Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Glycemic Content of Various Foods

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Glycemic Content of Various Foods

Article excerpt

Table sugar may be the enemy, but it is not the chief offender. Good nutritious food also turns into glucose in the bloodstream. The speed with which the conversion is accomplished depends upon the food's glycemic value.

Foods vary in their degree of assimilation. The glycemic index for sugar is 100%. For beans, most vegetables, high fiber grains, the rate is much lower.

Ice cream, for example, yields a lower blood sugar conversion than a baked potato. This is no reason to substitute a questionably nutritious confection for a nutritionally rich vegetable.

Differences in glycemic response to carbohydrate meals can also be brought about by cooking. A much greater blood glucose response occurs after consumption of cooked food compared to raw starch, and prueed, compared with whole foods.

Rate of digestion is a critical factor. White bread digests and turns to sugar faster than whole wheat; sweet fruits are metabolized more quickly than those that require more processing. Emphasis should be placed on those carbohydrate-containing foods that produce the smallest rise in blood glucose and less on those that are associated with higher glycemic responses.

Because meals are usually mixed, precise appraisal of food glycemic values remains in the province of individual monitoring.

Recent studies dealing with allowing some sugar (sucrose) in the diet have been grossly misinterpreted. Small amounts, consumed with fiber-rich products such as whole-grain cereals or bread were determined to have no more, nor less, glycemic effect than their low-fiber sugar-free equivalents. …

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