The Chefs of the various cuisines always will serve well-balanced foods as long they have an eye to the glycemic index and the glycemic loads for the balance of the ingredients of their special recipes.

Very often we are using chemical and medical terms without knowing their origin. Once looking behind the etymological origin of a term we will far better understand the meaning of it and get a better knowledge what a term really means.

The Greek word γλυκός (glycos) means sweet and combined with the ending,-emic, or –emia from the root of the Greek word αίμα (haima) = blood.”Index” roots in Latin and means Indication. 

So the glycemic index is the indication of the sugar condition of the blood. 

At the end of the digestion process all food contents no matter where they come from will be turned into sugars as the cells only accept sugar as their nutrient. 

Wouldn’t it be logic then we eat only carbohydrates and metabolize them in hydrophilic sugars? No this would be too simple. Theoretically we would have to eat permanently small doses of carbohydrates or pure sugars and we would not be able to store nutrients and do something in between. So we need to eat proteins and fats for slower metabolism and storage of energy. (This is a very simplified excursion to food chemistry) 

Also in this book we are discussing critically various diets, which offer too much or too little of some basic food components and therefore either create either deficiency or a surplus of one or the other. It can be said that a balanced food is the best diet at all. 

A major portion of this book is dealing with the Mediterranean and Moroccan diet. This diets have their origin in the Mediterranean basin. We will be able to follow the development of these diets from the Egyptians to today’s modern Mediterranean diets around the Mediterranean seas and Northwest Africa. 

If one goes a little behind the cleverly designed sales literature of the diet industry sooner or later the term “Glycemic Index” will require attention. The glycemic index for all nutrition materials is a function of three factors: 

  • A The amount of carbohydrate, 
  • B The type of Carbohydrates, and the substances which come with them. These substances will slow down the metabolisms of carbohydrates. One of the most common substances of this group are soluble fibers. 
  • C the figures behind the glycemic index.Glucose has a glycemic index (GI) of 100, fructose has 25, and Sucrose (our ordinary sugar) which is a combination of the two has a GI of 65. And be careful if you love a cool beer once in a while: Maltose, the sugar produced during the malting process (turning the starch into sugars) of barley and then is fermented into alcohol in beers, has one of the highest glycemic indices, namely 105. The reason most beers taste so palatable is the unfermented rest of Maltose (compare it with eating of chocolate, you hardly can’t stop it after you started until the chocolate bars are finished). 

Watching the glycemic indices for their food intake is already a practicable method even for lay people to carefully watch their dieting day by day. 

Glycemic Index units: Following the definition of the glycemic index 1 gram of glucose consumed increases the blood glucose level by factor 100. 

Each nutrient has its own glycemic index as lower this index is as lower the blood glucose level will be. 

In a glycemic Index diet a serving of a food product can be higher when the glycemic index is low. 

The effect of the glycemic index various from person to person, but it is a still good and widely used indicator for dietary effects. 

*Glycemic index and glycemic load offer information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin. The lower a food’s glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels. Here you’ll find a list of the glycemic index and glycemic load for more than 100 common foods. 

So the glycemic index is not only a way to judge various diets. 

Top Chefs of the various cuisines always will serve well-balanced foods as long they have an eye to the glycemic index and the glycemic loads for the balance of the ingredients of their special recipes.

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