With the increasing awareness about calories, carbs, and nutrition, there’s also an increasing awareness about body’s hunger signals. The current population is more focused on numbers now than any time ever. There are BMI and other statistics that are given immense importance.
The new way of determining what to eat and what not to eat is also based on a number called Glycemic Index. This number determines how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. The foods can be categorized into 3 categories:-
1. Foods with High Glycemic Index (Considered Bad)- More than 70
2. Foods with Intermediate Glycemic Index – Between 56-69
3. Foods with Low Glycemic Index (Considered Good) – Less than 55
Foods with high glycemic index shoot up the blood sugar levels as well as insulin levels fast. Refined and processed foods are the foods with high glycemic index. They are considered unhealthy for the heart and are believed to increase complications in people already suffering from diabetes.
Foods with high glycemic index
Corn chips, Bagel, Doughnuts, Cornflakes, Pretzels, Frozen Desserts, French Fries, Fried Chips, Jelly Beans, Cakes, Candies, Sweet Drinks, White Potatoes, Cookies, Soda, Crackers
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Foods with low glycemic index
Cauliflower, Broccoli, Sesame seeds, Peanuts, Green Beans, Cherries, Zucchini, Plums, Tomatoes, Grapes, Fresh Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice
(Image credits: westernsydney)
So basically, foods with low glycemic index control your blood sugar level, cholesterol level and control your appetite. They also lower the risk of developing type II diabetes and heart disease. High glycemic foods, on the other hand, are useful in rapidly replenishing muscle fuel stores after a physically exhausting event.
Glycemic index and weight loss
A low glycemic index diet is an effective way to lose weight as it helps in controlling appetite and blood sugar. But it’s important to understand that this is not the only criterion to plan your diet. It is equally important to consider your body constitution or Prakruti, your occupation, lifestyle habits and then decide what kind of diet suits you the best.
When it comes to eating, both quality and quantity of food, the characteristics, the environment in which the food is cooked, the mental state while consuming food and the appetite of the person determine how the food affects the body. It is always a good thing to consult a dietitian for advice on choosing foods with a low GI, adapting recipes and incorporating low GI foods in your meal plan.