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Natural Diabetes Management with The Glycemic Index

Natural Diabetes Management with The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a food chart which tells you how quickly certain foods raise your blood sugar levels after 

eating them. This method of controlling blood sugar levels is still a bit controversial, and it's highly misunderstood too.

When you eat anything - meals, snacks, drinks, anything - your body responds. If you eat or drink something with high levels of simple, quick sugars, your body will respond by quickly showing a rise in blood sugar levels. In healthy people, the body will immediately release insulin to lower those blood sugar levels fast. In diabetics however, the high blood sugar levels can be dangerous.

Now the whole premise of the Glycemic Index, is to learn which foods raise your blood sugar quickly, which raise it at more moderate levels, and which raise it slowly. The slower your blood sugars rise after you'e eaten, the better you're able to manage, maintain and regulate your Diabetes. Foods which raise your blood sugar more slowly also tend to help keep you feeling full and satiated for longer periods of time, and are often lower in fat or higher in fiber too.

The most common misunderstanding most people have with the glycemic index, is that they think they're supposed to only eat certain things and avoid other things. Most diets and eating plans work this way. The glycemic index however, is designed to help you make better eating choices, not tell you what to eat or not eat.

Most people also don't realize that there are conditions which can change the glycemic load of certain foods. Boiled potatoes for instance, have a GI rating which is lower than instant mashed potatoes. But if you mash those boiled potatoes with a fork, you've instantly created a higher GI food.

Glycemic index ratings are also based on certain portion sizes. Many people for instance, think they're not supposed to eat carrots when using the Glycemic Index to control their blood sugar levels, because carrots have a GI rating of 71. But that rating is for cooked carrots only. Raw carrots have a much lower GI rating, and you'd have to eat an entire pound to get that large of a glycemic load from them.

Another example is pasta. Most people think they're not allowed to eat pasta when using the Glycemic Index to regulate their blood sugar levels, but this is not always the case. How well you cook your pasta will change the Glycemic Index rating for it. Undercooked pasta, also known as "al dente" pasta, has a lower GI load then pasta that is cooked until fully soft. Instant rice has a much higher GI rating than long grain or wild rice, and instant oatmeal has a higher GI rating than old fashioned cooked oatmeal. Even the differences in ripeness of a banana can dramatically change the glycemic load from eating that fruit.

Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

 

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Greg Cryns
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