• Glycemic Index (GI) measures the effect that different carbohydrates have on the body's blood-sugar level.
High-GI foods can give you instant energy, but can leave you feeling hungry within a short time.
• Foods are assigned a GI value on a scale of 1 to 100, where glucose is 100. Foods with a high GI are digested and absorbed faster than low-GI foods.
• High-GI foods enter the bloodstream faster than low-GI foods and allow more glycogen to be stored in the muscles. High-GI foods give instant energy and better replenish your body's fuel stores, but your blood-sugar will quickly dip, leaving you feeling hungry.
• Low-GI foods enter the bloodstream slower than high-GI foods, giving a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. Low-GI foods can be used to manage diabetes and help weight control.
• The GI of a certain food depends on a number of factors, including the types of carbohydrate it contains, how much it has been processed and how long it has been cooked. Even the ripeness of some fruits can affect their GI.
• High GI foods include: Sports drinks, cornflakes, instant mashed potato, jelly beans, honey.
• Low GI foods include: Red lentils, kidney beans, pasta, apples, unripe bananas.