What is the Glycemic Index?

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2008-06-30 23:28:45 -0500
Started 2008-06-29 23:33:44 -0500


Now I have another new thing to start learning. I found this great webstie that has all kinds of information on what the Glycemic Index is, how to use it and what it can do for us. Some pretty interesting stuff. Do any of you use it over just low-carb? How has it worked for you?

6 replies

tmana 2008-06-30 06:15:58 -0500 Report

I learned about Glycemic Index early on; diabetes.about.com linked to David Mendosa's thorough article about it. At the time, Mendosa championed a refinement called "glycemic load" — this takes into account portion size and the average amount of carbs in an average portion as well as the type of carb and general matrix in which the carb was found. The example I recall offhand is that of watermelon, whose sugars are very fast-acting but whose concentration of sugar is very dilute in a high water-and-fiber matrix.

The other thing Mendosa mentioned is that the reaction to a particular food can vary from person to person, so for greatest accuracy one might need to develop one's own glycemic index.

Toma's PCF ratio is a refinement of GI/GL that takes protein and fat metabolism into account as well, since both of these can moderate carbohydrate metabolism — but both of these can also be turned into carbohydrate by the body (just over a longer period of time, and with a bit more difficulty).

GabbyPA 2008-06-30 13:29:30 -0500 Report

Like everything else on here, we will have to expermiment and find out what works for us. Which one does your doctor suggest using? You say the portions are unrealistic...too small or too big?

morris.js 2008-06-30 23:28:45 -0500 Report

Yes, you will definetly have to experiment and she how your body reacts.
My doc did not suggest it at all, I just came accross it and decided to kind of track my readings with it. I was trying to find the cause of my mid morning lows. As it turned out, the higher the item on the index, the greater the low… LOL
As far as portion sizes, most were on the large size for me. I eat 5 or 6 "small" meals a day.

Elfin 2008-06-30 04:07:39 -0500 Report

Gabby, look at the discussion Meal planning by the numbers. The author has the results of some studies regarding low glycemic carbohydrates. We should probably use the Index in planning meals, but it will not substitute for low carb planning…just supplement it.

morris.js 2008-06-30 05:04:11 -0500 Report

I find that if I eat something high on the index for breakfast, then I am almost certain to have a bad low about 9:30. So I use it to keep that from happening. I know it is a bit hard to undestand, but the most important thing to watch on it, is the portion sizes they refer to. Some of those are not realistic portions.
I hope it helps,

JP - 14811
JP - 14811 2008-06-30 02:35:15 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby,
I've used the glycemic index for years. I have a book with everything in it and it's ranking. Although there are somethings that are noted as low on the index that I wouldn't eat, sausages, and peanut M&M's as examples a lot of things that are low in sugar are high in fat so you have to be careful with it. Read it, learn it, and use your best judgement in selecting foods. I try to keep my food at a < 55 rating on the index. You'll notice that most of the whole foods I harp about (LOL) are < 55 on the list. Fruit, Vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and dairy. Serving size is still the number one factor even if you use the index to choose food. Oh and spices and seasonings generally are 0 so buy local, natural food in it's whole form and cook…!! Seasoning your food with spices and seasonings makes eating a whole new experience… If some that are reading this don't cook, take a class, get a book at the library and start cooking! It's a relaxing activity that has a lot of room for error. You don't want to start out with a souffle, start out with a simple stir fry of lean meat and veggies from the farmers market and you'll be surprised what a fantastic cook you can be!!

*Judy (JP)