Apr 232019

Have you ever had your blood sugar levels tested or heard about eating to balance blood sugar? Have you wondered about the science behind how foods affect blood sugar? Or more importantly, which foods affect your blood sugar more than others?

If so, this post is for you.

It’s all about the glycemic index and glycemic load. And it’s not boring, promise!

Have a read because you may want to pay attention to foods that are high on the glycemic index or high glycemic load. And if you’re at risk of blood sugar issues, pancreas conditions, or even diabetes this is IMPORTANT for you to know.

Glycemic this and glycemic that. Does it matter?

You’ll notice that they both begin with “glycemic.” That’s one tip that they have to do with sugars and carbs. Not only how much sugar is in foods, but more importantly, how it affects your blood sugar levels.

In general, diets that are high on the glycemic index (GI) and high in glycemic load (GL), tend to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

FUN FACT: Starches like those in potatoes and grains are digested into sugar; this is because starch is just a bunch of sugars linked together. Digestive enzymes break those bonds so that the sugars become free. Then those sugars affect your body the same way that eating sugary foods do.

Glycemic Index (“how fast”)

The most common of the two terms is “glycemic index” (GI).

As the name suggests, it “indexes” (or compares) the effect that different foods have on your blood sugar level. Then each food is given a score from 0 (no effect on blood sugar) to 100 (big effect on blood sugar). Foods that cause a fast increase in blood sugar have a high GI. That is because the sugar in them is quickly processed by your digestive system and absorbed into your blood. They cause a “spike” in your blood sugar.

So, you can probably guess that pure glucose is given a GI rating of 100. On the other hand, chickpeas are right down there at a GI of 10.

Regarding GI: low is anything under 55; moderate is 56-69, and 70+ is considered a high GI food.

Remember, this is a measure of how fast a carbohydrate containing food is digested and raised your blood sugar. It’s not a measure of the sugar content of the food.

How the carbohydrates in food affect your blood sugar level depend on other components of the food. Things like fiber and protein can slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream, and this can make even a high-sugar food, low on the GI scale.

So, lower GI foods are better at keeping your blood sugar levels stable because they don’t increase your blood sugar level as fast.

FUN FACT: Can you guess which food has a GI of higher than 100? (Think of something super-starchy) White potatoes! They have a GI of 111.

Glycemic Load (“how much”)

The glycemic load is different.

Glycemic load (GL) doesn’t take into account how quickly your blood sugar “spikes”, but it looks at how high that spike is. Basically, how much the food increases your blood sugar.

GL depends on two things. First, how much sugar is actually in the food. Second, how much of the food is typically eaten.

Low GL would be 0-10,  moderate GL would be 10-20, and high GL would 20+.

Example of GL and GI

So, let’s compare average (120 g) servings of bananas and oranges:

FoodGI Serving size (g)GL per serving
Banana, average4812011
Oranges, average451205

Excerpt from: Harvard Health Publications, Glycemic index and glycemic load for 100+ foods

As you can see, the banana and orange have almost the same glycemic index.; this means they both raise your blood sugar in about the same amount of time.

But, the average banana raises the blood sugar twice as high (11) as the orange does (5). So, it contains more overall sugar than the same amount (120 g) of orange.

Of course, this is all relative. A GL of 11 is not high at all. Please keep eating whole fruits. 🙂

What does this all mean for your health?

Certain people should be aware of the effects that foods have on their blood sugar. People who have diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions like insulin resistance

need to be aware of the glycemic index and glycemic load of foods they are eating regularly.

The GI and GL are just two factors to consider when it comes to blood sugar. Some high GI foods are pretty good for you but if you want to reduce the impact on your blood sugar, have them with a high-fiber or high-protein food.

Conclusion

If you have blood sugar imbalances or diabetes, you should probably be aware of the GI and GL of your food.

If you are at risk of diabetes or heart disease, you might try swapping out some higher GI/GL foods and replacing with lower GI/GL foods.

Oh, and try this low GI recipe I have for you.

Recipe (low GI): Mediterranean Salad

Serves 2

1 cucumber, chopped

½ cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup black olives

¼ red onion, diced

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp garlic

1 tsp basil

½ tsp oregano

1 dash sea salt

1 dash black pepper

Place first five ingredients together in a bowl.

Add remaining ingredients to a jar (to make the dressing) with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.

Add dressing to salad and gently toss.

Serve & enjoy!

Tip: Add chopped avocado for even more fiber and healthy fat.

Penny Welke

I would like to induced myself Penny Welke I am happily married for 30 years, we have 4 children, 9 grandchildren My husband owns is own lawn care and snow removal business. I am a retired hairstylist of 30 years. I have work in salon and spa salon. I worked as cosmetologist for 30 years and Massage Therapists 11 years. In 2015 I got induced to wonderful company a easy solution how to get more fruits and vegetables to everyday, helping myself and others how to shred bad habits teaching others how live a healthy lifestyle. I love doing both profession because they go hand and hand. It was long and hard decision to give up my salon business but my heart wasn't in anymore, my heart led in direction in following my passion in Health and nutrition In 2009 my Avenue changed, deciding to take a leap of faith and started my own business. I working chiropractic office until he closed the doors than I had find place to do my massage business. Finding a place across from Red Robin behind mcmanion chiropractor and physical therapy building been there for 3 years. Having a passion for health and nutrition. Impacting people lives with my hands and impacting people and with their health. Teaching people how to live a healthy lifestyle by shredding bad habits by creating healthy habits. Seeing the benefits of getting regular massages on a regular basis. Helps with circulation Stress Headaches, Muscle tone Helps with preventing Helps improve posture, muscle tension The modalities I do is bamboo massage, deep tissue, trigger point, warm stone, myofasacia , relaxation, pregnancy massage. Using warm towels, essential oils. I customize my services and tailor each session to your individual needs. Whether you are looking to reduce stress, reduce pain, or are recovering from an injury – I am here to help you achieve your goals through therapeutic massage. I impact people lives with my hands and I impact people lives with their health. Giving them a solution to help them with their neck, shoulders and back issues. Giving them hope through massage and wellness. More and more physicians are recommending therapeutic massage for their patients as they see all the great benefits it has. I see on average of 5 or more referrals every week from the medical community. Ask your healthcare providers if they think massage would benefit you. Whether migraines, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, fibromyalgia or whatever your ailments are more than likely the pain and suffering can be helped with regular massage. Because of Juice Plus my family is living a healthier lifestyle. I thought I was somewhat healthy but learned with JP+ and Shred10 program what healthy really is! My body was going through a-lot hormone changes ended up with dermatitis, allergies in early 40’s. Suffered with IBS most of my life, dealing with diarrhea and constipation and rectal pain. Taking prescription medications for all of them. Taking handful of vitamins on market and spending tons of money on them. I know I needed a change. 4 years ago, I am thankful for my friend shared a simple way to flood my body with fruits and vegetables. So I decided to get started right away I noticed more energy, I no longer take medicines for my lBS , allergies or my dermatitis. I sleep better, I can focus better,I am regular and no retal pain, skin and hair is healthier, cravings shifted and rarely ever sick, my immune system improved, inflammation has greatly improved. I feel younger in 50’s than I did in my 30’s and 40’s. A process I was Making in Health everyday to live a healthier lifestyle, with one simple change. I am grateful for a solution to impact our Health and others giving them hope, provide families with a simple solution to use everyday and help them to live healthier lifestyle. Because of Juice Plus I will inspire and leave a legacy that impacts generations to come.


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