The Glycemic Index: What is it and why does it matter?

Glycemic Index
Do you often find yourself dealing with sleepiness and other symptoms after eating a heavy meal or even a simple snack? The glycemic index might be to blame. The glycemic index refers to a chart that assigns a specific number to the foods you eat. Knowing the number of those foods can help you determine how your meals will affect your body.

What is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index is a series of numbers that starts at one and ends at 100. Nearly every type of food in the world appears on this chart, and the number assigned to each food indicates how it might impact your body. The body uses carbohydrates in a number of different ways, including breaking those carbohydrates down into fiber to keep you regular and into fuel that powers your internal organs.

Classifications of Various Foods

Beans, certain types of seeds and mushrooms are among the foods listed at the lowest classification of the glycemic index. These foods all have a number of 55 or lower. The foods found highest on the index include foods high in carbohydrates. White breads, pretzels, potatoes and bagels all have the highest numbers on the index.

Why Check the Glycemic Index?

Checking the glycemic index gives you the chance to see how you might react to different foods. Did you know that foods high in carbohydrates and sugar can often cause a negative reaction? Though you might initially feel a burst of energy after consuming those foods, you’ll later experience a crashing sensation that can make you feel tired or lethargic. Foods high on the glycemic index can also lead to weight gain. No matter how much time you spend in the gym or working out at home, you won’t lose weight when your diet consists of processed foods and foods high in sugar and carbohydrates. Keeping track of which foods are lowest on the glycemic index can help you lose those pesky extra pounds.

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