If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you’ve counted calories at some point. Although the caloric deficit is important for weight loss, it is necessary to observe other factors to create a healthy menu. One is the glycemic index of foods.
Most people don’t know, but not all calories are created equal. Foods with different characteristics trigger different processes in the body. The result is seen in satiety, balance, and general health.
And you, do you know what the glycemic index of food is? Want to understand this concept and discover why it’s important to maintain a healthy weight and avoid illness? Keep reading and find out these answers!
What Is The Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index (GI) is the rate that indicates the speed of absorption of carbohydrates from food by the intestine. Therefore, carbohydrates from a low-glycemic food are absorbed slowly, while carbohydrates from a high-glycemic food are absorbed quickly.
However, the glycemic index of foods is not only of interest to those who want to lose weight. This digestion of carbohydrates triggers a series of processes in the body and may favor the onset of metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.
What Foods Are Low On The Glycemic Index?
As you can see, a healthy diet is one in which foods with a low glycemic index predominate. Therefore, you must know what they are:
Fiber-rich foods like vegetables and whole grains have a low glycemic index. In the case of fruits, some of them may have a moderate glycemic index. Only watermelon has a GI, something above 70.
This happens because the fibers form a barrier when they are part of the food bolus. Thus, the intestine takes longer to carry out the process of absorbing carbohydrates and transforming them into glucose.
Foods Rich In Protein And Fat
As there are other macronutrients in addition to carbohydrates (fats and proteins ), the intestine does not immediately transform food into glucose. Thus, the speed of energy release also becomes reduced.
It is important to note that, contrary to what many people think, the low-carb diet is not the only alternative to reduce the glycemic index. Because they are fiber-rich, whole carbohydrates have the appropriate absorption speed for the body’s needs.
What Are The Foods With A High Glycemic Index?
Unlike foods with a low GI, those with a high glycemic index should be avoided. They can be eaten occasionally, but leaving them out of the daily menu is better.
If you need an extra dose of energy to make a great physical effort within 15 or 30 minutes, consuming one of these options might be interesting. However, in everyday life, there are better choices than burning calories over time.
Foods with a high glycemic index are low in fiber, fat, and protein. Among them, we can highlight the refined ones. White flour, starches, manioc flour, tapioca, white bread, white pasta, and white rice have this characteristic. The same goes for sweets.
It is also important to pay attention to the consumption of juices. Unlike fresh fruit, they lose fiber, especially if strained. The result is a glass of concentrated fructose, also sugar.
How To Avoid A High Glycemic Meal?
A healthy dish will always have a low glycemic index. Do you know why? As we have already told you on the site, all meals must contain fruits (breakfast and dinner), greens, and vegetables (lunch and dinner). Therefore, starting with a significant fiber intake will favor a slower absorption of the later carbohydrates.
In addition, by giving preference to whole grains, the absorption speed of these nutrients will be even slower, favoring your health.