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Glycemic Index of Food

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Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) was first developed in 1981 by a team headed by Dr. David Jenkins at The University of Toronto. It is a measure of the blood sugar level (not a measure of the blood insulin levels) based on consumption after fasting. As a standard, glucose has a level of 100. If a person consumes food with an index of 60, blood sugar levels would increase over a two-hour period by 60% as compared to eating the same amount of pure glucose.

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The Glycemic Index is controversial since it is only valid when sugar alone is consumed. Protein and Fat slow the absorption of Carbohydrates. However, many diet claims reference the Glycemic Index to substantiate their individual claims. The index was developed as a way to determine dietary guidelines for diabetics. The American Diabetes Association has not endorsed the Glycemic Index.

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According to this theory, a food with a low glycemic index (55 and below) provides a minimal increase in blood glucose, lipoprotein lipase (an enzyme that promotes fat storage), and insulin. Food is with a high glycemic index (70 and above), which reduces sports performance due to large increases in insulin production and can result in low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).

However, many fruits that are classified as having a high Glycemic Index can stimulate lipoprotein lipase production even though they are low in sugar. According to the Glycemic Index, ice cream is considered a low GI and whole wheat bread are a high GI food. Therefore, whole wheat bread would create a higher spike in blood glucose levels and a greater increase in insulin production than ice cream. So it is apparent that the Glycemic Index should not be used as a single indicator.

The following foods are listed according to their Glycemic Index rating.   Most of the high glycemic type carbohydrates are from refined bread and breakfast cereals, white rice, rice cakes, and French fries. Limit your consumption of high glycemic foods, which create a rise in insulin levels and reduce glucagon thereby inhibiting your body from burning body fat. Glucagon is a hormone that is made naturally in the pancreas. It releases glucose from the liver causing blood glucose levels to rise. Eat a minimum amount of high glycemic foods and combine them with proteins and fats. Remember, even low glycemic foods in large quantities can cause weight gain.

Glycemic Food Table

LOW GLYCEMIC FOODS 20-49 PERCENT

All bran cereals Muesli cereal
Apples Navy Beans
Apple juice Oranges
Barley Peaches
Berries Peanuts
Black-eyed peas Pears
Bulgur Peas
Butter beans Plums
Cherries Strawberries
Grapefruit Soybeans
Ice Cream Wild Rice
Milk Yogurt (no added sugar)

MODERATE GLYCEMIC FOODS 50-69 PERCENT (LIMIT CONSUMPTION)

Basmati Rice Potatoes (red, white)
Buckwheat Pumpernickel bread
Carrots Raisins
Cereal (low sugar) Spaghetti
Corn on the cob Sourdough bread
Lima Beans Sucrose (Table Sugar)
Oatmeal Sweet Potato
Pasta Whole wheat bread (100% stone ground)
Peas

HIGH GLYCEMIC FOODS 70-100 PERCENT

Apricots Muffins
Bagels Pancakes
Bananas (ripe) Papaya
Breakfast cereals (refined with added sugar) Parsnips
Corn chips Puffed rice or wheat
Corn Flakes Potato (baked)
Corn syrup solids Rice cakes
Crackers Shredded wheat
Doughnuts Soft drinks & sports drinks (added sugars)
Glucose and Glucose polymers (maltodextrin) Toaster waffles
Hamburger and hotdog buns Watermelon
Honey White bread
Jelly beans White Rice
Maltose Whole wheat bread
Mango

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