Through the centuries, sugar has been a preferred sweetener, at one time it was even referred to as the white gold. However, changing times have branded sugar as the major culprit that causes weight gain and distorts diabetes control. But in fact, sugar in moderation is needed by the body. Besides being an excellent natural sweetener, sugar provides fuel for brain functioning, muscle power, and daily cellular functioning. If you are one of those who have been brainwashed into thinking of sugar as the main offender behind the obesity epidemic, it is time to rethink. Sugar by itself in limitation does not tip the wellness scale… in fact natural sugar present in fruits, dairy products and whole grains is good for the body. However, the problem arises when sugar is consumed in surplus and that too with other high calorie ingredients like refined flour and transfats which normally are used in cakes, pastries, sweets and savouries. All these ingredients together make a deadly cocktail that can skyrocket the calories, tip the weight balance the wrong way and cause glucose spikes.
For healthy glucose levels, it is necessary to keep a check on a parameter called as the glycemic index of the foods that you consume. What is this? Glycemic Index (GI) is a measurement carried out on carbohydrate-containing foods to test their impact on blood sugar. In simple words it tests how quickly a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. Thus, glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on the basis of the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating.
Foods with a high GI value are those foods that are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. e.g. refined flour and sugar. They cause our blood sugar levels to rise quickly and then to dip below normal quickly too. These fluctuations can lead to more frequent hunger pangs and in turn trigger more calorie intake and consequently weight gain. Low-GI foods are digested slowly and steadily by the body. They produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels. As these foods control your blood sugar levels, they regulate your hunger pangs and eating habits. Consumption of low GI foods also helps to prevent unnecessary snacking and excess calorie consumption.
Spikes or rises in blood sugar levels can bring on burgeoning health issues like obesity and diabetes. Low GI foods will raise your blood sugar levels in a more controlled manner and help in maintaining healthy sugar levels. Hence, it advisable to switch over to Low GI foods for a great start in wellness.