How does food affect blood sugar levels?
Ever wondered how the foods you eat affect your blood sugar levels? Have you experienced the rush of energy from eating foods high in sugar, only to feel the crash an hour or so later? Here is some more information that may help… The Glycemic Index (GI) is a tool that measures how different foods affect blood glucose levels in the body within a few hours of eating. It was invented in 1981 by David Jenkins of the University of Toronto. His goal was to help people with diabetes choose foods that keep their blood sugar in balance. Once introduced, diet experts and nutritionists tested foods for their properties and influence on sugar levels. Hundreds of foods were added to the Index. It didn't take long for dieters to take advantage of the information the G.I. provides. The GI ranges from 1-100. Foods lower on the chart are better for people with diabetes and dieters looking to reduce their carb intake to lose weight. These foods have higher levels of protein, fat, and fibre. These three compounds slow down the body's ability to process sugar. Studying the GI has led to interesting discoveries. The potato, often considered a healthy option, is the worst thing you can eat according to the GI. The root vegetable can fall anywhere between 82-100. Saltine crackers, pineapple, and pretzels are also high-GI. Yogurt, pasta, and dairy are low on the GI index. Research over the past two decades has confirmed the health benefits of eating foods low on the GI. Preventing Type 2 Diabetes is one example of maintaining low glucose levels if you are conscious of how different foods affect blood sugar. Because many low GI foods also contain high amounts of fibre, they move more slowly through the body, helping to curb appetite. Low GI carbs also absorb more slowly and affect blood sugar levels more slowly. If you would like to find out the GI of a particular food, look it up on the database at www.glycemicindex.com