How Sugar Spikes are Killing You and What You Need to Know About the Gylcemic Index!

Sugar Spikes are Killing You

What is The Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) rates foods by how much they raise blood glucose. Candy, sugar, cake, and cookies have a high GI, while whole-grains, certain starchy vegetables and fruits, have a lower GI. Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolised. They typically cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels.

Since it’s the carbohydrates in food that raise blood sugar, the glycemic index can help when trying to figure out which foods are the best for you. Since all carbohydrates don’t affect blood glucose levels the same way, knowing which carbohydrates have a lower glycemic index can help you plan your meals more effectively.

Most foods have a range of GI numbers, depending on many factors; sometimes how long a food is cooked can influence the GI. For example, when pasta is cooked “al dente,” the GI is lower than if it is cooked longer. Also, the composition and the order in which you eat your food can affect how rapidly the blood sugar rises. Studies have shown that eating fat and protein prior to carbohydrate can slow the absorption of the carbs.

What’s Good Way to Determine Which Foods Work Best For You?

A good way to assess how your body is affected by certain foods is to test your blood sugar two hours after a meal. For most people an ideal blood sugar result will be less than 140mg/dl two hours after the start of a meal. If you are not sure of what your target blood sugar should be, discuss it with your physician.

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To help you understand how the foods you are eating might impact your blood glucose level, here is an abbreviated chart of the glycemic index for some common foods. A more complete glycemic index can be found online.

FOOD Glycemic index (glucose = 100)
HIGH-CARBOHYDRATE FOODS
White wheat bread* 75 ± 2
Whole wheat/whole meal bread 74 ± 2
Specialty grain bread 53 ± 2
Unleavened wheat bread 70 ± 5
Wheat roti 62 ± 3
Chapatti 52 ± 4
Corn tortilla 46 ± 4
White rice, boiled* 73 ± 4
Brown rice, boiled 68 ± 4
Barley 28 ± 2
Sweet corn 52 ± 5
Spaghetti, white 49 ± 2
Spaghetti, whole meal 48 ± 5
Rice noodles† 53 ± 7
Udon noodles 55 ± 7
Couscous† 65 ± 4
BREAKFAST CEREALS
Cornflakes 81 ± 6
Wheat flake biscuits 69 ± 2
Porridge, rolled oats 55 ± 2
Instant oat porridge 79 ± 3
Rice porridge/congee 78 ± 9
Millet porridge 67 ± 5
Muesli 57 ± 2
FRUIT AND FRUIT PRODUCTS
Apple, raw† 36 ± 2
Orange, raw† 43 ± 3
Banana, raw† 51 ± 3
Pineapple, raw 59 ± 8
Mango, raw† 51 ± 5
Watermelon, raw 76 ± 4
Dates, raw 42 ± 4
Peaches, canned† 43 ± 5
Strawberry jam/jelly 49 ± 3
Apple juice 41 ± 2
Orange juice 50 ± 2
VEGETABLES
Potato, boiled 78 ± 4
Potato, instant mash 87 ± 3
Potato, french fries 63 ± 5
Carrots, boiled 39 ± 4
Sweet potato, boiled 63 ± 6
Pumpkin, boiled 64 ± 7
Plantain/green banana 55 ± 6
Taro, boiled 53 ± 2
Vegetable soup 48 ± 5
DAIRY PRODUCTS AND ALTERNATIVES
Milk, full fat 39 ± 3
Milk, skim 37 ± 4
Ice cream 51 ± 3
Yogurt, fruit 41 ± 2
Soy milk 34 ± 4
Rice milk 86 ± 7
LEGUMES
Chickpeas 28 ± 9
Kidney beans 24 ± 4
Lentils 32 ± 5
Soy beans 16 ± 1
SNACK PRODUCTS
Chocolate 40 ± 3
Popcorn 65 ± 5
Potato crisps 56 ± 3
Soft drink/soda 59 ± 3
Rice crackers/crisps 87 ± 2
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When your blood sugar spikes after a meal above normal levels, it can trigger inflammation inside your blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack and death. One study revealed that if the post-prandial blood sugar consistently was above 140, there was a two-fold incidence in death due to heart disease.

Improvements in diet can exert a profound effect on this inflammatory effect. Low glycemic index vegetables, small amounts of whole fruit, nuts, lean protein, fish oil, caloric restriction, weight loss and low to moderate use of alcohol improve post meal blood sugar and it’s resulting inflammatory affect.

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