Are you planning ways to eat healthy?
Trying to lose your weight?
Working on balancing your blood sugar levels due to your diabetes?
If you are trying to do any one of these things then we know that you will have to closely watch your daily carbohydrates intake. Right now you might be nodding your head thinking “Obviously I have to cut on carbs”.
But here’s the thing, carbohydrates come in variety of foods and each has its own composition and can affect our body’s blood sugar in varying ways. So how can you keep track of different foods and their carbohydrates count? This is where Glycemic Index comes in.
Limitation of Glycemic Index:
Glycemic Index is used by many to lose weight, reduce carb intake and to monitor their blood sugar due to diabetes. It does has its benefits but there are also some problems that you need to consider:
Firstly, single food items have their own ranking on the index and when used with combination of foods, their index ranking might change. For instance melon with seeds has low GI score but combined with other processed foods, it may have a higher GI score.
Secondly the glycemic index focuses only how fast a food increases the blood sugar. There are variety of other factors to consider when it comes to fluctuation of our blood sugar like how much does a person eat or how was the food prepared.
Thirdly, the glycemic index isn’t concerned with the nutrients in the food like for instance a food ranked low on the index might be high in calories or saturated fat.
To counter the limitations of glycemic index, glycemic load (GL) was developed which uses a number value to show how a typical food serving changes the blood sugar level in our body.
The glycemic load focuses not only on the quality of the carbs (how fast they will increase the blood glucose level) but also on the quantity of the food that is being consumed. The values are shown from 0-10, indicating low GL, 11-19 which means medium GL and 20 or more to show that the food has high GL.
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