There are many validated health benefits for eating low glycemic, but most people would love the immediate benefit of high and consistent energy levels without the spikes and crashes associated with high glycemic foods. Constant energy to live a thriving life at any age is where eating low glycemic foods really shines and since lack of energy is prevalent in our society it makes sense to understand how the Glycemic Index works.

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scientific system of classifying carbohydrate-containing foods according to how quickly they are digested and absorbed by the body. The GI ranks the quality of carbohydrates, on a scale from 0 to 100, reflecting the extent to which a carbohydrate containing food raises blood sugar levels following eating. The lower and slower, the better for sustained energy, weight management and disease prevention.

The Glycemic Index is divided into 4 ranges:

Hi GI---70 or greater
Moderate GI---56-69
Low GI---36-55
Very Low GI---35 or less

- Foods with High GI values (above 70) are digested and absorbed quickly, triggering a fast and high rise in blood sugar and corresponding insulin levels.

- High GI foods cause a higher and more rapid increase in blood sugar levels than foods with either moderate or low GI values.

- Low GI carbohydrates (GI values below 55) are broken down slowly, providing a gradual release of sugar into the blood, with minimal impact. This steady response provides a Controlled Energy Response – resulting in optimized fuel delivery, increased energy efficiency and longer lasting energy.

Benefits of Low Glycemic Nutrition
Evidence-based research attesting to the health benefits of following low glycemic (low GI) nutrition is mounting. Not only do low GI foods make us feel good while they are in our system, they provide long-term benefits for the body as well. Choosing low GI foods has been proven to improve health in the following ways:

- Lower blood glucose levels
- Lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
- Lower cholesterol levels
- Lower risk of developing heart disease
- Weight reduction

Why the Glycemic Index is Important
From a health point of view, sharp increases in blood sugar are thought to be undesirable because of the effect this has on insulin levels. Diets high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber (high GI) have been shown to significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes, high blood fat levels, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Your body performs best when your blood sugar is kept relatively constant. If your blood sugar drops too low, you become lethargic and experience increased hunger. And if it goes too high, your brain signals your pancreas to secrete more insulin. Insulin then brings your blood sugar back down, but consuming a high GI diet over time can tax the pancreas and suppress the ability to continue producing insulin. This can eventually result in conditions referred to as insulin resistance or pre-diabetes, and left untreated, can lead to Metabolic Syndrome, type 2 diabetes and further complications. These conditions can be avoided by following a low glycemic diet, where the premise is simply to minimize insulin-related problems by identifying and avoiding foods that have the greatest impact on your blood sugar.

The key is to eat low GI foods that are clinically validated to raise blood sugar slowly, providing consistent energy and health benefits, no matter what your age or physical conditioning.

How to Switch to a Low GI Diet

Author's Bio: 

Saul Katz is a pioneer and innovator in the functional food and nutraceutical industry. Katz is founder and President of New Era Nutrition, a leader in the research and development of science-based functional foods that promote health, enhance performance and prevent disease. Mr. Katz is a much sought after speaker, having chaired and spoken at numerous nutrition industry and functional food symposia.

His mission is to “raise the bar” in the food industry by promoting a consumer shift to consider blood sugar impact, as well as nutritional content, when selecting a food or beverage. To realize this vision, Katz established Solo GI Nutrition and launched the award winning line of Solo Smart Energy Bars, which are attracting numerous accolades in the industry and scientific community

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