The Glycemic Index or GI is a numerical measure that reveals how fast carbohydrate foods change blood sugar levels. The lower the rating, the slower the carbohydrate food will raise blood sugar levels.
It is important to note that the glycemic index is not used to assess dietary fats or protein. It is only used to rank carbohydrate foods.
Food manufacturers apply and pay for a licence to use the GI symbol on food labels and promotional material. The carbohydrate food product must have moderate to low levels of sodium, have a low saturated fat content and be a source of fibre.
But if you want to avoid consuming large amounts of refined sugar don’t rely on this symbol to help you, there are no limits on the amount of sugar the food can contain.
In addition, you may find that the processed foods that carry the low GI symbol may be nutrient deficient and contain artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. Worst still, they may contain dangerous artificial sweeteners.
Look for foods that naturally have a low GI. These are not always labeled with the low GI symbol. Healthy low GI foods includes; fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes nuts and seeds. Example: local organic fruit & vegetables, muesli, porridge, steamed rice, wholegrain pasta and wholegrain breads.
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