This Handy Tool Can Help You Eat Healthier Instantly
So, you want to eat healthier but don’t know where to start. Have no fear! That’s why Thrive is here! If you want to start to slide up the scale on the healthy eating chart, the Glycemic Index is a super handy tool.
So, what is the Glycemic Index? According to the Harvard Medical School, the Glycemic Index, a.k.a. GI, is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or how quickly those foods cause increases in blood glucose levels. Also known as “blood sugar,” blood glucose levels above normal are toxic and can cause blindness, kidney failure, or increase cardiovascular risk.
Foods low on the Glycemic Index scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily. Foods high on the GI release glucose rapidly. Low GI foods tend to foster weight loss, while foods high on the GI scale help with energy recovery after exercise, or to offset hypo- (or insufficient) glycemia.
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For example, long-distance runners would tend to favor foods high on the GI, while people with pre- or full-blown diabetes would need to concentrate on low GI foods. Why? People with type 1 diabetes and even some with type 2 can’t produce sufficient quantities of insulin — which helps process blood sugar — which means they are likely to have an excess of blood glucose. The slow and steady release of glucose in low-glycemic foods is helpful in keeping blood glucose under control.
To help you understand where common foods fall on the index, here is an abbreviated chart of 45 items and where they fall on the spectrum. It’s a handy thing to have when you plan your grocery shopping list!