- by Bangalore Diabetes Centre & Diagnostic Lab
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- Sep 29 2017
What is Glycaemic Index?
Blood glucose concentrations after ingesting high and low glycemic index foods
Glycemic index refers to the increase in blood glucose that occurs after consumption of a food containing a standard amount of carbohydrate. The index represents the comparison of a tested food to a standard amount (50 g) of glucose. This figure illustrates the differences in blood glucose concentrations that are achieved after ingesting a food that has a high glycemic index (new potatoes) and a food that has a low glycemic index (kidney beans). The index number is the area under the blood glucose concentration curve during the 2 hours after food ingestion and represents the rate of digestion and absorption of the carbohydrate present in the food being evaluated. Glucose has the highest glycemic index and is rated at 100. Low-glycemic-index foods have a glycemic index less than 55. Most refined grain products and potatoes have a high glycemic index, whereas most fruits, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables have a low glycemic index. However, the “true” glycemic index of a specific food that is ingested as part of a meal can be altered by several factors, such as the method of preparation and the effect of concomitantly ingested foods on intestinal motility. For example, a high-glycemic index food may cause a mild increase in blood glucose concentration if gastric emptying is slowed by simultaneous fat ingestion.
A low-glycemic-index diet has been proposed as a treatment for obesity because it may affect hunger by specific effects on postprandial pancreatic hormone secretion . The results of one randomized controlled trial, conducted in 14 overweight adolescents, found a reduced glycemic index diet caused weight loss, while a low fat diet caused weight gain (2). However, additional randomized controlled trials conducted in a larger number of subjects are needed to evaluate the potential efficacy of a low-glycemic diet as a therapy for obesity.
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