The glycemic index (GI) is the relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods based on how they affect blood sugar. When you have type 2 diabetes , one of the best ways to control your glucose levels is to eat foods that don't spike your blood sugar (glucose).
Knowing the glycemic index of the carbohydrates you eat can help you adjust your food to keep your blood sugar in the normal range.
What is the glycemic index?
The GI is a rating system in which foods are rated on a scale of 1 to 100 based on how much they raise your blood sugar level.
Processed foods, such as candy, bread, cakes, and cookies, have a high GI, while whole foods such as brown cereals, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits tend to have a lower GI.
Low-GI carbohydrates are digested, absorbed, and metabolized more slowly than their high-GI counterparts. They generally cause lower and slower rises in blood glucose levels and therefore insulin levels .
Gl and the amount of carbohydrates in conventional foods.
|Meal||Grams of carbohydrates||GI range||Average GI|
|White potatoes (medium)||3. 4||56-111||80 high|
|Sweet potato (medium)||24||44-78||61|
|Carrots (1/2 cup)||6||16-92||47|
|Peas (1/2 cup)||eleven||39-54||48|
|Chickpeas (1 glass)||54||31-36||3. 4|
|Soybeans (1/2 cup)||13||15-20||17|
|White bread (1 slice)||fourteen||64-83||72|
|Whole wheat bread (1 slice)||12||52-87||71|
|Cracked wheat bread (1 slice)||12||48-58||53|
|Oatmeal, insoluble (1/2 cup dry)||27||42-75||58|
|Brown rice (1 cup)||Four. Five||39-87||66|
|White rice (1 cup)||Four. Five||43-94||72|
|Pasta (1 glass)||43 years||40-60||fifty|
How is the glycemic index measured?
Index values are generated through rigorous testing. Ten or more people eat 50 grams of the same digestible carbohydrate (test food), then the researchers measure each person's glucose response two hours after consumption, plot points on a graph, and measure the area under the curve (AUC) of your response to glucose. .
On another day, the same 10 people consume 50 grams of pure glucose (reference product), and the researchers re-measure the AUC of each person's glucose response two hours after consumption.
The GI value of the test product is calculated by dividing the glucose AUC of the test food by the AUC of the reference product for each person. The final GI is the average of these 10 numbers.
Ultimately, the GI value is the average person's blood sugar response to a particular carbohydrate. Please note that individual responses may vary based on other factors.
Glycemic index values
GI values can be divided into three ranges. Remember, low GI foods do not raise blood sugar levels as much as medium or high GI foods.
- Low GI: 55 or less.
- Middle GI: 56 to 69
- High GI: 70 to 100
For example, rice milk (non-fiber processed food) has a high GI of 86, while brown rice (high in fiber) has a medium GI of 66.
Glycemic index versus glycemic load
Critics of the gastrointestinal tract system argue that the index does not take into account the amount of food consumed or other nutritional qualities (or lack thereof) such as protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Since the GI strictly analyzes the amount of carbohydrates, basing a diet on these numbers means that you will ignore a lot of other useful information in determining the true health value of a meal.
To solve the quantity problem, the researchers developed a measure of glycemic load (GL), which takes into account the amount of food eaten. The glycemic load depends on both the quality and the quantity of carbohydrates.
Glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the GI value by the amount of carbohydrates (in grams) and then dividing that number by 100.
For example, an apple has a GI of 40 and contains 15 grams of carbohydrates. (40 x 15) / 100 = 6, so the glycemic load of the apple is 6.
Glycemic load values
Like GI values, GL values can also be divided into three ranges:
- Low GL: 10 or less
- Medium GL: 11 to 19
- High GL: 20 or more
Benefits of using the glycemic index
Since carbohydrates in foods increase blood sugar levels, understanding the GI can help you determine which foods are best for glucose control.
The benefits of following the GI list when planning meals include:
- This helps you be more careful with your carbohydrate choices without totally or severely limiting your intake.
- If your goal is a low GI diet, you will naturally focus on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, rather than the end of the higher GI range, which includes more processed foods.
- Depending on your health goals, following a GI-based diet may mean that you may be less reliant on standard dietary measures, such as calorie counting or portion control.
- Being more careful with your carbohydrate choices, rather than severely restricting them, can also be more sustainable in the long run compared to more restrictive diets.
Where does the glycemic index fall?
The GI of foods can actually change depending on a number of factors, which in some cases can make this indicator unreliable.
The composition of food can change the effect of raising blood sugar levels. For example, if you ate an apple on its own, it may cause a different blood glucose response than if you ate it with a little peanut butter. Protein and fat can slow down carbohydrate metabolism and therefore cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels.
But that brings us to a broader point: the glycemic index is still just a list of numbers. How food specifically affects a person's unique makeup and blood sugar levels varies from person to person.
The best way to test the impact of food.
The American Diabetes Association states that the amount of carbohydrates (grams of carbohydrates) and available insulin may be the most important factors influencing the post-meal blood sugar response and should be considered when developing a meal plan .
The most reliable way to measure the effect of certain foods on your body is to check your blood sugar two hours after a meal.
For most people, the ideal blood sugar level is less than 180 mg / dL two hours after starting a meal. If you're not sure what your blood sugar goal should be, talk to your doctor.
Get the word of drug information
The GI reference for food can be helpful, but it is not the only tool you use to monitor your blood sugar.
The glycemic index should be used to supplement carbohydrate counting and lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet in general, maintaining proper portion control, and exercising regularly.
Frequently asked questions
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the amount of carbohydrates in foods that affect blood sugar levels; Since foods like meat and butter do not contain carbohydrates, they are not included.
Some good low-glycemic foods include most vegetables and fruits, nuts, minimally processed grains, and pasta (both regular and whole grain). A low GI is considered 55 or less.
Some high-glycemic foods include white bread, potatoes, and white rice. This is due to the fact that these foods contain a large amount of starches, which are quickly broken down by the body, causing blood glucose levels to rise. For this reason, many processed foods or soft drinks also have a high GI.