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Glycemic Index / Glycemic Load



The glycemic index is “a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels.”1  Foods that contain carbohydrates that are the easiest to digest have the highest glycemic index.

The glycemic index measures the ability of a food to raise a person’s blood sugar.  The index compares the body’s reaction to pure glucose with the eaten food’s blood sugar response.  Pure glucose has a value of 100 so if a certain food raises the blood sugar only 50% of the amount that glucose does, then that food has a glycemic index of 50.  The glycemic index also takes into account the form of carbohydrates, the form and amount of fiber, the degree of processing and cooking, and the inclusion of other substances such   as protein and fats.

The glycemic load is the measured quantity of carbohydrates taken in.  The formula for this is the glycemic index x the amount of carbohydrate, then divided by 100.2

A lower glycemic index indicates slower digestion and absorption of the carbohydrates in foods.  This lower index leads to a lower demand for insulin, more control of blood glucose, and reduced blood lipids.3



1. Glycemic Index. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index. Accessed 01/10/2007.

2. Common GI Questions. http://www.glycemicindex.com/faqprint.htm. Accessed 01/10/2007.

3. Glycemic Indes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index. Accessed 01/10/2007.

 

 




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