Glycemic index of food products – what is it and is it worth checking it?

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what is glycemic index

Most of us have ever heard of the glycemic food index. We usually associate this term with diabetics. Few people know, however, what the glycemic index is, why we check it and what are products with high or low glycemic index. So let’s find out something about it.

What is glycemic index?

The glycemic index is an indicator that determines the rate of increase glucose in blood after eating certain products. Products with a high glycemic index are those that cause a rapid increase and then a rapid decrease in glucose levels. This is associated with large fluctuations in sugar levels, which is a major health risk, especially for people with diabetes. The glycemic index is also important for people who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease and for pregnant women. As a rule, however, everyone should have knowledge of this subject. A diet in which the sugar level is correctly laid down is beneficial for everyone.

Which products have a high and low glycemic index?

It is accepted that food products are divided into:

– products with a low glycemic index (these should be chosen as often as possible), having a glycemic index below 50
– products with an average glycemic index (we can sometimes eat them) with a glycemic index of 55-70
– a product with a high glycemic index (we eat it rarely) – their glycemic index is above 70

For example, the small glycemic index have:

– eggs, meat, fish, seafood, cheese, dairy products;
– raw vegetables such as eggplant, brussels sprouts, onions, zucchini, chicory, green beans, sauerkraut and sauerkraut, cauliflower, cucumber, pepper, leek, radish, lettuce, root and celery, asparagus, spinach, sorrel and legumes , white, black beans, green beans;
– some fruits: avocados, gooseberries, black and red currants, olives, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, pears, grapefruit, mandarins, apricots, peaches, fresh figs, apples, nectarines, oranges, plums, pineapple;
– as for cereal products – wild and brown rice, Chinese noodles, buckwheat, whole grain noodles, bran, uncooked oatmeal, whole grain bread (e.g. wholemeal, rye).

High glycemic index have for example: ready-made sweets, sweetened drinks, bananas and watermelons, boiled potatoes and carrots, honey, beer, fries and chips, baguettes, biscuits, dried dates, white flour pasta, pumpkin, boiled broad beans, cornflakes, roasted maize.

It is worth remembering that the glycemic index of products may change. For example, it depends on:

– processing the product;
– the degree of ripeness of vegetables and fruit;
– product fragmentation,
– product heat treatment,
– dietary fiber content,

This means that the same product may have a different glycemic index depending on the above factors. This is why unripe bananas have a lower glycemic index than their mature counterparts and cooked carrots have a higher glycemic index than raw.

Who is this important to?

It is obvious that the glycemic index is most important for diabetics. It is also important – as already mentioned – for people with cardiac problems and pregnant women (who are particularly at risk of developing diabetes). However, it turns out that knowing the glycemic index of products is important to all of us. Products with a low glycemic index are generally healthier than those with a high glycemic index.

There are studies that link the diet’s glucose content to cancer prevention. In addition, it is confirmed that a diet rich in products with a low glycemic index helps to lose weight. This is because products with a high glycemic index cause that blood glucoselevel increases rapidly (we feel full soon) but then rapidly falls – and again we feel hungry. So we eat more and more often then. Products with a low glycemic index slowly release glucose, thanks to which we are fed up longer. Certainly, this is an important factor to lose weight.

In conclusion, a diet consisting of products with a low glycemic index will be beneficial for most of us. So let’s get acquainted with its principles and ingredients to be able to shape your menu healthy and consciously.

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