04 Jun What are the benefits of a low glycemic index diet?
Nowadays food processing is a fact. However, often meals rich in processed carbohydrates, such as those found in white bakery products (e.g. white bread) and white pasta, can cause sudden increases in blood glucose and triglyceride levels. Such high glycemic index meals lead to a vicious cycle of postprandial hyperglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia, favoring the appearance of cellular stress, which is closely linked to the occurrence of chronic conditions.
Low glycemic index nutrition has been shown to have multiple health benefits. Its adoption is considered to be essential in diabetic patients, while it is also considered beneficial in many other pathological and non-pathological conditions.
But what is the glycemic index?
The glycemic index expresses the rate of absorption of carbohydrates after a meal. A high glycemic index food contains carbohydrates that digest rapidly, causing a sharp rise and fall in blood glucose levels. In contrast, a low glycemic index food contains slow-breaking carbohydrates, causing slow release of glucose in the blood.
What are the benefits of a low glycemic index diet?
The adoption of a low-glycemic index diet has been associated with lowering of blood lipids and improving glycemic control, while decreasing insulin levels and insulin resistance. Additionally, when we consume a low glycemic index meal, it improves the glucose tolerance of the next meal we will consume. Therefore, applying such a diet is of particular importance to people with diabetes, as it improves the control of glucose and blood lipids.
In addition, weight loss is favored as well as its maintenance, thus contributing to the prevention and treatment of obesity. Low glycemic index diet can help people lose weight, because these meals contribute to a prolonged sense of satiety and stable release of energy with further positive effects on mental and physical performance.
Therefore this diet is thought to reduce the risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.
Moreover, this diet has been positively correlated with reducing oxidative damage and reducing the risk of appearance and development of colon, prostate and ovarian cancer.
In conclusion, we could suggest that the application of a low glycemic index diet could be beneficial in patients suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and certain types of cancer, since it contributes to the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases.
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