Glycemic Index Measures Carbohydrates in Foods

Posted: Mar 30, 2016 07:58 PM Updated: Mar 30, 2016 07:58 PM

WESLACO — Diabetes and carbohydrate intake go hand-in-hand. However, not all people understand where to start or what’s good to eat.

Processed carbohydrates could be a contributing factor to a diabetes diagnosis. Carbs can be found in things like bread, rice, tortillas, cake, candy and sugar. A lot of it comes down to how finely a carbohydrate is ground.

White flour is very powdery. It’s different from wheat flour where grains can be seen. This makes a difference when the nutrients go into a person’s bloodstream.

Every carbohydrate consumed will have an effect on a person’s blood sugar.  The glycemic index measures foods to see how they affect someone’s sugar. The spectrum ranges between 0 and 100.

Vegetables have a lower glycemic rating. A carrot carries a glycemic rating of less than 55. Whole wheat bread is somewhere around 60, while white bread carries a rating of more than 70 points.

Experts say anything high in processed sugar is a big contributor to diabetes.

"Anything that's processed is usually going to spike it up,” said Andie Gonzalez, H-E-B border region dietician. “There's no nutrients to really help keep that sugar controlled. So it's all sugar, pretty much."

The rule of thumb is to eat more fiber. It should be balanced with what people already eat.

Fiber can be found in many vegetables.

Eating right and getting a good amount of exercise can help deter a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.

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CHANNEL 5 NEWS is dedicating two weeks of coverage to diabetes. Learn more on the Heart of the Valley page.