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Glycemic Index And How You Can Use It

Jan 15, 2008
The Glycemic Index is a concept developed in the University of Toronto in 1981. The purpose of the Glycemic Index is to measure the effect carbohydrates have on blood glucose levels. The Glycemic Index is imperative for anyone who needs to monitor their glucose level due to diabetes or hyperglycemia. With diabetes reaching epidemic levels in the United States, the development of the Glycemic Index could not have come at a better time. Each year, more people are diagnosed with this potentially life threatening disease that can cause many serious complications. It is important for anyone with this condition to familiarize themselves with the Glycemic Index so they can empower themselves and learn which foods should be avoided.

Knowledge of the glycemic index is imperative for anyone who has diabetes or who has been diagnosed as borderline diabetic. To be able to understand which foods have the most impact on blood glucose levels is crucial for anyone fighting this potentially life-threatening condition.

In 1981, Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto came up with a ranking system for carbohydrates based upon how long it takes them to break down into the system. Some carbohydrates break down very slowly and those release glucose gradually into the bloodstream and have a low glycemic index. For people who are diabetes, particularly those who are insulin dependent, a low glycemic index is preferable. These foods allow the insulin or medication to respond better to the blood glucose and allows for the sugars to break down more naturally.

Foods that are high glycemic foods include those with large amounts of white refined sugar or white flour. One thing a doctor will tell a patient on how to avoid high glycemic foods is to avoid anything white. This includes white bread, pasta made with white flour and even cakes or sweets made with refined white sugar or white flour.

After a while, this takes its toll on the system of a diabetic. The kidneys begin to hurt because they are not functioning properly. This is one symptom that diabetics often present with when seeking a physician. They also get blood in their urine and, in the worst case scenario they faint or enter into an episode of semi-consciousness, confusion which can even lead to a diabetic coma. In some instances, a diabetic coma can prove fatal.

Using the glycemic index

The carbohydrates that are given a high rating on the Glycemic Index include those made with white sugar, white flour, baked potato, French fried pototoes, white break, pastas made with white flour. Even corn flakes are considered bad carbohydrates on the Glycemic Index. This can be valuable information for anyone who has just been diagnosed as a diabetic and wants to discover which foods are more beneficial. While most diabetics will be told to avoid carbs, avoiding carbohydrates all together is not often feasible. For someone who thinks a candy bar is way worse than white bread, the Glycemic Index can be a real eye opener and can be a great way how to use the Glycemic Index for someone who is trying to discover which carbohydrates are safer than others.

On the other hand potatoes are one of the highest ranking foods in the glycemic Index. People consume French fries throughout the world like they are going out of style. Not only are they high in fat and offer little protein, they are also very high in carbohydrates.
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