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Glycemic Index - Enhance Your Quality of Life

Dec 4, 2007
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking if foods based on scale of 0 to 100. The ranking scale is calculated on how much affect carbohydrate consumed has on human blood glucose levels.

55 and Below = Low
56 to 69 = Moderate
70 and Above = High

High GI foods will raise an individuals blood glucose levels rapidly to a high/extreme level, and they will drop after a short period of time to well below average levels- causing a wave effect. Low GI foods is the opposite in that blood glucose levels are kept to a moderate level, there will be a slight increase however it is marginal. Low GI foods keep glucose at an even, consistent rate.

How does the Glycemic Index relate to nutrition?
GI relates to nutrition in that depending on which foods a person consumes, there will be an affect on blood glucose levels. It is the Glycemic Index which determines which foods will raise those blood glucose levels, and which will keep them to a low/moderate level.

Many GI ratings are surprising, for example; baked potatoes have a GI rating more than that of table sugar. Brown rice is also a food that comes in surprisingly high at a GI rating of 79, a low GI rating option to replace brown rice as a grain is pearled barley, which has a GI rating of only 36.

Soft drinks also have some interesting results when look at the GI rating scale. Coca Cola- which has the perception of being high GI- being at 63, where as Fanta comes in higher at 68. It is the realising of the adrenalin hormone by the caffeine in Coca Cola that gives an individual the get up it is renowned for, rather than a raise in blood glucose levels.

How does the Glycemic Index affect the human body?
When blood sugar levels rise, the hormone Insulin is produced and released by the panaceas. Insulin then transports the excess glucose in blood to working cells of the body,including muscles, for the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate, the body universal energy currency).

By implementing a low/moderate GI food plan a person may be assisted in the control, and prevention, of Type 2 diabetes, and may assist an individual with stabilisation of mental illness such as Bi Polar disorder (Manic Depression) and Depression.

Glycemic Index affect on human body weight
Choosing a low GI breakfast will keep you fuller for longer, as blood glucose levels will stay controlled rather than waved. The advantage of this is that a person will be more likely to eat less large- binge- meals 2 or 3 times in the remainder of the day, and tend towards 5-6 moderate meals; therefore increasing the chances of weight loss. A high GI breakfast will make a person full at first, but soon after they will feel flat and empty, and the will pursue a large high GI meal.

Options for low GI breakfasts include; Muesli with low fat milk toped with yoghurt and sliced fruit, Fruit salad with natural yoghurt, Poached eggs on low GI toast(Wholemeal) with spinach, tomato and mushrooms.

Does the Glycemic Index have a positive or negative impact on human health?
If followed as part of a lifestyle eating plan principle the Glycemic Index can have a positive impact on human health. The primary benefits include:

Control of blood glucose levels
Control cholesterol levels
Control of appetite
Lower risk of getting heart disease
Lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes

With the evidence before you, it is clear that the Glycemic Index plays an important role in the health and well being of individuals in the fast paces world of modern society.
About the Author
Gavin Stone is a leading Personal Trainer, fitness expert and publisher of iseekactive.com. His training methods and philosophies are unique and aimed at producing results for his clients. Gavin's articles cane be found at: iseekactive.com
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