Glycemic Index and Weight Loss

Glycemic index of a food indicates how fast the food can raise blood sugar level after consumption. If a food can raise blood sugar very fast its glycemic index is high, which indicates that a food with high glycemic index is digested and absorbed very fast and foods with low glycemic index, get digested and absorbed slowly.

How glycemic index is calculated?

For calculating the glycemic index of food the area under curve (AUC, which is the area of two-hour blood glucose response curve) for the particular food (test food) following fasting (which is usually no calorie intake for 12 hors) is calculate. The AUC for glucose is standard and known.

Glycemic index of a food is calculated by dividing the AUC of test food by AUC of standard food (most commonly glucose is used) multiplied by 100.

The most common reference or standard food used for calculating glycemic index is glucose. Advantage of using glucose as reference food is that its GI value is maximum (100), and it has universal acceptance. However, sometimes white bread is also used. Use of white bread has an advantage for the people who eat white bread as staple food, because it is possible to find if replacement of the dietary staple with a different food would result in better blood glucose control. The disadvantage is that, the reference food is not well defined.

Glycemic index of a food and weight control:

Glycemic index is and indication of how rapidly the food is digested and absorbed. Hence, a food with high glycemic index can be digested and absorbed very fast leading to weight gain. Because, the food may not be metabolized as rapidly as it is absorbed and the portion absorbed but not metabolized will be deposited as fat, leading to weight gain. It is therefore important to eat more low glycemic index foods for reducing body weight. Although it is important to have low glycemic index food, it is more important to have lower total daily calorie intake for weight loss as well as for diabetes control.

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