For these reasons you should know what the glycemic index is


The feeding is fundamental in the lifetime of any person, although some of them, due to different circumstances, must limit the food they eat each day. In this sense, the importance of glycemic index of food and levels of blood glucose in the body.

Thus, Dr. Gerard Sáenz de Navarrete, head of the Endocrinology and Nutrition Service of the Parc Sanitari Sant Joan de Déu, states in ‘Infosalus’, that the key is to eat a Mediterranean diet, beyond controlling the glycemic index in the diet.

However, in cases where a person has alterations in their blood glucose levels, Dr. Sáenz de Navarrete sees it necessary to attend to the glycemic index. Specifically, it refers to people with gestational diabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index of food is a measure used to find out how a product can alter blood glucose levels in the body. To really understand what it is about, it is convenient to know that not all foods have the same amount of sugar and also the absorption of that sugar is not the same depending on the food.

fruit glycemia diabetes
Fruit and blood glucose

In this sense, the specialist Gerard Sáenz de Navarrete explains that “the body tolerates better when the absorption of sugar is slower, in two or three hours, than if the same amount is absorbed in half an hour. The speed of absorption, how fast that sugar passes into the blood, this is the glycemic index.

In addition, it should be noted that the glycemic index varies depending on the intake and the person who consumes a certain type of food. On this, the expert in endocrinology specifies that “it is not the same to take a white rice exclusively, that if we put elements with more fat or fiber, this causes a very high glycemic index that white rice has to change with other elements. That is why it is difficult to mark the purity of a glycemic index to a certain food.

For their part, from the Madrid Diabetes Association they state that the glycemic index of a food is the impact that it originates in the body, referring to blood glucose levels or glycemic values.

Blood glucose and factors that influence the glycemic index

Specifically, the factors that most influence the glycemic index of foods are the type of carbohydrates, fat, fiber, food preparation or even the degree of diabetes control. Thus, he assures it from the Madrid Diabetes Association.

These are some of the foods with the highest glycemic index:

  • White bread | More than 100 Glycemic Index (GI)
  • Rice Between 80 and 100 of GI
  • Different types of breads | Between 80 and 100 of GI
  • French fries | Between 80 and 100 of GI
  • Fruit juices | Between 80 and 100 of GI
  • Pasta | Between 50 and 80 GI
  • Vegetables | Between 50 and 80 GI
  • Variety of fruits eaten whole | Between 50 and 80 GI
  • Milk | Between 50 and 80 GI
  • Legumes | Less than 50 GI
  • Peas | Less than 50 GI

Therefore, Dr. Sáenz de Navarrete advises that the most appropriate thing for any healthy person is to follow an eating pattern based on the Mediterranean diet.

However, in people with glycemic alterations, it is recommended to carry out a specific control of the glycemic index of food; as they can negatively influence glucose peaks.

“Foods with a high GI hinder the adequate insulin response in those people who already have some alteration in this sense, the insulin production necessary so that a glycemic peak does not take place,” he explains.

Finally, Dr. Sáenz de Navarrete comments that “it is possible to modify the glycemic index of a food depending on how it is cooked and to combine them with elements that, for example, contain fiber, hence the importance of vegetables, for example. Everything is a set, a certain food does not work as a unit, but is influenced by the general contribution of the food, and the intake affects the glycemic index.

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