Glycemic Index: Definition and How To Use It

Glycemic Index can be defined as a relative ability of a carbohydrate food to increase the level of glucose in the blood. It is a number from 0 to 100 assigned to food. Lower the GI, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels. GI of a food is influenced by several factors such as nutrient composition, cooking method, ripeness, and the amount of processing.

Glycemic Index: Defination and how to use it

Three Glycemic Ratings Table

Low GI Foods55 or less
Medium GI Foods56-69
High GI Foods70+
Here are the 3 GI ratings

Glycemic Index v/s Glycemic Load

We should always keep in mind that the Glycemic Index of food is different from Glycemic Load. Glycemic Index does not take into account the amount of food eaten but the Glycemic Load factors in the number of carbohydrates (in grams) in a serving of food to determine how it may affect blood sugar levels.

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Low Glycemic Index Diet

Food low in GI gets digested slowly causing a low rise in blood sugar levels.

Benefits

Following are the health benefits of a low GI diet, including:

Improved blood sugar levels

Following a low GI diet may reduce blood sugar levels as it does not digest quickly and there is no spike in insulin levels.

Helps in weight loss

Following a low GI diet may help in short-term weight loss. It is helpful for weight management.

Reduce cholesterol levels

A low GI diet can also help to reduce bad cholesterol known as (LDL).

High Glycemic Diet

Food high in GI gets digested quickly causing a rise in blood sugar levels. There is no benefit of high GI foods and foods high in refined carbs and sugar have high GI than food high in protein, fibre, and fat.

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List Of Food low in GI

  • Fruits: Apples, Oranges, Lemon, Berries, etc.
  • Vegetables: Carrots, Green Peas, Green Beans, Lettuce, etc.
  • Legumes: Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, Hummus, etc.

List Of Food High in GI

  • Fruits: Banana, Pineapple, Watermelon, Mango, etc.
  • Vegetables: White Potatoes, Parsnips, etc.
  • Other: Sugar and starchy foods, White rice, Soft drinks, etc.

Conclusion

  • Glycemic Index increases the level of glucose in the blood.
  • Lower the GI, the less it may affect your blood sugar levels.
  • Food low in GI gets digested slowly causing a low rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Following a low GI diet may help in short-term weight loss.
  • Food high in GI gets digested quickly causing a rise in blood sugar levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best low GI foods?

Green vegetables, most fruits, raw carrots, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and bran breakfast cereals. Medium GI: Sweet corn, bananas, raw pineapple, raisins, oat breakfast cereals, and multigrain, oat bran or rye bread.

Which are high glycemic foods?

Sugar and sugary foods, Sugary soft drinks, White bread, Potatoes, White rice.

What are low GI foods for diabetics?

Cherries, Grapefruit, Dried apricots, Pears, Apples, Oranges, Plums.

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