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Articles Fitness Nutrition

The Difference between High and Low Glycemic Carbohydrates

Jul 9, 2014

The difference between low and high glycemic carbohydrates exists due to your body's response to the different food items. Carbohydrates with high glycemic index ratings (GI) cause glucose and insulin levels to surge. This rapid fluctuation of insulin spikes may lead to weight gain and in most cases, diabetes.

On the contrary, when you eat low glycemic carbohydrates, your body easily controls and regulates insulin secretion. This healthy process lets you understand and acknowledge hunger and appetite, an effect much different than those high glycemic carbs.

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Low Glycemic Benefits

Consuming strictly low glycemic carbohydrates or a very low amount of high glycemic choices will give your body the best chance at a healthy, long life. Proven medical benefits from consuming low glycemic carbohydrates include an overall healthy balance of blood sugar and fat storage, plus a major reduction in the risks of diabetes and obesity.

Carbohydrates with low GI ratings also tend to hold more beneficial nutrients, although not in some cases. Typically, low glycemic carbs will include choices like whole grains, fresh fruits, legumes, nuts, and other starches high in fiber. Food choices composed of mostly simple sugars often have high GI ratings. Some of these choices include dried fruits, candy and soda.

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index continues to grow, as it continues nearly every food product that contains even trace amounts  of carbohydrates. This complex index, often compiled in the form of a database, provides you with an easy-to-use tool when making food choices. You have the ability to simply type in or look up a food item, then conclude if that item fits your diet and lifestyle.

In most cases, you will find that the snack foods found on store shelves contain sweeteners like corn syrup, comprised mainly of simple sugars. As a result, foods like cereals, crackers, and many canned or bottled beverages provide high glycemic carbohydrates.

Some foods that normally serve as healthy choices, such as potatoes, contain very high glycemic carbohydrates. This often causes much curiosity, as sweet potatoes or yams have a very low glycemic rating.

Other Information

Some foods have absolute insulin resistance. This means that they will not allow your body to release the metabolizing agent in order to convert the food source into energy. This process causes major health issues like obesity and diabetes mostly because your body does not tell you when its full. Many people over consume foods with artificial sweeteners and empty calories.

The testing for any carbohydrate source included on the GI involves calculating blood sugar levels in relation to pure glucose. This gives scientists accurate measures as to how much the carbohydrates will impact your health.

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