Glycemic index

Glycemic Index | Glycemic Load Chart | NU Hospitals
  • How do you define glycemic index

    The glycemic index of a food is a measure of the effect of carbohydrate on blood sugar levels.  Foods that can be broken down quickly after ingestion to release glucose into the bloodstream are considered to have high GI, while foods that are broken down slowly and release glucose gradually into bloodstream are considered to have a low glycemic index. Those with diabetes , maintaining a diet made up of low GI foods has several important health benefits.

  • Glycemic index

    (two hour blood glucose response of required food)          X 100

    Glycemic index of standard food  (glucose or white bread)

  • Glycemic load

    Glycemic load accounts for how much carbohydrates Is present in  the food and how much each gram of carbohydrates  raises blood glucose levels.

    The glycemic load of a food is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrates in grams provided by a food and dividing the total by 100.Dietary glycemic load is the sum of the

    glycemic load in all foods consumed in the diet.

    There are a variety of factors that can account for the glycemic index of different foods, Some of which are naturally occurring, whereas others are affected in  commercialization or home preparation.

    • Physical form : generally , the more processed  a food , the higher the GI , for example instant oatmeal has a GI of 79 whereas steel cut rolled oats has a GI of 55.
    • Food combinations: when carbohydrates foods are eaten as part of meals the GI of the meal changes based on the average of all the food had (such as red beans or legumes with rice).
    • Cooking time: longer cooking time  may increase the glycemic impact as a food by breaking down the starch or carbohydrate and allowing it to pass through the body more quickly when consumed.
    • Acidity : the more acidic a food is ( pickled food or those containing vinegar or lemon), the lower GI . for example , sourdough bread , which uses a lactobacillus or lactic acid culture as part of the leavening process, has a lower GI than white bread.
    • The fibrous coat around beans , seeds  and plant cell walls in whole grains acts a physical barrier , slowing access of
      • digestive enzymes to break down the carbohydrate, thus whole grain and legumes have a lower GI.
      • Protein/fat: adding protein or fat , which have minimal effects on glycemic

      Excursions, to a high GI food will decrease the GI of that food . for example, adding cheese to a slice of bread would decrease the GI.

      • Soluble fiber: by increasing the viscosity of the intestinal contents , the interaction between the starch and the digestive enzymes is slowed, resulting in slower and lower glycemic excursions .
      • Eventhough fatty foods such as cheese ,ghee etc are low in GI  , these cannot be included in the diet as these are high in calories and fat.

  • IMPACT OF GLYCEMIC INDEX

    • On diabetes: the foods with lower GI enters the gastrointestinal tract at the slower rate, which reduces both the glycemic response and corresponding insulin release thus reducing the risk for post prandial hyperglycemia.
    • On obesity: decreased calorie intake throughout the day after the consumption of low GI meal
    • increased the cholecystokinin (CCK) release [which are partially responsible for the sending satiety signals to the brain, thus helps in weight reduction.]
    • On Cardiac health: foods with low GI results in lowering LDL cholesterol and improved HDL cholesterol .

  • Message about glycemic index

    • Choose more fruits and vegetables.
    • Increase soluble fibre in diet.
    • Use combination of high GI foods with low GI foods.
    • Choose fewer processed foods.

  • GLYCEMIC INDEX VALUE OF FOODS

    CerealsGI values
    Ragi86
    Cornflakes81
     jowar77
    wheat72
    rice70
    semolina60
    Oatmeal plain58
    Bhajra58
    corn56
    Sweet corn55
    macroni55
    Brown rice54
    musseli50
    vermicilli35
    rye34

     

    Roots and tubersGI values
    potato70
    beetroot64
    Sweet potato61
    yam51
    carrot47
    turnip40
    raddish18
    onion15

     

    pulsesGI values
    Horse gram51
    Black gram48
    Green gram48
    Chick peas33
    Black eyed peas33
    Black beans30
    Kidney beans29
    lentils29
    rajmah29
    Soya bean18
    Brussel sprouts16

     

    vegetablesGI values
    pumpkin75
    lettuce16
    asparagus15
    broculli15
    cauliflower15
    cucumber15
    Egg plant15
    beans15
    spinach15
    tomato15
    cabbage15
    mushroom15

     

    miscellaneousGI values
    Potato chips54
    Strawberry jam51
    jaggery50
    Lentil soup44
    Custard43
    Tomato soup38
    Mushroom soup27
    Celery soup27
    Cucumber soup27
    fructose20

     

    MiscellaneousGI value
    maltose105
    glucose100
    Fruit roll99
    Rice cake82
    pizza80
    wafers76
    French fries75
    crackers74
    honey73
    popcorn72
    Corn chips72
    bread71
    Cranberry juice68
    Whole wheat bread67
    Coca-Cola63
    Ice cream61
    Ham burger bun61
    sucrose59

     

    Nuts and oils seedsGI values
    Dates fresh103
    raisins64
    Dates dried42
    Apricots dried31
    cashew27
    peanuts15
    Ground nuts13

     

    Milk and milk productsGI values
    Full fat milk41
    Yogurt whole milk36
    Semi skimmed milk34
    Skim milk32
    Chocolate milk32
    soya milk30
    whole milk27
    Low fat sweetened tyogurt15
    Plain yogurt14

     

  • Reference

    • Glycemic Index and Diabetes -American Diabetes Association
    • IGNOU text book of nutrition
    • Ideas for ideai diabetic care-karnataka institute of diabetes