What is a glycemic index? Simply put, glycemic index (GI) is a rating scale that determines how different carbohydrates deteriorate in your body. The higher the GI, the worse it is for your body and conversely, the lower the GI, the better for your body. When you consume carbohydrates, your body breaks down those carbohydrates into sugar. GI is a measurement that shows you how quickly it breaks down those carbohydrates.
I still don’t get it. Why does it matter? Well, let’s use white bread and sugar as examples. White bread has a GI of 71. Sugar, or glucose, has a GI of 100. These are both very high. When you consume a piece of white bread, your body breaks it down very quickly, essentially processing it as you eating a handful of sugar. This results in an enormous spike of blood sugar level. When your body sugar spikes, your body responds by secreting insulin. Insulin’s job is to change sugar from the blood into glycogen, or fat. If you were to eat a low GI food like apples – 38, your body has a more difficult time breaking it down. Since it takes more time to change the carbohydrates into sugar, your blood sugar does not spike, but increases at a slow rate. Thus the body does not secrete insulin and the insulin does not change the sugar in your blood into fat.
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