Today we talk about the organic benefits of the Glycemic Index

Over the years, we have covered many different topics but few of them have been as widely discussed in medical circles as The Glycemic Index (GI). Today we go over the basics about what it is, how it works, who created it but most importantly which foods are high on the scale and which ones are low on the glycemic index.

What is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index also known as the glycaemic index(GI) is a measurement of carbohydrates in your bloodstream on a scale from 100 to 0 according to how fast in which the blood sugar levels begin to rise after the ingestion of a particular food matter.

Wikipedia defines the Glycemic Index in the following: “The glycemic index estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fiber) in a food raises a person’s blood glucose level following consumption of the food, relative to consumption of pure glucose”.

How do you determine the glycemic index of a food?

The glycemic index of a food is calculated and then defined as the incremental area under the two-hour blood glucose response curve (AUC) following a 12-hour fast and ingestion of a food with a certain quantity of available carbohydrate (usually 50 g). This is the test that your doctor will typically give you when he or she is trying to diagnose diabetes initially. It is also known as a glucose tolerance test depending on who you talk to. That is the slang name for the test.

The AUC of the test food is divided by the AUC of the standard (either glucose or white bread, giving two different definitions) and multiplied by a scale of 100 increments. An average gylcemic index value is calculated from the information collected in 10 human testing subjects. Both the standard and test food must contain an equal amount of available carbohydrate. The result gives a relative ranking for each tested food.

The current validated methods by scientific research use glucose as the reference food, giving it a glycemic index value of 100 by definition. Please remember that this is science. This has the advantages of being universal and producing maximum GI values of approximately 100. White bread is known as a “staple” carbohydrate and can also be used as a reference food, giving a different set of GI values (if white bread = 100, then glucose ≈ 140). For people whose staple carbohydrate source is white bread, this has the advantage of conveying directly whether replacement of the dietary staple with a different food would result in a much different blood glucose response. These responses were determined on test humans.

More about high and low glucose index foods

A low-GI food will release glucose more slowly and steadily, which leads to more suitable postprandial (after meal) blood glucose readings. A high-GI food causes a more rapid rise in blood glucose levels and is suitable for energy recovery after exercise or for a person experiencing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

The glycemic effect of foods depends on a number of factors, such as the type of starch (amylose versus amylopectin), physical entrapment of the starch molecules within the food, fat and protein content of the food and organic acids or their salts in the meal — adding vinegar, for example, will lower the GI. The presence of fat or soluble dietary fibercan slow the gastric emptying rate, thus lowering the GI.

Foods full of carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream tend to have a high GI; foods with carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, tend to have a low GI.

When was the glycemic index developed and by who?

This glycemic index concept was developed by Dr. David J. Jenkins and colleagues in 1980–1981. They were working steadily on this research at the University of Toronto to find out which foods were best for people with diabetes and specifically to understand the different types of diabetes.

A lower glycemic response to certain food stuffs will usually equate to a lower insulin demand.A lower glycemic index of certain foods will also suggest a slower rate of digestion and absorption of the foods’ carbohydrates and may also show greater extraction from the liver and periphery of the products of carbohydrate digestion.

This article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. If you think that you might be a diabetic, please consult your healthcare professional who is properly qualified to diagnose your body.

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Thank you for reading!



  1. Great post, thanks!

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