Glycemic Index and Food choices.

By Latest Reply 2009-02-19 00:26:31 -0600
Started 2009-02-14 22:25:03 -0600

I'm adding this as there have been questions on what the Glycemic Index and what it is and how it works.

The Glycemic index (also glycaemic index) or GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion releasing glucose rapidly into the bloodstream have a high GI; carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream, have a low GI. For most people, foods with a low GI have significant health benefits. The concept was developed by Dr. David J. Jenkins and colleagues [1] in 1980–1981 at the University of Toronto in their research to find out which foods were best for people with diabetes.

A lower glycemic index suggests slower rates of digestion and absorption of the foods' carbohydrates and may also indicate greater extraction from the liver and periphery of the products of carbohydrate digestion. A lower glycemic response is often thought to equate to a lower insulin demand, better long-term blood glucose control and a reduction in blood lipids. The insulin index may therefore also be useful as it provides a direct measure of the insulin response to a food.

Here is one site that is good, if you go to Google there are others but I trust Medosa the most. There are two parts to eating according the Glycemic Index. The GI and the GL number. The GI is the number given the food in testing on the Glycemic Index and the GL is the Glycemic Load of the food per serving. GI should be 55 or less and GL should be 11 or less then you will be fine. You still have to watch portion sizes so you don't gain weight because regardless of the GI or GL or Carb a calorie is still a calorie but if you eat this way you can eat more!!! :)

This site might be a little easier to understand.

A list of common foods and their GI


8 replies

rbergman 2009-02-15 10:34:29 -0600 Report

Well, I'm really glad we are going to see the dietitian on Wed lol, I read it all, and various pages and such but I'm not quite sure I understand it, but at least it gives me something else to ask about if the dietitian doesn't bring this subject up, but sounds like they will. I do wonder if this is why we are still getting some higher readings on Laura, the carbs are within her range but its the make up of those carbs that may be raising her levels…if I'm reading this right that is lol
Thanks Judy, this was very helpful, a bit confusing but still very helpful!!


2009-02-15 21:51:56 -0600 Report

Hey Robin,
Yes it is kind of confusing. Now, when you see the dietician this week don't get upset if they don't mention this. It's rather controversial in their world. When I went to my Dr enforced "Diabetes School Refresher" a few months ago,(lol) they told us to ignore the Glycemic Index. I piped up (of course lol) and said that I use the Glycemic Index daily and it's helped me to lose a lot of weight and get my blood sugar under control and they had me explain it to the class (there were 2 of us and two nurses) The dietician told me later that she would have to read up on this because she felt foolish when someone from her class knew more about it than she did. I told her I wasn't trying to make her feel foolish, just trying to give the other guy that was new to Diabetes all the information not just hand picked old fashioned education that hadn't changed in years. When I told her that I have been a guest speaker at classes at another hospital and didn't feel like I need to come to this anymore she agreed that I didn't need to attend and she would tell my doctor that it was ok and why. When I saw him on Feb 5th he didn't even mention the class but told me to be careful on the internet because not all the information is correct.. I told him I know that, I'm rather intelligent and quite particular where I get my information from and I winked at him.. lol (this is Dr A** I told you about!)… Anyway… if they don't mention it or tell you to ignore it, it's probably because they don't understand it either and you can't teach something you don't get!!!


rbergman 2009-02-16 08:42:48 -0600 Report

No worries, I'm used to "professionals" not listening to me, after all I'm JUST a mom. But I'm a persistent mom and eventually get the answers I'm looking for, but if I can't get anywhere with this dietitian on Wed. you'll just have to be my teacher lol. Laura has lost nearly 3 lbs since we started this diet, (a far cry from the 25lbs she needs to lose to be her ideal weight) but its a start and we'll get there in time. By giving her only the carbs she's allowed she's still hungry (125-150g / day) and if we can figure out a way to maybe give her more so she isn't always hungry but yet not hurt her I think it would help her.

rbergman 2009-02-16 21:14:55 -0600 Report

Nope, I don't get it, I thought I did, but I don't…does the diabetes training ever get easier lol

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-02-19 00:26:31 -0600 Report

I am surprised that many dietitians still haven't grasped the concept of glycemic index (or whatever they want to call it). I first heard about it in the mid 80's when my then boyfriend, a type 1, would wake up having convulsions because his blood sugar was too low. He had eaten enough carbs at dinner… but they were too quickly absorbed. The original research was from Australia. The concepts have been tossed around a bit, and the base as to what should be "100" changes, and everyone's body metabolizes foods a bit differently, too, but using the glycemic index is a good tool to help plan meals.

2009-02-14 22:49:58 -0600 Report

Judy, thank you for making this more understandable! I'm gonna check it out!