The Story Of Blood Sugar

Glycemic Load | Glycemic Index | Arelang Naturals | Caim by Arelang

This article has been researched and written by Arelang Naturals® in-house writers.

Once upon a time, you ate some food, and that spiked the levels of sugar in your blood. What happens after that is what this story is about.

Most foods we eat spike the sugar levels in our blood in some way, shape, or form. Therefore it is important to understand what happens to you, when you eat the food that you eat. Everything starts with the process of digestion. Your body digests some foods better than others and this depends completely on the nutritional quantities of the food in question. Most of what you eat is made up of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. How your body processes carbohydrates, is what really matters when it comes to your blood sugar levels and health.

The digestive system tends to break down carbohydrates into glucose, which is the main energy source for our cells. So don't be surprised when we say that carbs are actually good for you! It is important to distinguish between them before you bring them to your diet. Some carbs break down super fast and instantly release glucose causing blood sugar levels to rise sharply, while others release glucose steadily, allowing for a more even blood sugar level increase. Enter - Glycemic Index (GI), an important character in this story.

Glycemic Index is a tool that helps monitor glycemic levels of the food that we eat. Foods that have a high glycemic value tend to break down faster, which means faster glucose release and high insulin production required by your pancreas. The opposite is true for foods with lower glycemic values. Not only does this index help you identify foods that are healthy for you, but it also helps manage weight, reduce cholesterol and decrease blood sugar levels. Foods using this index are classified as Low GI: 1 to 55. Medium GI: 56 to 69. High GI: 70 and higher. The lower the glycemic levels the more healthy the foods and the lower the spike in blood sugar. Studies show that higher carbohydrates and hence higher glycemic levels are the root cause of many diseases, hence the glycemic index is a good way of making food choices.

However, the quest for better health does not end at just the food choices. Here’s where we introduce you to another character in this story. The Glycemic Load (GL). This guy helps work out how different portion sizes compare with others in terms of their effect in terms of raising blood sugar and the number of carbohydrates in that quantity of food. While the GI value only indicates how rapidly carbs turn into sugar, the Glycemic Load tells you how much of that carb is in a serving of food. You need to know both of these to understand the effect of your diet on your blood sugar levels.

Glycemic Load of any food can be calculated on the basis of a simple formula:

GL = (GI of the food x Grams of carbohydrate in the food) ÷ 100

Here is an example of how the formula works for a ½ cup serving of raw carrots , which have about 8.6 grams of available carbohydrates and a glycemic index of 45.

45 x 8.6 = 387 / 100 = 3.9 glycemic load for a half bowl of raw carrots.

On the other hand, here is what the GL for white rice looks like? Well, a portion size of around ⅔ cup of white rice has about 36 grams of carbohydrates and a glycemic index of 72.

72 x 36 = 2,592 / 100 = 26 glycemic load for a ⅔ cup of white rice!

A GL of 20 or more is considered high, a GL of 11 to 19 is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low. Foods that have a low GL usually also have a low GI. Foods with an intermediate or high GL range from very low to very high GI. A low GL/GI diet can have many benefits:

  • Manage Weight Issues
  • Manage Blood Sugar Levels and Diabetes
  • Decrease Fat composition in the body
  • Increase good cholesterol or HDL Levels
  • Better heart health and lower chances of heart strokes

Item

GI

Serving Size

GL

White Bread

71 (high)

30 gms

10 (medium)

Coca Cola

63 (medium)

250 ml

16 (medium)

White Rice

72 (high)

150 gms

43 (high)

Full Fat Milk

41 (low)

250 ml

5 (low)

Banana Ripe

62 (medium)

120 gms

16 (medium)

Watermelon

72 (high)

120 gms

4 (low)

Chickpeas

10 (low)

150 gms

3 (low)

Potatoes

82 (high)

150 gms

21 (high)

Pizza

36 (low)

100 gms

22 (high)

Mac ‘n cheese

64 (medium)

1 Cup

52 (high)

Ice Cream

62 (medium)

1 Cup

8 (low)

Green Peas

48 (medium)

½ cup boiled

3 (low)

Carrot

45 (medium)

1 cup raw

3 (low)

Apple Raw

38 (medium)

1 Medium Size

6 (low)

Pears Raw

38 (medium)

1 Medium Size

4 (low)

Soy Milk

36 (low)

250 ml

3 (low)

Orange Juice

50 (medium)

125 ml

12 (medium)

Peanut

14 (medium)

113 gm

2 (low)

Glucose

100 (high)

50 gm

50 (high)

Raisins

64 (medium)

43 gm

50 (high)

Oat Meal

58 (medium)

234 gm

12 (medium)

Snickers Bar

55 (medium)

1 Bar /113 gms

35 (high)

Fun right? Now you might wonder why some foods have a high GI but low GL like watermelon. This is because a single serving of watermelon has such little carbohydrates, driving the GL down.

So what is the secret to low glycemic eating?

  1. Eat a lot of non-starchy vegetables like beans, and fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and berries. Even fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papayas tend to have a lower glycemic index than typical desserts.
  2. Eat grains in the least-processed state possible: "unbroken," such as whole-kernel bread, brown rice, and whole barley, millet, or traditionally processed, such as stone-ground bread, steel-cut oats, and natural granola or muesli breakfast cereals.
  3. Limit potatoes and refined-grain products, such as white breads and white pasta, to small side dishes.
  4. Limit concentrated sweets—including high-calorie foods with a low glycemic index, such as ice cream—to occasional treats. Reduce fruit juice to no more than one-half cup a day. Completely eliminate sugar-sweetened drinks.
  5. Eat a healthful type of protein, such as beans, fish, or skinless chicken, at most meals.
  6. Choose foods with healthful fats, such as olive oil, nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans), and avocados, but stick to moderate amounts. Limit saturated fats from dairy and other animal products. Completely eliminate partially hydrogenated fats (trans fats), which are in fast food and many packaged foods.
  7. Have three meals and one or two snacks each day, and NEVER skip breakfast.
  8. Eat slowly and stop when full.

A high intake of highly refined carbohydrates has been recognized as a risk factor for a variety of chronic diseases, hence, you need to find out what exactly is “good food” for your body. How many of the foods do you know the glycemic levels for? Go find out and make the shift in your diet so you can really be the hero in your body’s blood sugar story and live happily ever after.

Studies suggest that people who eat dark chocolate, at least once a week, had a lower prevalence of diabetes. The Glycemic Index of Rekindle dark chocolates is 23 and the calorie content is approximately 70 K/cals per 20 grams having a medium to low Glycemic Load of 16.1. Click here to discover nutritive dark chocolates that you must think of including in your diet.