Understanding The Glycaemic Index Of Foods, Helps Type 2 Diabetes

 

Understanding the Glycaemic Index of Foods, Helps Type 2 Diabetes

High sugar or glucose levels in the blood is referred to as Diabetes. There are several types of diabetes – a few ‘independent’, and others ‘dependent’ on ‘insulin’.

Type 2 diabetes is non-insulin dependent diabetes. Type-2 diabetes is popularly known as NIDDM in medical science which stands for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes patients know very well that their blood sugar level is easily affected by the carbohydrates eaten in their diet. In order to measure how high the blood sugar levels will go up after consuming one of the many carbohydrate containing food choices, an index was introduced and is now known as the Glycaemic Index (or the GI).

The greater the value of the Glycaemic index of a food (i.e. the higher the number the food is given on the Glycaemic Index Scale) then this reflects the greater speed it will break down during digestion, and consequently release greater amounts of glucose into the bloodstream more rapidly. So for foods with high GI values, the blood sugar level will rise higher (and more quickly) and this is not good for diabetics! It is a scientifically accepted fact that the higher the value on the Glycaemic Index Scale, the quicker the blood sugar levels go up. Not good.

The value of a food on the Glycaemic Index Scale is greatly affected by the type of food, its processing, ripeness, period over which it is stored, the method of cooking and few other factors. When the food (containing the carbohydrate) is ingested, it finally releases glucose during the digestion process, which is absorbed, which then produces a spike in the blood glucose level. Large spikes are very harmful to a person with Diabetes 2!

These spikes increase the imbalance between body‘s ability to ‘detoxify’ reactive oxygen and its ‘production’. This disturbance can produce ‘free radicals and peroxides’ that can be toxic and damage cell components. The human body is definitely pushed to extremes when great amounts of food items with a high Glycaemic Index value (like 70 – 100 or even more on the scale) are consumed, and large amounts of glucose are rapidly absorbed producing large blood sugar spikes in blood sugar readings.

It is very important that Diabetes 2 patients know the Glycaemic Index values of the food that they consume. This is because the amount of glucose obtained from the carbohydrate portion in their food (and the glucose spike which goes along with it – after eating it) is not the same for all foods! Diabetes 2 patients should know what they can and can’t eat, based on this Glycaemic Index.

The intake of low Glycaemic Index foods produces 1) only very small spikes in blood glucose and 2) introduces at very slow rate, the absorbed glucose into the bloodstream, which 3) helps maintain ‘balanced’ energy levels and will 4) keep you active for longer, simply by supplying you energy for longer in the form of slow release energy (or ‘slow release glucose’ into the bloodstream).

Low GI foods can help people in losing weight, increasing body’s sensitivity to insulin, reducing heart disease risk and also help control cholesterol levels.

It is accepted that major suggestions of low GI foods for someone with Diabetes Type 2 are consumption of all types of fruits and vegetables, plenty of salad, noodles, pasta oats, barley and bran. Those with Diabetes 2 should also reduce or avoid the consumption of high GI Index foods like potatoes, cakes and chips!

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This post was written by admin on June 22, 2010

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