The glycemic index is a numerical index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response (i.e. their conversion to glucose within the human body). Glycemic index uses a scale of 0 to 100, with higher values given to foods that cause the most rapid rise in blood sugar. Pure glucose serves as a reference point, and is given a glycemic index (GI) of 100.
Foods with a high GI are those that are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health.
Glycemic index values are determined experimentally by feeding human test subjects a fixed portion of the food (after an overnight fast), and subsequently extracting and measuring samples of their blood at specific intervals of time. The earliest known work on the glycemic index was done by Dr. David Jenkins and associates at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada. The diet increased in popularity when Rick Gallop published "The G.I. Diet: The Easy, Healthy Way to Permanent Weight Loss" in 2001.
Carbohydrates, David Jenkins, diet, GI, glycemic index, insulin, low-GI, low glycemic index, GI diet, Glucose Revolution, Rick Gallop, Sugar Busters.
Foods are rated as having a low, intermediate, or high Glycemic Index. Advocates claim that people should avoid foods with high glycemic indices as much as possible.
Glycemic index of 55 or below is considered low and 70 or above is considered high.