We all know sugar goes a long way in making foods more palatable, but for some people, glucose is a pain in terms of managing their health. Sugar intake should be a factor that everyone considers in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

The sugar glucose is the chief source of energy present in everyone’s body and measured as blood sugar. The ideal range for someone’s blood sugar level is less than 100 mg/dL after eight hours of fasting, and less than 140 mg/dL after two hours of fasting. These levels are especially important for those with diabetes.

But how do those in need of managing their glucose intake know how much they’re consuming?

Welcome to the Glycemic Index.

What Is the Glycemic Index?

In short, the Glycemic Index is a number assigned to a food item that tells you how quickly your body will convert the carbohydrates in that food into glucose. The lower the number, the less harmful it is. Anything above 75 is high, and considered bad, while anything below 55 is considered good.

In short, the Glycemic Index tells you how quickly your body converts the carbohydrates in that food into glucose.

You can find this number on the nutrition label of foods you buy, or you can look it up online while making your grocery list.

Why Do I Need the Glycemic Index?

If you’re diabetic, managing your blood sugar is a full-time job, and knowing the Glycemic Index of the foods you’re eating can save you a lot of time, money, and can do wonders for your health now and in the future.

For someone with celiac disease, an allergy to gluten, a low glycemic diet and a gluten-free diet go hand-in-hand. By getting to know the Glycemic Index, you have a better ability to limit your gluten intake. Many of the foods on the higher end of the Glycemic Index are bad news for gluten-free folks.

For someone with celiac disease, an allergy to gluten, a low glycemic diet and a gluten-free diet go hand-in-hand.

In general, while gluten and glucose aren’t bad for you in moderation, knowing where your diet lands on the Glycemic Index can help you moderate that intake and make healthy choices.

Food for Thought

If you were to take a look at the foods you gravitate toward, what would you find? Do you lean heavily on bread and grains to round out a meal? It may turn out that the items you eat regularly have a high Glycemic Index, which can lead to health problems down the road if not moderated.

It’s smart to monitor your diet since some things you eat regularly may have a high Glycemic Index, which can lead to health problems down the road.

For those currently working on lowering their blood sugar, there are a few tips you can follow. For instance, you can drink more water! A study from 2011 found that those who drink more water are less likely to be hyperglycemic. Additionally, limiting your sugar intake in general can go the distance in keeping your levels down, as well as finding creative ways to limit the amount of bread and grains in your meals.

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You may not have a health condition that precludes your sugar or gluten intake, but if you’re someone who wants to make healthier choices, the Glycemic Index is your friend.

Further Reading

WebMD — How to Use the Glycemic Index
Harvard Health Publishing — Glycemic Index for 60+ Foods