Importance of Carbohydrates and using them correctly in diet

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Importance of Carbohydrates and using them correctly in diet

Postby dlcnurse » Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:14 am

While we talked about the glycemic index and the load previously in another article, it is still hard to figure out how to read those crazy tables and try to figure any thing out. So here we are going to discuss the GI and the GL (load) and how it has changed in just a short time.

The glycemic index is a system that takes into consideration of several factors; First-how fast the carbohydrate is digested; and secondly, how much it causes the glucose (sugar) to rise in the system.

How food is measured is by how fast it reacts and how low or high it will cause the sugar to rise. Lets take carrots for instance. Carrots are given a glycemic index of 47. If you read just this part, you would not think about adding carrots to your meals. But you would have to eat a pound and a half to raise the blood sugar even a small amount! So carrots actually are a good food to eat.

A food with a low GI (glycemic index) rating will cause a small slow rise in blood sugar levels, whereas a food with a high GI will cause a fast and dramatic spike in blood sugars.
The GI is based on glucose-the fastest releasing carbohydrate- that is rated at 100.
And as in the other post in regards to the GI, High is 70 and over, Medium is 59-69, and a low GI is 55 or less.
Now, the Glycemic Load takes it one step higher than the GI. It takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food.
lets look at carrots again for an example.
Carrots have a GI of 47 but the Gycemic Load is only 3. So carrots eaten in moderate amounts will not rise your blood sugar dramatically.

The GL is calculated by dividing the GI of a food by 100 and multiplying the available carbohydrates in the food.
Heres an example: A apple has GI of 38 and its carb content is 16. So the equations is 0.38 x 16 = 6.08 Glycemic load
The GL provides a much more practical way of evaluating the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugars by combining the quality + quantity of carbohydrates into one number. Which makes it much more simpler to calculate then using the GI alone.

To be continued.... Part II- Carbohydrates - Breaking it down
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