Glycemic Index of Foods - limitations of the value

by Webmaster,

The glycemic index of foods is used to give a gauge of the rate at which consumption of a certain food would cause glucose levels in the blood to rise. Click here for an explanation of the glycemic index and how it works.

In general, a low glycemic index (GI) value is taken to imply a higher quality of carbohydrates, and low glycemic index diets and foods are associated with numerous health benefits for us. (click here for a list of low glycemic foods)

However, there are a few limitations and shortcomings of the glycemic index, and these are briefly described below.

Firstly, the glycemic index is limited to measuring the rate of release of glucose into the bloodstream, and does not in any other way measure the quality of foods in terms of nutritional value. There are healthy high-GI foods, and also unhealthy low-GI foods.

While the glycemic index guides our food choices, over-reliance on the glycemic index of foods to plan one's diet could actually compromise the need to obtain certain essential nutrients in one's diet.

In addition, glycemic response to a certain food can vary from person to person, and can even be different in the same person when the food is consumed at different times of the day.

Glycemic response to a certain food also depends on the specific piece of food being eaten, for example its particular species, how ripe it is, how long it has been stored, how it was prepared and cooked, what flavorings and condiments were added to it, etc.

Further, the glycemic index takes into account glycemic response, but fails to account for other reactions of the body, for example insulin response. Although glycemic response and insulin response are related, they are not always fully correlated.

Another limitation of the glycemic index of foods is that it is limited only to glucose, without taking into account the effect of other types of sugars on the body, for example fructose. Although other types of sugars may not cause the same spurts in insulin levels which glucose does, they have other negative effects on a person's health.

Click here for a listing of low glycemic foods, or click here for some high glycemic foods to avoid or cut down on. For a general glycemic index listing of foods, click here instead.

Read More: More on the Glycemic Index | Understanding Nutrition and its Importance | Nutrition Health Articles - Foods, Diets, Supplements, Nutrients and more | Information on some Herbs | Favorite Herbs, Herbals Formulas and Foods | Natural Health Supplements - What to Consider | Home Page | Site Search

Want to learn how to quickly and easily make delicious, gluten-free, low-glycemic meals? Click here to access a gluten-free low-glycemic cookbook, especially useful for diabetics and allergy sufferers. Includes meat, vegetarian and vegan choices.

Here is another resource - a beginner's answer guide, providing an overview on the glycemic index and how to use it to become healthier and lose weight.

Glycemic Index-related Pages

What is the Glycemic Index? - the glycemic index explained | Benefits of Low Glycemic Diets and Low Glycemic Food | Glycemic Index of Foods - limitations of the value | Eating Low Glycemic Foods - some tips | Glycemic Index Listing of Foods | Low Glycemic Food List | High Glycemic Foods to Avoid or Cut Down on

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