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The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is the ranking of a carbohydrate-based food on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent in which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.

The GI of food impacts the digestion of carbohydrates in the body differently depending on if they have a high or low GI index. Foods with a high GI index are often simple carbohydrates that are digested, absorbed, and metabolized quickly. This creates quick energy as it causes high fluctuations in blood sugar and high spikes in insulin levels. Foods with a low GI index are often complex carbohydrates, which absorbs energy slower since it is digested, absorbed, and metabolized at a slower rate. This results in smaller, slower changes to blood sugar and helps create satiety and feeling full longer.

Fiber also plays a role in enhancing satiety. When the body has to break down fiber, it lowers the glycemic index of the foods as they are being digested along with delaying the digestion of the food.

The GI of a food also depends on the type of sugar. Glucose is a type of sugar that has a GI value of 100, sucrose has a value of 65, and fructose has a GI value of 19. Other factors that affect the GI of a food includes the starch structure, the processing, the preparation, and the ripeness.

The Glycemic index is a ranking of a carbohydrate-based food on a scale from 0-100 according to the extent in which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Simple carbohydrates have a higher GI value and create quick energy that is absorbed at a faster rate. Complex carbohydrates have a lower GI value, and the energy is absorbed at a slower rate. The type of sugar, the starch structure, the processing, the preparation, and the ripeness are all factors that affect the GI value of a food. It is important to be aware of the glycemic index and type of carbohydrate of a food in order to better maintain blood sugar balance.


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