managing an LCHF lifestyle in Israel
(March 13, 2012)
It’s very popular today to talk about the “glycemic index” (GI) as a measure of quality and “healthfulness” of a particular food. But is it really a good measure?
The concept was developed in the early 80’s in Canada by Dr. David J. Jenkins and his colleagues. They looked for a way to check what food is better for diabetics and saw that different food raises blood sugar levels differently – some peaked high and fast, and some raised less and slower. They tested and prepared tables. To compare they took 100 g glucose and determined that as GI = 100. Thus they got (decided) that GI below 55 is considered low, GI of 56-69 is medium, and GI of 70 and up is high.
But – There are some problems … For example:
A better and more accurate way to measure is the “glycemic load” (GL) that also takes into account the amount you eat. Thus you can see that for watermelon with a high GI (72), the GL is only about 4. On the other hand, the sponge cake mentioned before has a GL of 17. (Below 10 is considered low, 11-19 is medium and 20 and up is considered high.)
And a small curiousity (and a question, of course 😉 ) – For spaghetti made of white flour the GI = 38, whole wheat flour spaghetti the GI = 37. Their GL is 18 and 16. In short there’s not that big difference, right? So why is one more recommended for diabetics than the other?