Foods that score higher than 70 on the glycemic index are considered high glycemic index foods. The higher the glycemic index the faster the rate of increase of glucose in the blood, the greater the insulin response. High glycemic index foods provide peaks of energy secondary to the elevated levels of blood sugar and this in turn will be followed quickly by blood sugar reductions and hunger after the insulin rise.
Reducing the blood sugar effect of high glycemic index foods
The rapid elevations of blood sugar can be somewhat damped by trying to slow down the digestion of the high glycemic index foods. This is usually done by diluting the carbohydrate or delaying the emptying of the stomach.
Include a low GI food like beans or berries in the diet. Add vinaigrette or any acidic extra, like lemon juice to the food or even add a little olive oil.
Health problems associated with high glycemic index foods
Consuming high glycemic index foods results in higher and more rapid increases in blood glucose levels than when low glycemic index foods are ingested. Rapid increases in blood glucose cause the pancreas to increase the hormone insulin secretion. Over the 2-3 hours, this will usually cause a decrease in blood glucose levels. By comparison, the consumption of low glycemic index foods results in lower but more sustained increases in blood glucose and lower insulin secretions by the pancreas.
High blood glucose levels and excessive insulin secretions may (over time) lead to insulin resistance at the cellular level and ultimately to the loss of the insulin-secreting function of the pancreas. Impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance are known to be risk factors for cardiovascular diseases as well as Type 2 Diabetes.