What is 'GI' and a List of Common Foods

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    What is 'GI' and a List of Common Foods


    'GI'....The term is tossed around often as we all have made low GI carbohydrates a staple of our diet. Yet, how many of the newer individuals to our lifestyle really understand what 'GI' is, how to implement or why for that matter?..Considering this I figured I'd put together this thread for info's sake

    What is 'GI'?

    'GI' stands for glycemic index. The Glycemic Index is a numerical Index that ranks carbohydrates based on their rate of glycemic response (i.e. their conversion to glucose within the human body). Pure glucose is given an arbitrary rating of 100 as a reference point and all other carbohydrates are rated from 0 onwards. Any carbohydrate with a rating below 55 is considered a "low GI food", and conversely any food 70 and up is generally considered a "high GI food"

    Why Are Low 'GI' Foods Important?

    Our bodies perform best when our blood sugar (blood-glucose) levels remain at a relatively constant level, supplying our bodies with equal amounts of fuel throughout the day. For our lifestyle choice it is important to have an equal, constant stream of glucose in order for muscle glycogen conversion. Low 'GI' foods are less rapidly absorbed by the body than foods with high 'GI' and therefore provide a more constant stream of fuel.


    Is The Glycemic Index the Only Tool To Measure Carbs?

    Although the Glycemic Index is our most useful tool when discerning which carbohydrates to eat, it is not our only one. Of the other branches which apply to the 'GI' the Glycemic Load is the most useful. When you intake carbohydrates it is not only important to note what the rate of glucose conversion will be, but how much total carbohydrate you are taking in, this is where GL comes into play. Glycemic load is used to determine (with GI) what your bodies total glycemic response will be. It is measured by dividing the GI by 100 and multiplying that by the net carbs (net carbs are equal to total carbs minus dietary fibre)
    (GL=GI/100 x Net Carbs)

    Should High GI Foods Be Completely Avoided?

    Although low-GI, complex carbohydrates should be the vast majority of your caloric intake for carbs to ensure consistent glycemic response, there are times when a rapid increase in blood sugar is desirable. For this purpose some individuals choose to intake high GI foods after strenuous activity in hopes of causing an insulin spike in order to move glucose to the muscles to be converted to glycogen. Though not all agree with this method it has been utilized successfully, though the risk for adipose storage can be an issue. (in excess)

    Is GI Fail-Proof

    Absolutely not, as with any measuring formula the Glycemic Index is prone to some fallacies. Some of these limitations are noted below

    Wide Spectrum Of Measurements

    Normally, the reported GI value of a carbs is the average of many test results. Because of this there are often conflicting reports on the GI of common foods. For example the common potatoe has been reported as low as 55 and as high as 100.

    Individual Glycemic Response

    Each one of our bodies is unique in it's processing of the food we intake. Each individuals rate of glycemic response, and conversely, insulin response is different, so although the GI is a useful tool it should not be religiously followed. The best method of utilizing the GI is to experiment to discover what your own bodies GI response is to craft the perfect "low GI diet" for you.

    Preparation

    The GI of any given carbohydrate can be modified, sometimes significantly, by the method of preparartion. Any significant processing such as cooking, boiling, baking, or grinding may alter the GI of the food. Also, combination with other foods may also alter the initial GI of both carbs. When foods are combined at times a 'mixed GI rating', an average of both the foods GI's can be implemented to rate the entire meal. However, this can also be misleading as often times the foods will have a synergistic effect and cause an overall higher glycemic response than either individual part may have had.

    How Should I Best Implement the GI

    Quite simply by using it as a guideline, and determining what is best for you. Many factors, such as the ones listed above have to be taken into account when determining which carbohydrates will most effectively allow you to put on LBM whilst keeping fat down. Consider your roomate who eats Burger King five times a week, drinks a two litre of Cola a day, and puts in minimal effort at the gym, yet still has an equal physique to you. Obviously, your individual insulin/glycemic resonse times greatly differ from eachother, and therefore have to eat greatly differing diets to maintain the same body. As said above a specifically tailored diet, implementing low GI foods, will allow you to most effectively use the Glycemic Index..

