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G.I.–what is it?

GI—what is it?

Well it has nothing to do with the American army, where it stands for “Government Issue” apparently, and not “General Infantry” as often claimed.

The Glycemic Index measures how carbohydrate rich foods effect blood sugar levels in the body.

The GI Foundation neatly sum it up thus:

Not all carbohydrate foods are created equal, in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Choosing low GI carbs – the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels – is the secret to long-term health, reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.

The GI ranks food from 0 to 100, using glucose, with a GI value of 100, as the reference.

The GI has three categories—high (70 to 100), medium (56 to 69) and low (55 and less); these are intended to indicate the speed at which the glucose(sugar) content in the food enters the bloodstream.

So it makes sense for type two-ers, who have less than efficient insulin function, to favour carbohydrates that are in the low to medium bands of GI.

For more information:

Glycemic Index Table

www.glycemicindex.com

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