A practical guide to the glycemic index

The University of Sydney in Australia maintains a website dedicated to the glycemic index.

Background information

  • The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates (from 0 to 100) according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar blood levels after eating.
  • Foods with a high glycemic index are rapidly digested and absorbed, causing marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
  • Low-GI foods due to their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have benefits for health.

According to the website, low GI diets improve both glucose and lipid blood levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.

A food’s glycemic index value is determined by feeding 10 or more healthy people a portion of the food containing 50 grams of digestible (available) carbohydrate. Blood sugar levels are then measured during the next 2 hours.

The bottom line?
On a diet? You can also calculate the glycemic index for a particular food here.

10/13/07 21:35 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.