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Glycemic Index in Diabetes - Things You Need to Know About It!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Niti Agarwal 86% (39 ratings)
MD - Medicine, MBBS
Endocrinologist, Delhi  •  19 years experience
Glycemic Index in Diabetes - Things You Need to Know About It!

When you are suffering from Diabetes, your first concern would be is to keep your sugar level in check. For this, you need to measure your dietary needs and keep your sugar level in control. Carbohydrates are the main source of sugar in your body. While making your diet chart, make sure that you do include carbohydrates, but only those which would not tamper with your sugar levels randomly. There are certain foods which would shoot up your sugar level to an undesired amount. This would in turn cause various other health problems. The question that arises here is, how would you distinguish between good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates for your body? Well, the easiest way to differentiate is the use of Glycemic Index (GI).

What is Glycemic Index (GI)?
Glycemic index is a measurement of how soon the body changes carbohydrate foods into glucose. It is usually mentioned in the nutritional information segment behind every packaged food. This would help you to understand whether it can be consumed by you or not, keeping in mind your stage of diabetes and other dietary restrictions that your medical practitioner might have asked you to follow. The lower the number is, say fifty and lower, then it is usually safe for consumption as it takes a long time to convert to glucose. But, if the food has a higher number, say, seventy and above, then it becomes difficult for you consume it as it can harm your body. A Glycemic index is important information that you need to check before buying your food in case you suffer from diabetes.


The index can change from individual to individual:
This is an interesting yet unnerving fact that the index may change from person to person. The statistics mentioned on the packaging is just a starting point. Depending on how the food item is later cooked and what ingredients go into it, the Glycemic index may go down or go up. Some of the important factors for the changing index are the time the food is eaten, the way it is prepared as well as other foods that are consumed along with it. Foods break down into chemical compounds within our body. So, it is nothing but a chemical reaction which might increase or decrease depending upon the other variables.

Thus, these are some essential facts that you need to know about the Glycemic index. It is important to check GI, even at a base level, before purchasing your food; so that later on it does not create an imbalance in your diet schedule.

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