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Food-Info.net> Questions and Answers > Nutrition

What is the glycemic index, and how can I use it to control my diabetic diet?

The glycemic index is a measurement of the effect a food has on your blood sugar level. It ranks foods on how they affect our blood sugar levels. This index measures how much your blood sugar 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 sugar level to rise much. However, not all carbohydrates act the same. Some are quickly broken down in the intestine, causing the blood sugar level to rise rapidly. These carbohydrates have a high glycemic index. Please note, however, that a glycemic index value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into sugar. It doesn't tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food

Some foods that have a high amount of sugar in them, such as maple syrup, honey and candy, as well as foods that are "starchy" - carrots, potatoes are rated high on the glycemic index. They are rated this way because when you eat these foods you will experience a rapid rise in your blood sugar level. Other foods, especially foods high in fibre such as whole-grain rye bread are rated low on the glycemic index because they do not produce a rapid rise in blood sugar after eating them.

When you make use of the glycemic index to prepare healthy meals, it helps to keep your blood sugar level under control. The key is to eat little of those foods with a high glycemic index and more of those foods with a low index. It is also recommended to exercise and eat less saturated and trans fats and more fiber as well as a low-carbohydrate diet, because carbohydrates can raise blood sugar to dangerous levels.

The table below provides additional information on the approximate glycemic indices of various foods.

 

EXAMPLES of GI VALUES
Reference level: White bread-GI =100
Source: FAO/WHO report April 1997,
"Carbohydrates in human nutrition", Table 8.

F o o d

GI

F o o d

GI

Peanuts

21±12

Orange juice

74±4

Fructose

32±2

Kiwifruit

75±8

Pearled barley

36±3

Sweet potatoes

77±11

Milk, whole

39±9

Popcorn

79±?

Kidney beans

42±6

Mango

80±7

Lentils, green

42±6

Muesli

80±14

Lentils, green

45±?

Banana, overripe

82±8

Milk, skim

46±?

Rice, high amylose

83±5

Banana, under ripe

51±8

Sucrose

87±2

Apple

52±3

Muffins

88±9

Haricot beans

54±8

Cookies

90±3

Tomato

54±?

Bread rye flour

92±3

Apple juice

58±1

Crackers wheat

99±4

Spaghetti, white

59±4

Bread white

101±0

Orange

62±6

Honey

104±21

Macaroni

64±?

French fries

107±1

Lactose

65±4

Cornflakes

119±5

Rice, parboiled

68±4

Potatoes, baked

121±16

Bread rye kernel

71±3

Rice, low amylose

126±4

Cracked barley

72±?

Instant rice

128±4

Kidney beans, canned

74±?

Glucose

138±4

More information:

 

 

 



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