Have you ever experienced such a shock or a feeling out of control?
Maybe you have lost a loved one, or maybe something happened to you that just took the joy out of life for you.
Maybe you feel forced to do things you didnt want to, It’s as if you didn’t have choices in life, as if life was dictated to you.
You may have supressed some intense emotions feeling undervalued and unseen.
This can all lead to sugar levels higher than normal.
If you have diabetes, a Rapid Transformational Therapist can help you reduce and control your symptoms and offer help based on your individual needs and goals. Our therapist will work with you on physical problems that can be helped with a personalized exercise program. You can also attend our Diabetes Problems Care Therapy online.
If you have diabetes, you’ve probably been told to monitor your carbohydrate intake,
using the glycemic index as a tool for dietary planning.
But what is the glycemic index?
How exactly does it benefit your health and just how useful is it?
What is the glycemic index and how does it differ from glycemic load?
Glycemic Index or Glycemic Load?
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly each carbohydrate-containing food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
Low-GI foods produce a gradual rise and longer-sustained levels of blood glucose compared to high-GI foods, which generate a spike followed by a fast reduction in blood glucose levels.
In general, the more processed or cooked a food is, the higher its GI.
And the more fiber or fat in a food, the lower the GI.
The glycemic index is limited as the values are based on consuming a serving of food that contains a specific amount of available carbohydrates. As portion sizes can vary a lot, assessing the diet with GI is not always the best.
GL (glycemic load) measures both how quickly glucose enters the bloodstream and how much glucose per serving it can deliver. This gives you a more accurate picture of a food’s impact on your blood sugar.
For example, watermelon has a high glycemic index of 80. But a serving of watermelon has so little carbohydrate that its glycemic index is only 5.
There are several factors that can also affect the GI of food including:
👉 How refined or processed the carbohydrate is
👉 The cooking method used
👉 The chemical and physical properties of the food
👉 Its fiber, protein, fat, and acid content
👉 How "old" or ripe the food is
High GI Foods 🍞 vs Low GI Foods 🍉
High GI foods tend to be those with simple or refined carbohydrates that are high in glucose and other simple sugars that get absorbed quickly in the bloodstream.
They’re also low in fiber— a nutrient that helps to slow the digestion of carbs. Examples include bread (especially white bread), white rice, cereal and cereal bars, cakes and baked goods, white potatoes, potato chips, and soft drinks.
Most whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes are low to mid glycemic range. 🥬
While they do tend to contain a considerable amount of carbohydrates, they also contain protein, fat, water, and/or fiber which help slow the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrates.
The GI and GL can both be useful tools for improving health.
And even more so, to manage specific conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, weight management, epilepsy, and even mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
However, while the GI scale can be helpful in some circumstances (and research does indicate that an overall lower GI diet appears to be better for your health), there are exceptions.
For example, some high glycemic foods are healthy for most people. Watermelon is high GI but it also contains fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals which are good for you and also help to prevent a dramatic spike in your blood sugar.
Meat and dairy are low GI because of their high fat and protein content, but studies have shown they are pro-inflammatory and can have deleterious effects on your health. Meat can also promote insulin resistance, increase levels of the peptide hormone IGF-1 (which is associated with a higher risk for certain cancers), and produce TMAO (a metabolite that increases the risk for heart disease).
Thus, it’s not recommended to rely solely on the glycemic index to decide whether foods are good for you or not.