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Glycemic Index of Foods

The glycemic index, or GI, determines how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. Foods are ranked based on how they compare with a recommendation food — either glucose or white bread.

What is Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (or GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 inning accordance with the extent to which they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are quickly digested, taken in and metabolised and result in significant changes in blood sugar (glucose) levels. Low GI carbohydrates — the ones that produce smaller fluctuations in your blood sugar and insulin levels — is among the tricks to long-term health, lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It is likewise among the secrets to keeping weight reduction. Here is the proof.

A food with a high GI raises blood glucose more than a food with a medium or low GI.

Meal preparation with the GI includes choosing foods that have a low or medium GI. If eating a food with a high GI, you can integrate it with low GI foods to help balance the meal.

Examples of carbohydrate-containing foods with a low GI consist of dried beans and vegetables (like kidney beans and lentils), all non-starchy vegetables, some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, the majority of fruit, and many entire grain breads and cereals (like barley, entire wheat bread, rye bread, and all-bran cereal).

Meats and fats do not have a GI because they do not consist of carb.

Below are examples of foods based upon their GI.

Low GI Foods (55 or less)

  • 100% stone-ground entire wheat or pumpernickel bread
  • Oatmeal (rolled or steel-cut), oat bran, muesli
  • Pasta, converted rice, barley, bulgar
  • Sweet potato, corn, yam, lima/butter beans, peas, legumes and lentils
  • Many fruits, non-starchy vegetables and carrots

Medium GI (56-69)

  • Entire wheat, rye and pita bread
  • Quick oats
  • Brown, wild or basmati rice, couscous

High GI (70 or more)

  • White bread or bagel
  • Corn flakes, puffed rice, bran flakes, immediate oatmeal
  • Shortgrain white rice, rice pasta, macaroni and cheese from mix
  • Russet potato, pumpkin
  • Pretzels, rice cakes, popcorn, cracker crackers
  • melons and pineapple

What Affects the GI of a Food?

Fat and fiber tend to lower the GI of a food. As a general rule, the more prepared or processed a food, the higher the GI; however, this is not constantly true.

Below are a couple of specific examples of other elements that can affect the GI of a food:.

Ripeness and storage time — the more ripe a fruit or veggie is, the greater the GI.
Processing — juice has a higher GI than entire fruit; mashed potato has a greater GI than an entire baked potato, stone ground entire wheat bread has a lower GI than entire wheat bread.
Cooking technique — for how long a food is prepared (al dente pasta has a lower GI than soft-cooked pasta).
Variety — transformed long-grain white rice has a lower GI than brown rice however short-grain white rice has a higher GI than wild rice.

See also: How Many Carbohydrates Should I Have?

Other Considerations

The GI value represents the type of carbohydrate in a food but says nothing about the quantity of carbohydrate usually consumed. Part sizes are still pertinent for managing blood glucose and for losing or preserving weight.

The GI of a food is different when eaten alone than it is when combined with other foods. When eating a high GI food, you can integrate it with other low GI foods to balance out the result on blood sugar levels.

Numerous healthy foods have a greater GI than foods with little nutritional worth. For example, oatmeal has a greater GI than chocolate. Use of the GI has to be stabilized with standard nutrition concepts of range for healthful foods and moderation of foods with couple of nutrients.

GI or Carbohydrate Counting?

There is no one diet or meal strategy that works for everyone with diabetes. The important thing is to follow a meal strategy that is customized to personal choices and lifestyle and assists achieve goals for blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, blood pressure, and weight management.

Research shows that both the quantity and the kind of carb in food impact blood sugar levels. Studies also reveal that the total quantity of carb in food, in basic, is a more powerful predictor of blood glucose action than the GI.

Based upon the research, for the majority of people with diabetes, the first tool for managing blood glucose is some type of carbohydrate counting.

Due to the fact that the type of carb can impact blood glucose, utilizing the GI may be handy in “fine-tuning” blood sugar management. In other words, integrated with carb counting, it may offer an additional benefit for accomplishing blood sugar goals for individuals who can and wish to put additional effort into monitoring their food choices.

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