GLYCAEMIC INDEX

Glycaemic Index

A fact to consider is the rate at which carbohydrates are absorbed in to the human gut, as the absorption rate will have an effect on the blood glucose level.

The rate at which food is absorbed is called The Glycaemic Index.

 

Pure glucose is absorbed most quickly within the body which leads to the steepest rise in blood sugar levels.

Because sugar is absorbed almost immediately when processed by the human body it is given the highest Glycaemic index or GI OF 100.

Carbohydrates have a reference from 1-100 on the Glycaemic index, the lower numbers repent slower breakdown foods for example hummus has a GI index of 6 at the lower end of the scale and cornflakes have a GI index of 80 on the high end of the scale.

The higher the GI of food the quicker the body absorbs the sugar which can be used immediately as energy or stored in the cells in the form of fat, meaning that a well balanced diet of slow and medium GI foods may help to keep you at an optimum level of health.

 

Foods that are absorbed quickly tend to produce a surge in blood glucose levels, triggering a large release of insulin in order to bring blood glucose levels back to normal range. Unfortunately, insulin does this by forcing the glucose and fats in the blood in to storage.

 

In theory the greater the release of insulin the greater the storage of glucose and fats, hence it is logical that higher GI food may encourage fat storage and weight gain.

Throughout a typical day our glucose levels vary from around 3.5-5.5mmol for non diabetic individuals, and can rise to up to 8mmol for up to two hours after meals.

 

Consuming a diet that consists of carbohydrate that have a low GI will help to stabilise your blood sugar levels.

The addition of healthy fat and protein together with carbohydrates helps lower Gi, this is because fat and protein help slow the digestive process, in turn creating a more stable release of glucose while prolonging the release of energy that helps stabilise blood sugar levels, another reason to encourage a balanced diet.

Example of some common GI foods

High 60-100 

GI

Glucose 100

Honey 87

Baked Potato 98

Chocolate bar 68

Parsnips 97

Muesli 66

Sweetcorn 60

Brown rice 80

Wholemeal Bread 72

Medium 40-59

GI

Porridge 54

All Bran 51

Wholemeal pasta 42

Oatmeal Biscuit 54

Grapes 44

White pasta 50

Oranges 40

Crisps 51

Sponge cake 46

Low 40-

GI

Kidney Beans 29

Chickpeas 36

Apples 39

Plums 25

Soya Beans 15

Grapefruit 26

Yogurt 36

Milk 32

Butterbeans 36

We recommend that most carbohydrates are eaten in combination with other foods.

Choose foods that are lower in GI.

Eat smaller portions but more often, 4-6 times per day.

Consume snacks that are a balance of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.

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