The Glycaemic Index

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I referred to the Glycaemic Index (GI) in my Healthy Living page, and also do, in many of my blog recipe postings. In summary it shows how quickly a food containing carbohydrate is absorbed into the blood.

Foods are given a rating out of 100 based on their effect on blood glucose (sugar levels). The higher the rating the more severe the effect on blood sugar.

High GI rated foods that are broken down quickly and absorbed into the blood cause a rapid increase in blood glucose. Examples of high GI foods and their GI rating include:-

Glucose (100)
Honey (87)
White Bread (70)
Watermelon (72)
Mashed Potatoes (70)
White Rice (72)

Low GI rated foods that are broken down more slowly cause a gradual rise in blood glucose. Examples of lower rated GI foods and their GI rating include:-

Stoneground wholemeal bread (53)
Porridge made with water (42)
Skimmed Milk (32)
Apples (38)
Sweet Potato (54)
Brown Rice (66)

It should be noted at this stage that foods with a high GI are not necessarily unhealthy. Watermelon is not unhealthy. The way foods are cooked can also affect GI, for example mashed potatoes are rated 70, but boiled potatoes are rated 56. It is simply recommended that eating foods with low GI ratings can help control blood glucose, of which those who suffer from diabetes may find useful to understand.

Also low GI foods may help you to feel fuller for longer as they release their sugar into the blood more slowly than those of a higher GI rating, and therefore may be useful to control appetite if you are trying to lose weight.

I use the GI ratings from this link.

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