You must have often heard your dietician refer to a term glycemic index(GI) when charting a diet plan for managing your diabetes. Have you ever thought what does the term GI mean and how does it impact our body?

The glycemic index or GI indicates how rapidly carbohydrate is digested and released as glucose (sugar) into the blood stream 1.

Foods with high glycemic index (GI) cause blood sugar levels to rise faster & higher.
Foods with low glycemic index (GI) are digested slowly leading to slower & lower increase in blood glucose level. 2 .

Glycemic index graph

The value of GI is from 0 to 100 3. Glycemic index has three types based on the amount of carbohydrates in foods. 4

Glycemix Index Chart

Another term that you may want to know is glycemic load (GL). Glycemic index does not take into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food 5. Glycemic load (GL) measures the amount of carbohydrates in a serving of food 6.

Consuming low GI foods keep us satiated longer because these foods are more slowly broken down for glucose utilization. The result is that you feel fuller for longer  7.

When you consume high GL and GI foods, blood sugar levels spike which causes a short-term feeling of fullness, but then blood sugars plummet (drop) which causes you to crave food again and you ultimately end up consuming excess calories, which contributes to weight gain 8-10.

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