In summary the Glycaemic Index shows how quickly a food containing carbohydrate is absorbed into the blood.
Foods are given a rating out of 100 based on their influence 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:-
White Bread (70)
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)
Sweet Potato (54)
Brown Rice (66)
It should be noted at this stage that foods with a high GI are not necessarily unhealthy.
For example, watermelon (mentioned above) is not unhealthy.
The way foods are prepared can also affect GI. For instance 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. Those who suffer from diabetes may find it useful to consider it.
Also low GI foods may help you to feel fuller for longer as they release their sugar into the blood slower than those of a higher GI rating, and therefore may be useful to control appetite if you are trying to lose weight.
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