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Low glycemic index diet

The glycemic index is a measurement that is made for various types of food. This measurement is used to understand the effect that the food in question has on the blood sugar level of the person consuming the food. When carbohydrates are broken down in the body, the process produces sugar which is used for energy in the body. Some types of carbohydrates break down quickly and release a burst of glucose into the system. These foods have a high glycemic index rating.

Other types of carbohydrate are broken down slowly in the body. These carbohydrates may release the same quantity of sugar into the body eventually, but the rate of release is slower. This reduced rate of release results in a slower increase in the consumer’s blood sugar level. Foods that release sugar slowly are low on the glycemic index.

Every individual has a different requirement of sugar and must have a different diet to suit his or her requirement. People involved in continuous physical effort throughout the day require a continuous supply of glucose so that there is a steady production of energy in the body. People involved in tasks where there is a sudden intense requirement of sugar may require foods that are high on the glycemic index. In day to day life, most people tend to organize their diets based on their requirements. People suffering from diabetes will require a diet that has a specific focus on some particular types of food.

The glycemic index of a particular type of food is represented by a number. This number is a percentage which is viewed in relation to pure glucose. When measuring the glycemic index of various foods, a simple process is followed. The subjects being tested are measured for their blood sugar level at the start of the test. These subjects are then fed with a particular quantity of a carbohydrate. Two hours after this consumption has taken place, the blood sugar is measured. Keeping the value of blood sugar caused by pure glucose as 100%, the various other foods consumed are measured as a percentage of the sugar increase caused by glucose. Foods that cause the blood sugar to increase by 55% or less are considered to be low on the glycemic index. Foods that cause the blood sugar rise to 70% of pure glucose or more are considered to be high on the glycemic index. Any food that falls in between these two percentages is considered to be moderate on the list.

A low glycemic index diet is a diet that consists of foods that feature on the lower end of the glycemic index list. Some good examples of foods that feature on the lower end of the glycemic index list are whole grain breads, pasta and most pulses. Fruits and vegetables tend to be on the lower end of the scale barring some notable exceptions such as potatoes. Foods that have a low percentage of carbohydrate can all be included in a low glycemic index diet. This is because the negligible amount of carbohydrates present in these foods makes it impossible for them to rapidly raise the blood sugar level of the consumer. A low glycemic index diet is recommended for any individual who has a high level of blood sugar without any underlying cause. Such an individual is probably a victim of excessive consumption of high glycemic index foods and can lower his or her blood sugar to an acceptable level by consuming the foods that feature in the below 55% category on the glycemic index list.

Submitted on January 16, 2014