Glycemic Index

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Glycemic Index


For years, carbohydrates been typically classified as simple or complex. A general rule of thumb was to avoid the basic carbohydrates and eat mostly complex carbohydrates for weight loss and to increase health. Now there is a more scientific breakdown among carbohydrates, known as the Glycemic Index (GI), which is a simplified way to differentiate among carbohydrate foods by ranking them from high to low, depending on the effect on blood glucose levels after consumption. The glycemic index can be defined as an evaluation of the impact of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates serve as the best source of energy for an individual. This is because it can be readily altered in to glucose. The glycemic index (GI) is a is referred to as a carbohydrate-containing nourishment that presents a basis for forecasting the body-fluid glucose after mealtime. The GL of the mean diet of the U.S. increased 22% from 1980 to 1990. Several investigations propose that ingestion of high-GI meals raises hunger and encourages overeating in a later serving of food relation to low-GI meals. High GI foods have a range of 70 to 100, medium GI foods range from 69 to 56, and low GI foods have a rating 55 and below. A diet whose carbohydrates are predominantly low GI significantly lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease (Jenkins, Wolever & Taylor, 345).

Discussion & Analysis

In this section, we will discuss the pros and cons of Glycemic Index, also the effect of GI on the human body. The glycemic index (GI) measures the extent to which a certain meal amplifies blood glucose levels if the meal is consumed in isolation. However, the GI of food can be modified by the carbohydrate, its protein and fat content, its form (i.e., solid or liquid), the timing of its consumption relative to other meals/snacks, what other foods are consumed simaltaniously, its fiber content and the total amount of carbohydrate consumed. The sports performance of the athletes appears to improve by the use of the GI of foods. The information concerning the GI of foods can assist athletes make decisions regarding the best types of carbohydrates to consume before, during, and after training or competition. Further research will help to refine usage of GI in sport applications (Dumesnil, Turgeon, Tremblay, 86-97).

The pros and cons of the GI concept have been debated since its introduction in the 1980s. The debate originated from evaluating what dietary carbohydrate is best for controlling postprandial (after a meal is taken) glycemia in the medical nutrition therapy of diabetics. Concerns raised about the clinical usefulness of the GI revolve around two crucial issues: The usefulness of the GI for mixed meals and the lack of long-term studies.

In the early 1980s, studies observed that glycemic responses between food tend to diminishes if the individual take the carbohydrate food as a part of a whole diet (Wolever, 120). The preceding results were generated because of the impact of protein and fat on glycemic responses. Today comprehensive data are ...
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