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How does glycemic index affect you?

Glycemic Index

An easy tip to help you make better meal time decisions is to consider the glycemic index (GI) of the food you're about to eat. Rated on a 100-point scale, the smaller the GI of your food, the bigger and better the benefits will be for you.

"Glycemic index is a number that indicates how fast a type of carbohydrate can raise our blood sugar. The higher the glycemic index of a certain food, the higher our blood glucose level will be after consumption of that food," Ghida Arnaout, a dietician at the Live'ly diet and nutrition centre, said.

"When your blood sugar levels spike, the pancreas release insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps carry the glucose inside the cells of the body so that it can be used as energy. If blood sugar remains high, the brain will signal the pancreas to produce more insulin in order to convert excess glucose into stored fat; thus dropping your blood sugar level to a low," Arnaout explained.

This means foods with high GI are broken down by your body much faster than low GI foods, making you feel hungrier much quicker. Instead choose low GI foods, which will take your body longer to break down and keep you feeling full for longer.

Similarily, the Glycemic Load (GL) of a food item shows how much it will raise blood glucose levels. To find the GL of an item, simply take the number of grams of carbohydrate in the serving, multiply it by the glycemic index, and divide by 100.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jul 24, 2012
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