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Glycemic Index - GI

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient in our diets. However, not all carbohydrate foods are equal.

According to the definition by the “home of the glycaemic index” at the University of Sydney,

“The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health.”

How do you tell if a food is low in GI?

According to the Low GI international database, foods that have a GI value of below 55 is considered to be low in GI. Medium GI foods have a value between 56- 69 and foods that are high in GI have values above 70.

Benefits of consuming foods low in GI

Because the carbohydrates in foods that are low in GI is released more slowly in the body, blood sugar levels are kept stable, keeping you fuller for longer. This helps with preventing unnecessary snacking or over eating at the next meal, which in turn helps with weight loss.

Adapted from

Other benefits include:

  • Improved diabetes management

  • Improved heart health

  • Improved blood cholesterol levels,

  • Reduced risk of atherosclerosis

  • Reduced blood vessel wall stiffness

  • Aiding with Poly cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) management

  • Reduced breast cancer risk

How may I allow Low GI foods to benefit me?

It is not necessary to have every single component of your meal low in GI. Just be having one or two components of the meal low in GI is good enough.

An easy way to start off would be to swap out high GI foods in your current diet to low GI options. Examples include swapping from white breads to wholegrain breads, and from toasted cereals to traditional porridge or natural muesli.

Please be mindful that low GI does not however necessarily mean low in fat or low in refined sugars. Reading and understanding nutritional labels is as important to achieve a low GI diet.

To learn more about how the low GI diet may benefit you, or how you may tailor your current diet to a lower GI one, feel free to make an appointment to see our Dietitian.

For more enquiries on booking, call us today on (08) 6162 2616.

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