Glycemic Index 101

Glycemic Index 101

The glycemic index, glycemic index, or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates in food on blood sugar levels. It estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in a food raises a person’s blood glucose level following consumption of the food, relative to consumption of glucose.Glucose has a glycemic index of 100, by definition, and other foods have a lower glycemic index.

Classification GI range Examples
Low GI 55 or less most fruits and vegetables; legumes/pulses;some whole, intact grains; nuts; tomatoes; fructose;kidney beans; beets; chickpeas
Medium GI 56–69 whole wheat products, basmati rice, sweet potato,sucrose, baked potatoes
High GI 70 and above white bread, most white rices, corn flakes,extruded breakfast cereals, glucose, maltose,maltodextrins

Scientific evidence have shown that individuals who followed a low-GI diet over many years were at a significantly lower risk for developing both type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and age-related macular degeneration than others. High blood glucose levels or repeated glycemic “spikes” following a meal may promote these diseases by increasing systemic glycative stress other oxidative stress to the vasculature and also by the direct increase in insulin levels.

A study from the University of Sydney in Australia suggests that having a breakfast of white bread and sugar-rich cereals, over time, may make a person susceptible to diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that age-related adult macular degeneration (AMD), which leads to blindness, is 42 percent higher among people with a high-GI diet, and concluded that eating a lower-GI diet would eliminate 20 percent of AMD cases