Glycemic index of products. GI table. High and low glycemic index
In the 21st century, people are increasingly confronted with the concept of “glycemic index” , or GI. Sometimes it seems so often that I have the impression that most people really understand what the term means. But this is not so. For example, when a person comes to my club for a free consultation, in a conversation I ask him about the GI, and he answers that he heard about him and doesn’t know what it is. In fact, understanding the term glycemic index is not so difficult, but also not easy. However, this is necessary for every person, since this indicator is directly related in general to the quality of our diet and the issue of normalizing weight.
The glycemic index shows the effect of various carbohydrate-containing food on blood sugar and pancreatic insulin response. Each time you eat and digest carbohydrate-rich foods — such as vegetables, fruits, cereals, sweets, and flour — you end up with an increase in blood glucose (sugar). However, glucose in the blood plays a crucial role for our body. It is the main fuel for our muscles and brain and, to a greater extent, it is glucose that maintains the level of physical and mental activity throughout the day.
I would like to note one nuance that all carbohydrate-containing foods increase the level of glucose in the blood to varying degrees, and this is where the value of the “Glycemic Index” of foods plays . He classifies foods according to the principle to what extent and how quickly they lead to an increase in blood sugar after eating them.
How was the glycemic index determined?
Over 30 years ago, the first scientific work on the glycemic index was published. The study involved a small group of people who helped establish and calculate the index value. There were a total of 62 food items fed by volunteers. Their body was supposed to receive 50 grams.carbohydrates of these products. Each product has its own amount of carbohydrates, for example, to get 50 grams of carbohydrates, you need to eat about 60 pieces of carrots or a whole handful of boiled white rice. After eating carbohydrates, the blood glucose level of the volunteers was measured several times over a two-hour period. Then, the effect of each type of product on blood sugar was compared with the effect of consuming 50 g of pure glucose (the type of sugar in our bloodstream), which by the way was assigned the value 100 . This is how foods that cause a quick and sharp increase in blood glucose have been assigned a GI value of close to 100. And foods that cause less drastic spikes in blood sugar have been assigned a lower GI. By the way, a GI of 100– this is not the maximum value, because this is the value for regular glucose (reference for comparison). There are food products whose GI is much greater than this value. Subsequently, all products were divided by glycemic index.
What carbohydrate-containing foods cause sugar to quickly enter the bloodstream and produce insulin?
Below 55: low GI i.e. no insulin reaction
55-69: average GI, i.e. moderate insulin response
Over 70: High GI, i.e. fast insulin response
High Glycemic Index Products
The highest GIs are in foods that are low in fiber (dietary fiber) and high in starch and sugar. These products include: fruit juices, white bread, pasta, white rice, sweet breakfast cereals, etc. These products are very quickly digested and assimilated, therefore, they quite sharply and quickly increase blood sugar levels.
Such a jump in “sugar energy” in some cases (sport, when you no longer have the strength or strong mental activity during the exam, etc.) can be useful for our body, but in most cases, it will not lead to anything good. We really really need blood sugar to maintain physical and mental activity, however, not in the form of such sudden jumps. The reason is simple: a sharp jump in blood sugar always follows a sharp drop, since the pancreas produces insulin (a transport hormone), which knocks down blood sugar and redirects it to the liver and muscles, and very quickly (1-1.5 hours ) During this period (when low sugar) you have a weakness, lack of energy, irritability, and most importantly, you carbohydrate hunger, i.e. Your body will ask you to eat something sweet to restore your previous blood sugar. After this, the cycle repeats. This leads to the fact that we often have a snack during the day with carbohydrate food, as a result of which we consume more calories than we need, and this leads to the deposition of fat on the waist and hips. In addition, a constant hanging level of sugar in the blood can lead to diabetes and the deterioration of our pancreas.