What is the glycemic index?

When we are not told about calories, we are told about GI. Don’t all of these glycemic index stories tell you much? Don’t panic, we help you decode this new food classification system.

The glycemic index, the new classification of carbohydrates

In the past, it was easy: we imagined that there were two types of carbohydrates. Slow sugars, the “gentiles” of the starch type, and fast sugars, the “villains”, of the sucrose and fructose type.
But that was before.
Today we shattered it all. And things got a little more complex.

The glycemic index or glycemic index, GI for friends, replaced the previous classification system. Because nutritionists have discovered that the speed at which carbohydrates are absorbed depends on several criteria, such as the way in which food is cooked or combinations with other nutrients.

Concretely, GI is the ability of a food to increase blood sugar, in other words, the concentration of glucose in the blood. A food with a high GI will release its energy very quickly over a short period of time and cause a spike in glucose in the blood. While a low GI food will release its energy slowly over a long period of time.

Is a spike in glucose that bad?
A sudden increase in blood glucose levels is a disturbance in the mechanisms of satiety. Understand that high GI foods will induce you to cravings and furious cravings!

The classification of glycemic indexes

Impossible for us every day, to calculate the GI of food. This figure between 1 and 100 is obtained by scholarly calculation, and compared to that of glucose which is 100. Here is a classification which may be very useful for you.

Low GI foods (under 55)

Raw apple, unripe banana, grapes, orange, grapefruit, kiwi, dried apricots, all vegetables, all pulses, soy milk, whole and semi-skimmed milk, tofu, whole bread, pasta al dente, brown rice, roasted peanuts, almond, dark chocolate…

Foods with moderate GI (between 55 and 70)

The other fruits (apricot, pineapple, melon, cherry, very ripe banana …), fig and raisins, fruit in syrup, steamed potatoes, wholemeal bread, oatmeal, white rice, gnocchi, polenta, soda, beer , white sugar, milk chocolate, jam, sweetened condensed milk…

High GI foods (over 70)

Dates, potatoes (baked, fried , mashed ), white bread, white sandwich bread, waffle , rice cake, quick-cooking rice, candies, store-bought cereals…

How to lower the GI of foods?

As smart as we are, we have retained that the cooking method and the associations can influence the GI. Ok but in practice, how do we do it?

1 / We cook mollo : for potatoes in particular, if you steam them, you lower their GI to 65. Same thing for pasta al dente as opposed to fondant pasta (yuck). And if you run away from quick cooking rice, the same, you will halve the GI of this starchy food.

2 / We add fat . Yes, fats slow digestion, and therefore reduce the peak of glucose. The butter , the cream cheese , almond puree … according to fat selected, we will keep a light hand of course.

3 / Starchy vegetables are mixed , the fibers of which also reduce GI.

4 / We bet on acidity ! A touch of vinegar, or lemon juice, and presto, you lower the GI of starchy foods. Morality, we prepare a small salad of raw vegetables / dressing as a starter and we can swallow our plate of potatoes in the oven without feeling guilty!

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