What is the Glycemic-Index?
The Glycemic Index, developed in early 1980s by Dr. David Jenkins, a Nutritional Sciences Professor at University of Toronto, ranks carbohydrate-rich foods by how much they raise blood glucose levels compared to glucose or white bread. Carbohydrates include such foods as bread, rice, pasta, flour, sugars, fruits and vegetables.
When you eat food that contains carbohydrates, the sugar (glucose) from the food breaks down during digestion and gives you energy. After you eat, your blood glucose level rises; the speed at which the food is able to increase your blood glucose level is called the “glycemic response.” . Foods that raise your blood glucose level quickly have a higher GI rating than foods that raise your blood glucose level more slowly
It was originally thought that all carbohydrates would raise blood sugars at the same rate. However, through Dr. Jenkins research it was shown that all carbohydrates are NOT created equal. Glucose was given the rating of 100 while simple sugars, like table sugar (sucrose) had a glycemic index of only 61 and fructose had a glycemic index of only 19.
Low-glycemic foods are whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables and legumes.