G.I. stands for the words Glycemic Index and this refers to the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream. We need sugar, sugar is brain food and if you can’t utilize sugars then you can get symptoms of being light-headed, dizzy and can’t think straight.
HOW IT WORKS
Essentially all carbohydrates in food are ultimately converted to glucose. A food that has a glycemic index of less than 55 is considered to be Low GI, with a medium apple for example having a GI value of 38. Medium GI foods have a glycemic index between 55 and 70 and any foods with a glycemic index above 70 should be avoided as they are considered High GI. While Diabetes Australia considers GI to play only a small part in the diet of a diabetic patient, it is an important consideration in a pre-diabetic Type 2 patient whose blood glucose levels are on the rise, and for prevention of diabetes-related complications.
The term “Low G.I.” means that the food just eaten releases it’s sugar into the bloodstream more slowly which is ideal whereas High G.I. “dumps” it’s sugar into bloodstream and the results can leave you feeling tired, light-headed and or hungry. A low GI diet is going to leave you feeling fuller for a longer amount of time which will result in consuming less calories during the course of the day, which in turn will lead to weight loss. High GI foods are going to cause a spike in your blood glucose levels followed by a “crash” or trough an hour or so later. It is this spike and trough effect happening over and over every time you eat throughout a day that results in you feeling tired and unable to focus by the end of the day.
When you eat sugar it induces an insulin response from the pancreas. The insulin converts the sugar into glycogen and stores it in the liver. What it can’t store in the liver it stores as adipose body fat, so sugar makes us fat. Insulin resistance (IR) is a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant or reduced , to the effects of insulin, resulting in higher levels of insulin being needed by the body in order for the insulin to do it’s job. This results in the pancreas producing more and more insulin to the extent where it cannot produce enough insulin for the body’s demands, which results in elevation of blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance is a risk factor for development of Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease and by consuming less sugar you are also going to lower your cholesterol level.
LOW GI SYMBOL
These days the supermarket isles are packed full of foods that exhibit the Low GI label on the front of the pack, so if you find yourself confused for Low GI choices, then just look for the symbol..
LOW GI FOODS
The glycemic index range is as follows:
|Low GI = 55 or less|
Medium GI = 56 - 69
High GI = 70 or more
|Special K (UK/Aus)||54|
|Special K (US)||69|
|Oats in Honey Bake||77|
|Wheat Pasta Shapes||54|
|White long grain rice||50|
|Chinese (Rice) Vermicelli||58|
|Instant White Rice||87|
|Short Grain White Rice||83|
|Fresh Mashed Potatoes||73|
|Instant Mashed Potatoes||80|
|Soya and Linseed||36|
|Heavy Mixed Grain||45|
Snacks& Sweet Foods
|Slim-Fast meal replacement||27|
|Snickers Bar (high fat)||41|
|Nut & Seed Muesli Bar||49|
|Nuts and Raisins||21|
|Maple flavoured syrup||68|
|Kidney Beans (canned)||52|
|Yellow Split Peas||32|
|Beans in Tomato Sauce||56|
|Frozen Green Peas||39|
|Frozen Sweet Corn||47|
|Peach, canned in natural juice||30|
|Artificially Sweetened Yoghurt||23|
This is where the mineral Chromium comes in.
If you can’t utilize the sugars from the breakdown of a complex carbohydrate ie bread then you will crave a simple sugar such as chocolate and lollies but even when you eat these simple sugars you still can’t utilize them if you lack Chromium. In other words you start “chasing your tail” - just because you are eating MORE sugar doesn’t mean you are utilizing it better!!
Gymnema (Gymnema sylvestre)is an ayurvedic herb that is for structure and function of the pancreas. You can put a couple of drops of it undiluted on your tongue to alter the taste of sugar, thus decreasing your desire for sugar and sweet foods.
Rice Cakes and Rice Crackers to be the main foods that I find people don’t suspect of being HIGH G.I. Choose a dense, grainy bread over white fluffy bread as it will be lower G.I.. Spelt, rye and quinoa are better grain choices. By eating a protein food with a carbohydrate it will act as a control knob and slow down the rate of release of the sugar from the carbohydrate.
There is now strong evidence to suggest a relationship between Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and sugar utilization. By consuming Low G.I. foods you are going to lower your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes.