Tuesday 11th of December 2018
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Finetuning Carbs... PDF Print E-mail

With more and more evidence accumulating on the benefits of better blood glucose control using slower release carbohydrate containing foods, every person, and particular those that are overweight, should make it their business to understand the concept of the glycemic index.

...TO GET MORE OUT OF YOUR DIET PLATE

With more and more evidence accumulating on the benefits of better blood glucose control using slower release carbohydrate containing foods, every person, and particular those that are overweight, should make it their business to understand the concept of the glycemic index.

 

Put simply, the glycemic index is an indicator of the rate at which a carbohydrate containing food affects blood glucose levels.

 

‘glyc’ refers to glucose

‘emic’ refers to blood

‘index’ refers to an indicator……

Thus the glycemic index is a blood glucose indicator, with numerical values from 1 - 100.

 

To test the GI of everyday foods, trained volunteers eat a given portion of the test food and monitor their blood glucose levels every 30 minutes after eating the test food. This is recorded to show the effect of the food eaten on their blood glucose levels. The test results are then compared to the effect pure glucose had on their blood glucose levels, and the ratio of the test food over the glucose is the glycemic index. It is thus a real response by the body to food eaten.

 

Foods that are absorbed very quickly have a high glycemic index (high GI), and those that are absorbed slowly and steadily over about three hours have a low GI. It makes sense then, that low GI foods (slow release carbohydrates) would have a much less marked effect on blood glucose levels than a high GI food (fast release carbohydrates).

 

For example:

Standard South African bread has a high GI of 72 - 81 and baked beans have a low GI of 48. This means that the glucose in the bread would be digested and absorbed faster, and gives a sharper and quicker rise in blood glucose than the baked beans. All high GI foods are digested and absorbed very quickly and thus give a steep rise in blood glucose levels.
 
Fiery Phoenix