What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index or GI ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. The glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect our blood glucose levels. This index measures how much your blood glucose increases in the two or three hours after eating. The glycemic index is about foods high in carbohydrates. Foods high in fat or protein don't cause your blood glucose level to rise much.
Glucose is given an arbitrary value of 100 and other carbs are given a number relative to glucose. Faster carbs (higher numbers) are great for raising low blood sugars and for covering brief periods of intense exercise. Slower carbs (lower numbers) are helpful for preventing overnight drops in the blood sugar and for long periods of exercise.
Choosing low GI carbs - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels - is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.
Glycemic index of foods
GI values can be interpreted intuitively as percentages on an absolute scale and are commonly interpreted as follows:
|Low GI||55 or less||most fruit and vegetables (except potatoes, watermelon), grainy breads, pasta, legumes/pulses, milk, products extremely low in carbohydrates (fish, eggs, meat, nuts, oils), brown rice|
|Medium GI||56 - 69||whole wheat products, basmati rice, orange, sweet potato, table sugar, most white rices (eg, jasmine),|
|High GI||70 and above||corn flakes, baked potato, watermelon, croissant, white bread, extruded cereals (eg, Rice Krispies), straight glucose (100)|
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