The Glycemic Index (GI) And Your Blood Sugar

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measuring unit regarding the ability of a carbohydrate food to increase glucose levels in the blood. The higher the GI value, the more it is expected to increase blood glucose levels.

High GI foods (GI ≥70) are broken down more quickly, resulting in a spike in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods (GI >55) produce a slower, lower rise in blood sugar levels, therefore can help in diabetes maintenance. It extends digestion time and may assist in prolonged satiety. However, low-GI food does not mean you can consume said food in huge portions, your carbohydrate and calorie count are still important1.

Steps to help control Blood Sugar:

1.       Switch High GI foods to Low GI Foods

This can be done by replacing white rice with whole grains like brown rice, quinoa  or wild rice. High fibre foods including vegetables and most fruits also take longer to digest and therefore produce a slower rise in blood sugar levels2. Other factors that affect a food’s GI include:

- Ripeness & Storage time: the riper a fruit/vegetables is, the higher the GI.

- Processing: Juices have higher GI than whole fruit.

- Cooking Method: How long food is cooked (al dente pasta has lower GI than soft cooked pasta).

 2.       Keep portions in moderation

A large amount of low-GI food may still increase your blood sugar as much as a small amount of high-GI food. Spreading out your carbohydrate rich foods evenly throughout your daily meals can help maintain and keep blood glucose levels within the desired range. Check the nutrition label on the packaged food for recommended serving size and carb content2.

 3.       Eat regularly timed meals

Don’t skip breakfast. Consider a low-GI breakfast such as oatmeal (not instant oats), low-GI whole grain cereals, eggs, etc2.

4.       Remember to exercise regularly

Maintain body weight by exercising regularly, at 3 days a week, up to 30 -60 minutes of moderately paced exercise to help improve your body’s metabolism and general well-being2.

For diabetic-friendly Superfoods Recipe - Click 30-min Quinoa Bowl! 



1. Better Health Channel (2013). Carbohydrates and the glycaemic index. Retrieved from:

2. Glycemic Index Foundation (GIF) (n.d.). Glycemic Index & Managing Diabetes – making healthy choices easy. Retrieved from:

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