Everyone knows that eating too sweet is bad for our body. Have you ever found that your cup of drink is too sweet, you then dilute it by further adding in water? Most of you did that. In fact, it will still be the same rise of your blood sugar even after adding water to your drink because the amount of sugar goes into your body are still the same. People might also be asking why brown rice is better than white rice while wholegrain bread is better than white bread? It is all about their Glycemic Index. Glycemic Index (GI) is relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Below are the three classification of GI with the example of food:

GI of food depends on several factors including ripeness of the fruits or vegetables, processing and cooking method. The more ripe a fruit or vegetable is, the higher the GI. White bread made from wheat that has had the germ and bran removed during the process is higher GI than wholegrain bread which contains the entire grain. The al dente pasta has a lower GI than soft-cooked pasta. Baked sweet potato has higher GI than boiled sweet potato.

High GI food will cause a rapid increase of blood glucose level, then our body will produce insulin to help the absorption of glucose from bloodstream to cell as well as maintaining blood glucose in the normal level. Patient with type 2 diabetes is not able to produce enough insulin to do the job or the body is resistant to insulin, therefore they needs to avoid high GI food. Mostly refined sugar and highly processed food has higher GI.

Low GI food are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose. Unlike high GI food, it doesn’t cause a spike of increase blood glucose. Hence, It is recommended that people with diabetes to have moderate amounts of carbohydrate and include high fiber foods that also have a low GI. Take note that not all high fiber foods have a low Gi. For instance, potato contains fair amount of fiber but it is high GI food. Study has also shown that reducing dietary GI while maintaining a high carbohydrates intake may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. As there is an increase number of people especially children suffered from diabetes, it is encouraged to include more low GI food into your diet and get plenty of exercise. Low GI food are mostly consist of complex carbohydrates and more nutritious. You may refer to the next page to get some idea in switching to low GI.

Now you know talking about “white” and “brown” are not just about the colour but the GI of the food. Even though low GI food is good, it doesn’t mean that you can eat all you want as weight gain is still related to the amount of carbohydrates intake.

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