Glycemic Index

Proper management of blood sugar is necessary and very important for the prevention of all chronic complex diseases.

For example, in diabetes, health problems such as vascular damage and nerve damage caused by this disease occur for many years. However, it is possible to stay away from such complications with an ideal diet and treatment regimen. In normal people, medical nutrition is of great importance to prevent such diseases. Medical nutrition therapy or healthy nutrition is very close to the ideal daily diet.

In general, it is recommended at every opportunity that only diabetics should prefer a careful diet in terms of carbohydrate types. However, not only diabetics, but also those in normal condition should act in accordance with this rule.

The concept of glycemic index; It draws our attention that the characteristics of the carbohydrate to be taken are as important as the amount. What makes the concept of the glycemic index so important for humans is that it determines the nature of the use of carbohydrates in the human body. Some of our daily energy should come from carbohydrates. Regulation of carbohydrate intake positively affects glycemic control, provides insulin balance, and thus prevents increases in blood fats.

The important thing is not only to consume carbohydrates at the determined rate; It is to get carbohydrates from foods rich in fiber and low on the glycemic index. Thus, a balanced diet is provided in normal people, and sudden fluctuations in blood sugar, which may occur in diabetics, for example, are prevented.

Jenkins, in 1982, showed that foods containing the same amount of carbohydrates can produce different blood glucose responses and he introduced the concept of glycemic index. It is the comparison of the increase seen within 2 hours after the consumption of the glycemic index foods with the reference food.

Factors that delay the digestion and absorption of nutrients and reduce the glycemic response:

  • Fiber content of food

  • how long it is consumed

  • Other foods consumed with it.

So a mixed meal is a low glycemic index meal. Individual differences in glycemic response can also be observed.

The glycemic effect of carbohydrates depends on the fiber content as well as the molecular structure. The pulp is the part of the carbohydrate food we take from plants that cannot be broken down by digestive enzymes. We can classify the pulp in two groups as soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.

Soluble pulp (guar gum and petkin) delays gastric emptying and prolongs intestinal transit time. Guar gum and pectin gels can slow the absorption of carbohydrates. This causes both insulin and blood sugar to decrease.

Carbohydrates are protected from enzyme activities due to the protective layer of fiber. According to studies, an increase in soluble fiber intake causes decreases in plasma glucose level and glucosuria, and decreases in insulin requirement. Thus, a decreasing effect is observed in plasma glucose, serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The daily fiber requirement for an adult is 35 g, for children 25 g. as much.

Fiber taken in excess of the requirement prevents adequate nutritional intake, especially in children, as it increases satiety, and also negatively affects the absorption of important minerals. (Ca, Fe, Zn).

Soluble pulp; It is found in legumes, cereals, fresh vegetables and fruits.

Insoluble fiber does not lower blood sugar and cholesterol. But it lowers the glycemic index of foods. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran, hemicellulose and lignin.

As a result, it’s not the amount of carbs we take that matters, but the type of carbs taken. On the other hand, the use of sweetener in desserts can be considered as an important advantage, as it will cause a decrease in the glycemic index of the food in question. Preferring the use of sweetener in beverages will provide the same advantage. Sugar, sugary drinks, jam, honey, sweets, which are absorbed quickly, mix into the blood quickly and cause rapid increases in our blood sugar, are foods that should be used very carefully in normal people and should not be included in the nutrition program of diabetics. We should make our choice in favor of foods rich in fiber and low in glycemic index. These nutrients are digested and absorbed in a long time. They do not cause rapid increases in blood sugar in diabetics. Keeping blood sugar at desired values ​​in the treatment of diabetes is the first goal of medical nutrition therapy. In normal people, the glycemic index is of great value for having a healthy metabolism and preventing chronic diseases.


white bread 100

Maltose 152

Glucose 138

Honey 126

Cereal 119

Raisins 93

tea sugar 89

Egypt 87

Banana 84

Brass 83

Whole wheat biscuits 82

Fresh potatoes 81

Spaghetti 66

Bulgur 65

Orange juice 64

Orange 59

Green beans 54

Apple 53

Yogurt 52

Ice Cream 52

Chickpeas 48

Pear 47

Skim milk 46

dried beans 45

Whole milk 43

red lentils 43

Peach 40

Grapefruit 36

plum 34

Cherry 32

Fructose 30

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