Tagged: Diabetes Forecast

Glycemic Index Basics

healthychoicesAn overload of nutritional information out there in the cyber world  has made finding the simplest answers extremely confusing,  even for me, who has felt fairly secure in my knowledge of “good vs evil” food exchanges and choices.  To add to the confusion, good carb/bad carb is now complicated by glycemic index numbers, and not just glycemic index, but glycemic load  numbers to add to the confusion.   The February 2014 issue of Diabetes Forecast,  one of my favorite Go-To resources has an exceptional article,  Carbs; Beyond the Basics,   which is where much of my following references are taken.

The glycemic index (GI) measures the glucose response to a given number of grams of  carbohydrates.  They would measure your glucose levels during the first 2 hours after consuming 50 grams of  carbs.  These carbs are then compared to the response of blood glucose spikes after consuming 50 grams of pure glucose.  They then, label these foods High GI or Low GI, obviously, Low GI are much better as glucose does not rise dangerously after your meal.  Sounds simple right? Wrong, because it was then realized by the ADA that following a low GI diet alone, did not make any measureable difference in you A1C.   So the Glycemic Load was invented.   This  factors in two important measures of diabetes control;  carb counting and the glycemic index.   While carb counting considers the total amount of carbohydrates,  the glycemic index accounts for the quality of THAT carbohydrate,  the glycemic load considers both.   The best example;  1 cup of mashed potato  vs 1 cup of watermelon, both high on the glycemic index, however, because 1 cup of mashed potato has a much higher carb count, its’  glycemic load is  higher.

There can be up to a “threefold difference in the glucose response to the same quantity of carbohydrates.”   to  confuse matters  more,  a foods origin, how it was cooked/prepared, the degree of processing, ripeness, and even the brand all affect these numbers.  Things to consider;  choose unprocessed foods, bypass “puffed” grain products, as well as “instant” products like oatmeal, instant potatoes, rice.   There is even a difference in over-cooked grains/starches, cold potatoes are preferred, and fruit which is not overly ripe.

I would advise that you get on the site for Diabetes Forecast and read this article.  They cover a bit more and explain in better detail the “why nots” of the above food choices.  I found this tid-bit of info amazing,   the glycemic index measures were not done on PWD?  Which qualifies my belief that our diabetes and our bodies respond differently than the next person, as a matter of fact, my body does not react the same way to the same foods eaten from day to day…..

Switch to our mobile site