The glycemic index essentially ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on the body’s blood glucose level. This effectively measures the effects various carbohydrates have on glucose levels in the blood. A high glycemic index would mean that the carbohydrate breaks down quickly and releases a high amount of glucose into the blood. A low glycemic index therefore refers to carbohydrates which break down slowly and releases glucose into the blood at a slower rate.
A glycemic index diet is often of particular importance for those people who suffer from diabetes. A low glycemic index diet is considered to improve long term blood glucose control. A low glycemic index diet is therefore useful for people who are wishing to reduce the demand for insulin their body makes.
On the contrary a high glycemic index diet is useful for those who need an increased injection of glucose; for example after exercise or someone experiencing hypoglycaemia. A high glycemic index diet is encouraged in situations where recovery is required and one is lacking energy.
Foods are given a glycemic index ranking which refers to its glucose releasing affects. Generally unrefined breads with higher fibre content have a higher GI ranking whereas white bread has a lower GI ranking. The glycemic index has also been associated with weight control. Some experts believe that a high gylcemic index diet increases the risk of obesity and therefore health problems which are the result of this such as cardiovascular disease etc. As a result of this people with already existing weight problems and cardiovascular problems should try and maintain a low glycemic index diet.
A low Glycemic index diet over a long period of time has been proven to reduce the chances of developing type2 diabetes. It has also been known to help control type2 diabetes by initiating a slower release of glucose into the blood and therefore reducing the demands for insulin. People suffering from type2 diabetes are therefore advised to keep a low glycemic index diet.
Research has shown that adding lipids to the foods can reduce their glycemic index ranking. This however is risky as lipids themselves carry their own set of health problems if consumed excessively. One should try and maintain a balanced and healthy diet and the glycemic index will take care of itself. It is only really necessary to pay particular attention to the glycemic index diet if you are suffering from specific disease such as diabetes or if you are overweight and experiencing cardiovascular issues. In these circumstances researching and following a strict glycemic diet can be very useful and is strongly advised by the majority of health professionals.
How To Get Started
You can get information about the glycemic index diet from your local pharmacist or GP. Any health professional should be able to help you out however so do not hesitate to ask a family member or friend in regards to the glycemic index diet. It is important to know exactly how the glycemic index works and what is right for you before initiating your own glycemic index diet.