Glycaemic Index (GI) or Load (GL) ?

The Glycaemic Index (GI) : was devised as a ranking system to show how quickly a given carbohydrate can feed glucose into the blood. It was originally devised to help diabetics to manage their blood glucose levels, but has since become of increasing value to people engaged in weight management and regular training.

Glycaemic index and research:

- long term consumption of a diet with a high glycaemic load , has been shown to be a significant independent predictor of the risk of developing Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease

- recent studies have shown that diets with a low glycaemic index may help protect against the development of obesity and colorectal cancer

- diets with a predominance of low glycaemic foods have been shown to be more satiating than high glycaemic diets, and can help in the treatment of obesity

Main factors influencing the speed of entry of carbohydrate into the blood:

- amount of carbohydrate eaten

- the presence of fat in the meal. Fat the strongest inhibitor of gastric emptying

- the presence of protein in the meal. Protein also a gastric inhibitor

- the presence of fibre in the meal delays gastric emptying - the presence of soluble fibre slows the absorption of glucose into the blood

- cooking methods, heat breaks down saccharides into simpler molecules

- the ripeness of fruit. As a banana ripens, enzymes become active and begin to break down the polysaccharides into smaller saccharide units