Being healthy and fit comes down to being educated about how our bodies function and how food choices can impact our overall health. It is critical to know how our bodies respond to the foods we ingest. The glycemic index was created to do just that!
The glycemic index gives foods a numerical value based on how fast the food will break down and cause a rise in your blood glucose levels. You want to have stable blood glucose levels. A sudden spike or drop in blood glucose levels can have a very negative impact on the body and if left untreated for an extended period, can be toxic.
To effectively manage your blood glucose levels, the glycemic index categorizes foods into low, medium, and high glycemic sections. Foods that are low glycemic are given a numerical value of 55 or less. Foods that are low glycemic release glucose slowly and steadily which is ideal. These low glycemic foods will provide you with sustained energy, a feeling of fullness, improved concentration, and assist with weight loss.
On the other side of things, you have foods that are considered to have a high glycemic value. These types of foods are given a value of 70 or more. High glycemic foods cause glucose to release rapidly. This, in turn, can cause a burst of energy followed by a crash, decreased focus, and weight gain. To help you have a better understanding of low and high glycemic foods, we have included some examples of each. It is important to note that the glycemic index of a food can be affected by ripeness, processing, storage, cooking method, and variety. So, depending on these factors, the numbers can be slightly different than listed below.
Low Glycemic Foods (55 or less):
- Apple (36)
- Banana (48)
- Brown Rice (50)
- Peanuts (13)
- Carrots (39)
- Milk-Full Fat (31)
- Oatmeal (55)
- 100% Whole Grain Bread (51)
High Glycemic Foods (70 or above):
- Bagel (72)
- Gatorade (89)
- Puffed wheat cereal (80)
- White Rice (72)
- Watermelon (72)
- Pretzels (83)
- Baked Russet Potato (111)
- Pizza (80)
These are just a few examples of some everyday foods people tend to eat. To find out whether a food is low or high glycemic you can search here. There are also pocket guides you can purchase as well and have on hand.
Be careful with breakfast foods. Most tend to be high on the glycemic index. Not sure what would be a good choice to start your day? Try an all-natural meal replacement shake from mēle. These shakes are low-glycemic and made from whole fruits, vegetables, and grass-fed whey. Mēle is also a great option to have on hand during busy work and travel days, when you need a quick option and to keep your energy levels sustained.
Once you become educated on the choices you make, your health will improve. It’s important to understand how the foods you eat can impact your health. Start making smart choices today! Stay tuned because we will be writing a Part 2 about what you need to know about glycemic load and how that plays a vital role in how and what you eat.