Sunday, January 31, 2016

[What is Glycemic Index.]

The food you take contains carbohydrates as you enjoy your food it is releasing glucose in to the blood stream as they are getting digested.Some food you take may contain glucose or sugar.

Our body I mean adults do not need sugar since all the food they eat gets glucose / sugar from the food you eat.
The rate of release of glucose by different foods can be determined by knowing the Glycemic Index or GI is a measure of the blood glucose response following the ingestion of a fixed portion of food.

The GI of glucose is considered as 100.That means when 100 grams of glucose is consumed the blood glucose level increases by 100%.

The GI of Rice is 80 and that of say Millet is 55 to 57.For a diabetic,lower the GI better the management.World Health Organizations has classified low GI foods and those above 80 are classified as high GI foods.Low GI foods help in better management of diabetics but also help in reduction of blood lipids and obesity.

Recently,Glycemic load (GL) is being used to know the foods to be consumed for the management of diabetes.GI tells how fast the food releases glucose into the blood but does not indicate the carbohydrate content in it.
The rationale for establishing glycemic load as an important characteristic of food is based on the fact that,a larger amount of food with certain amount of glycemic Index that contains few available carbohydrates would have the same effect on blood sugar as a smaller amount of food that has the same glycemic index but a higher carbohydrate content.

GL of foods is based on GI of foods.
GL is the product of the Glycemic Index and the grms of available carbohydrate in a 100 grms of serving

        GI x available carbohydrate(g) in 100g
1 - GI of water melon is 72,the available carbohydrate content is 5g so the GL is 3.6
2 - GI of food is 100 and the available carbohydrate is 10 then GL is 10
3 - GI of a food is 10 and the available carbohydrate IS 100g then GL is 10
The above examples indicate that foods with high GI when consumed more have the same effect on blood glucose levels.

Millets have high fiber fraction ( 1.2 to 9.8%) and the carbohydrates are of complex type so,when ingested sugars are released slowly in to the blood .Therefore the GI of the Millet is low which is helpful in the Management of Diabetes.


Rama K Naik
Hemalatha S
Geetha Kapaleshwar
College of Rural Home Science
University of Agricultural Sciences

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