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What is glycemic index and what is its use?

Date: 09 Dec 2015   Posted By: Kailash Kumar     Group: Health    Category: Nutrition   

We often come across mention of glycemic index in media. What exactly is glycemic index and what is its use? Has it got anything to do with controlling blood sugar level? What type of food products have high or low glycemic index? How glycemic index of any particular food product can be known? Awaiting suggestions from experts.

Want to know about glycemic index? Wondering about how it is useful in controlling blood sugar? Responses from experts here, will resolve your doubts.

Author: Venkiteswaran.    11 Dec 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 6  (Rs 6)    Voting Score: 0

Glycemic Index is a reference to know how various foods impact the sugar level to rise in our body if we eat them. Glycemic Index (GI)is an indicative comparative numeric figure value, in relative ranking of a food item, of how fast sugar level increases in our blood after consuming that food. GI denotes whether the carbohydrate in that particular food item is getting converted to sugar very fast or slow and thus fast acting or slow acting one to increase sugar level in our body during a span of about two hours after eating it. It is used for relative preferential selection by a diabetic patient among foods having almost equal standing in other parameters.
GI is a number in a scale of 0 to 100. The level 100 is pegged to pure glucose. All other foods are compared with that . The lower number means lower glycemic index or relatively slower sugar level rise. A food with a glycemic index of say, 40 raises blood sugar level only to the extent comparable to 40% of what the consumption of pure glucose would have raised during that span of time of say, 2 hours. Foods with GI less than 55 are generally considered as low GI foods.
However, we should get the idea clear that GI does not say how much carbohydrate a food contains, but how fast the carb gets digested and converted to sugar(glucose) in our body. Hence two foods of similar carbohydrate content can have different glycemic index. GI is not a perfect tool, but gives relative information on choosing foods for diabetics.
Diabetic persons may avoid the intake of high GI foods or reduce and regulate their quantum if they cannot fully avoid. Thus awareness of GI can be of help in the steps to manage diabetes, along with other measures .

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