You’ve no doubt heard all the health experts talking about the Glycemic Index (GI). But what exactly is it and what does it do?
Well, it’s all to do with carbohydrates, an essential nutrient in our diet. Now, not all carbohydrates are created equal, and the GI is the way by which carbohydrate foods are classified according to how they affect the blood glucose (blood sugar) levels.
- Low = GI value 55 or less
- Medium = GI value of 56 – 69 inclusive
- High = GI 70 or more
Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and therefore usually, insulin levels. Basically, it prevents sugar rush and the subsequent crash.
The graph below helps to explain this:
So why do we need good quality, Low GI carbohydrates?
As carbs break down into glucose in your body they provide the main fuel for our brains and nervous systems, and are the preferred source of fuel for most organs and our muscles during exercise.
A low GI diet is not a fad diet but a way of eating that is sustainable in the long term and backed by over 30 years of scientific evidence. A diet containing mostly low GI carbohydrate not only helps keep blood glucose levels more stable, it also helps control your cholesterol, regulate your appetite, maintain your weight and reduce your risk of heart disease.
A healthy diet should be made up of foods from the best carbohydrate choice.
These include dense wholegrain breads like Bodhi’s which is made of whole grains or whole grains that are milled with the outer layers of the grains, retaining all nutritional benefits.
Most packaged wholemeal used in other breads on the market are made by recombining white flour with the bran and wheat-germ removed during milling. This creates a longer-lasting flour but doesn’t provide the same nutritional balance. Bodhi’s bread has more fibre, vitamins and minerals than all white and other wholemeal breads, plus it is low GI because whole grains take longer to digest and keeps you full for longer.
To find out more about the benefits of whole grains visit our health facts page.