol levels
  • Low GI carbs can help you manage the symptoms of PCOS
  • Low GI carbs reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
  • Low GI carbs prolong physical endurance
  • High GI carbs help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise

How to Switch to a Low GI Diet

The basic technique for eating the low GI way is simply a “this for that” approach – ie, swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You don’t need to count numbers or do any sort of mental arithmetic to make sure you are eating a healthy, low GI diet.

  • Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
  • Use breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
  • Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
  • Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables
  • Use Basmati or Doongara rice
  • Enjoy pasta, noodles, quinoa
  • Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing
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