As physiotherapists, we understand the importance of having balance in our life so that our bodies remain in sync and functioning smoothly and efficiently. This philosophy is not just limited to bones and muscles, but also to our diet because of the fuels we require to make it through each day.
Low-GI is a term that is thrown around a lot, but most of us don’t know how it is relevant to us. GI (glycemic index) refers to the speed at which carbohydrates are absorbed and raise the blood glucose levels in our body.
If something is high-GI,
carbohydrates are absorbed very quickly and causes our blood glucose levels to spike.
If something is low-GI, carbohydrates are absorbed much slower and cause a steady increase or even a maintenance of our blood sugar levels, depending on what we are doing at the time.
This means that when we eat high-GI foods, the glucose (energy for our muscles) is absorbed quickly into our muscles and provides a short sharp burst of energy, where as low-GI foods provide a longer lasting and more consistent supply.
When our blood sugar levels rise, this sugar needs to be absorbed by our muscles as energy. When our levels spike, if our body cannot transfer the energy to our muscles as fast as it is being absorbed, it is instead stored as fat.
If you consistently eat high-GI foods, there is always an overflow of energy that our body cannot use, causing an increase in your body-fat percentage. There is evidence to show that a heightened body-fat percentage can increase your risk of stroke, heart disease/attacks, diabetes, cancer and the list goes on.
So before a big day, or before exercise it is recommended that you try to consume something low-GI so that your energy lasts and you don’t crash. However, these shouldn’t be the only times you eat low-GI foods, as they are the best foods for weight control and getting the most out of each and every day.
Low-GI = 55 and under
Medium GI = 55-69
High-GI = 70 and over
For a list of low-GI foods, click the
Post by Mitchell Sandvoss (B. Physiotherapy)