Healthy eating can be confusing. It seems like, nearly every day, there’s a new study about the positive effects of one food or the negative effects of another. It can be difficult to figure out what to eat to best support your health and lifestyle. One example of widely publicized but often misunderstood nutrition information is the glycemic index and the low glycemic diet.
If you’ve heard about the glycemic index but don’t know what it means or how it impacts health, continue reading!
What Is the Glycemic Index?
Certain carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels more than others. The glycemic index, or GI, is used to measure and rank foods based on how they impact blood sugar and overall health. Foods are divided into three categories: low-GI foods, medium-GI foods, and high-GI foods.
Examples of low-glycemic foods include spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and avocado. Foods that are higher on the glycemic index, such as white bread and rice, should be eaten in moderation, especially for those at risk of negative health outcomes.
Please check with your doctor to determine your risk factors and develop a nutrition plan that best meets your needs.
How Low Glycemic Foods Support Health
When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into simple sugars and passed into the bloodstream. High-GI foods send greater amounts of sugar into the blood. Chronic high blood sugar contributes to conditions such as type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Not only can low glycemic foods help prevent type 2 diabetes, but they can also improve the condition after diagnosis. In addition, low-GI foods tend to be high in fiber, which lowers cholesterol and helps with weight management.
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Source: WebMD, “What Are Low Glycemic Foods?”