Sugar isn’t bad! All the cells in your body use sugar as an energy source. You need it to live. When you eat your everyday foods, such as rice, bread, pasta, and vegetables, your digestive system will break down these complex carbohydrates into simple sugars, which every single cell in your body requires as a source of energy. However, empty calories can cause your body harm. Empty calories are calories that give you only energy with no nutritional benefit. For example, a can of soda contains empty calories, as soda gives you many calories, but no nutritional benefit. Excessive calories can lead to weight gain, which can lead to increased cancer risk over time.
What is GI Index and why should we eat low GI food?
The glycaemic index (GI) shows the relationship between carbohydrates and how slow/fast it raises the blood sugar levels in our body. This is an important factor as carbohydrates are the main source of energy in our body.
High GI foods are those with 70 and above, which typically includes most processed foods, which are easily broken down and spike up blood sugar levels easily. Low GI foods are those with 50 or below, which includes certain categories such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and dairy, which is broken down slowly and raise blood glucose levels using a longer period of time.
The benefits of consuming low GI foods include:
1. Controls weight – slower rise in blood sugar levels and a higher consumption of fiber
2. Improve overall health and reduce the risks for certain illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
3. Improve moods – to get the slow release of glucose, keeping the blood sugar levels low, and slow rise in serotonin (neurotransmitter which controls our moods)