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Glycemic Index of Foods

All carbohydrates are not the same. Generally it is assumed that simple carbohydrates are not good for health as they increase blood glucose levels rapidly, and complex carbohydrates are good because they have a slower effect on glucose levels. But this is not always true. Recent work into the Glycemic Index (GI) has changed the understanding of the relationship between ingested carbohydrates and blood glucose levels.

The glycemic index is a measure of how fast a carbohydrate triggers to raise the blood sugar. The higher the number, the greater the blood sugar response. On this basis, all carbohydrates can be assigned a value, known as glycemic index, compared to glucose. The glucose is the fastest releasing carbohydrate so it has been assigned a glycemic value of 100. A high glycemic index value for a food indicates that it results in a rapid rise in blood glucose levels and hence a spike in insulin response. Conversely, a low GI value indicates a slow rise in blood glucose and insulin levels.

The glycemic index is a better method for classifying good and bad carbohydrates as it reliesupon actual blood glucose response. Let us compare the GI of two carbohydrates. Maltodextri, a glucose polymer is a complex carbohydrate, has a GI of ~100 . This means that it rapidly raises blood glucose levels. Fructose, on the other hand is a simple carbohydrate with GI of only ~20. If we do not look at their GI values, we will assume that maltodextri is better than fructose because the former is a complex carbohydrate and the later one is a simple carbohydrate. Consult glycemic index list of foods for making a low glycemic index diet.available

Benefits of Glycemic Index (GI)

  • Can help to control diabetes.
  • Improves insulin sensitivity and efficiency.
  • Reduces appetite for quick sugars and carbohydrates, thus avoidingblood sugar spike.
  • Can help people lose weight.
  • Can help lower blood cholesterol.
  • Can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Copyright 2005 P. Mehta


This article has been written by For more information on glycemic index and glycemic load, visit the web site



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