Glycaemic Index (GI) is a ranking given to foods to describe how quickly the carbohydrate they contain is digested by the digestive system and absorbed into the blood.
Carbohydrate is an important energy source for the body and carbohydrate containing foods are an important part of a healthy diet.
Foods that are quickly digested and absorbed into the blood stream have a high GI whilst those which are slowly digested and absorbed have a low GI.
Low GI foods
- wholegrain bread
- apples, apricots and oranges
- yoghurt and milk
- dried beans and lentils
High GI foods
- white and wholemeal bread
- processed cereals
- short-grain rice
- most cracker biscuits
Eating low GI foods may:
- help to keep hunger at bay for longer after eating
- provide gradual, continuous supply of energy from one meal to the next
- help to keep blood glucose levels stable in those with diabetes, by providing a slower, more sustained release of glucose into the bloodstream
Both high GI and low GI foods can be included in a healthy diet. Understanding the GI has a range of benefits for all people who are interested in food, nutrition and health.