You take two foods with same carb count, but blood Glucose response they give is different. So Additional knowledge about food intake is required and how much it increases Blood Glucose is more important. And Here comes Glycemic Load, the sign board to Smart Diet
Foods with 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. The concept was developed by Dr. David J. Jenkins and colleagues. The GI was invented in 1981 by Dr Thomas Wolever and Dr David Jenkins at the University of Toronto and is a measure of how quickly a food containing 25 or 50 grams of carbohydrate raises blood-glucose levels. Because some foods typically have a low carbohydrate content, Harvard researchers created the GL, which takes into account the amount of carbohydrates in a given serving of a food and so provides a more useful measure.
What is Glycemic Index
The GI represents the total rise in a person's blood sugar level following consumption of the food. The glycemic index or glycaemic index (GI) is a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food's effect on a person's blood glucose (also called blood sugar) level. The number typically ranges between 50 and 100, where 100 represents the standard, an equivalent amount of pure glucose.
What is Glycemic Load
The glycemic load (GL) of food is a number that estimates how much the food will raise a person's blood glucose level after eating it. One unit of glycemic load approximates the effect of consuming one gram of glucose. Glycemic load accounts for how much carbohydrate is in the food and how much each gram of carbohydrate in the food raises blood glucose levels. Glycemic load is based on the glycemic index (GI), and is defined as the grams of available carbohydrate in the food times the food's GI.
How GI is Determined
The glycemic index of a food is 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). 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 100. The average GI value is calculated from data collected in 10 human 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.
Recent animal research provides compelling evidence that high-GI carbohydrate is associated with increased risk of obesity. In one study, male rats were split into high- and low-GI groups over 18 weeks while mean body weight was maintained. Rats fed the high-GI diet were 71% fatter and had 8% less lean body mass than the low-GI group. Post-meal glycemia and insulin levels were significantly higher, and plasma triglycerides were threefold greater in the high-GI-fed rats. Furthermore, pancreatic islet cells suffered "severely disorganized architecture and extensive fibrosis.". So GI significance in Weight and Obesity Control is well established.
Recent scientific evidence have shown that individuals who followed a low-GI diet over many years were at a significantly lower risk for developing both type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and age-related muscular degeneration than others.
In the past, postprandial hyperglycemia has been considered a risk factor associated mainly with diabetes. However, more recent evidence shows that it also presents an increased risk for atherosclerosis in the non-diabetic population.
High GI diets, high blood-sugar levels more generally, and diabetes are related to kidney disease as well.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that age-related adult muscular degeneration (AMD), which leads to blindness, is 42% higher among people with a high-GI diet, and concluded that eating a lower-GI diet would eliminate 20% of AMD cases.
Glycemic index charts often give only one value per food, but variations are possible due to variety of reasons:
- Ripeness (riper fruits contain more sugars increasing GI)
- Cooking methods (the more cooked, or over cooked, a food the more its cellular structure is broken with a tendency for it to digest quickly and raise GI more)
- Processing (e.g., flour has a higher GI than the whole grain from which it is ground as grinding breaks the grain's protective layers).
- Length of Storage.
- Individual Response Glycemic response is different from one person to another, and also in the same person from day to day, depending on blood glucose levels, insulin resistance, and other factors
- Time Period Most of the values on the glycemic index do not show the impact on glucose levels after two hours. Some people with diabetes may have elevated levels after four hours
It makes more sense to track Glycemic Load than, just do carb counting or Calorie Intake. A diabetic will be able to better manage the Food intake and hence greater control over Blood Glucose.
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