    Common Food Listing

    Food Glycemic Index

    Breads


    Bagel, white 103
    Hamburger bun 87
    Melba toast 100
    Oat bran bread 68
    Rye kernel bread 66
    Pumpernickel 71
    Rye flour bread 92
    Linseed rye bread 78
    Wheat bread, white 100
    Wheat bread, high fibre 97
    Wheat bread, gluten-free 129
    Wheat bread, wholewheat 99
    Wholewheat snack breads 105
    Pita, white 82
    Mixed grain bread 64

    Breakfast cereals

    All-bran 60
    All-bran with raisins 74
    Cocoapops 110
    Cornflakes 119
    Cream of wheat 100
    Muesli 80
    Oat bran 78
    Oatmeal 87
    Puffed wheat 105
    Rice bran 27
    Rice crispies 117
    Shredded wheat 99
    Special K 77

    Cereal grains

    Barley, pearled 36
    Barley, cracked 72
    Barley, rolled 94
    Bulgur wheat 68
    Couscous 93
    Maize meal 97
    Millet 101
    Sweet corn 78
    Rice, white 81
    Rice, Basmati 83
    Rice, brown 79
    Rice, instant, boiled for 6 min. 128
    Rice, instant, boiled for 1 min. 65
    Rice, parboiled 68
    Rice, wild 81
    Rye kernels 48
    Tapioca boiled with milk 115


    Cakes and biscuits


    Butter biscuits 79
    Cake, angel food 95
    Cake, banana loaf 67
    Cake, sponge 66
    Coffee cookies 113
    Crispbead 116
    Croissant 96
    Crumpet 98
    Digestive biscuits 84
    Doughnut 108
    Graham crackers 106
    Maizena cookies 95
    Muffins 88
    Oat cookies 79
    Pastry 84
    Pizza base with cheese 86
    Rice cakes 117
    Rye crispbread 93
    Shortbread 91
    Waffle 109
    Water biscuits 102
    Wheat crackers 96

    Drinks

    Cold drinks, sweetened 97
    Cordials 94
    Gatorade (energy drinks) 136

    Fruit and Fruit Juices

    Apple 52
    Apple juice 58
    Apricots, fresh 82
    Apricots, canned in syrup 91
    Apricots, dried 44
    Banana 76
    Cherries 32
    Fruit ****tail 79
    Grapefruit 36
    Grapefruit juice, unsweetened 69
    Grapes 62
    Kiwi fruit 75
    Mango 80
    Orange 62
    Orange juice 74
    Pawpaw 83
    Peach, raw 40
    Peach, canned 79
    Pear, raw 51
    Pear, canned 63
    Pineapple, raw 94
    Pineapple juice 66
    Plum 34
    Raisins 91
    Spanspek 93
    Sultanas 80
    Watermelon 103

    Legumes

    Baked beans, canned 69
    Beans, dry 40
    Broad beans 113
    Butter beans 44
    Chickpeas 47
    Chickpeas, canned 60
    Kidney beans 42
    Kidney beans, canned 74
    Lentils 41
    Lentils, green, canned 74
    Lima beans, frozen 46
    Soya beans 25
    Soya milk 43
    Split peas, boiled 45

    Milk and dairy products


    Ice cream 87
    Ice cream, low-fat 71
    Milk, whole 39
    Milk, skim 46
    Milk, chocolate 49
    Milk, chocolate (artificial) 34
    Custard 61
    Yoghurt, low-fat, fruit, sweetened with sugar 47
    Yogurt, low-fat, artificially sweetened 20
    Yoghurt, plain 51

    Pasta

    Fettucine 46
    Gnocchi 95
    Instant noodles 67
    Macaroni 64
    Macaroni and cheese 92
    Ravioli, meat filling 56
    Spaghetti, protein-enriched 38
    Spaghetti, white 59
    Spaghetti, durum 78
    Spaghetti, wholewheat 53
    Vermicelli 50

    Snacks and sweets


    Jelly beans 114
    Lifesavers 100
    Chocolate 70
    Chocolate bars 91
    Energy bars 81
    Maize snacks 105
    Muesli bars 87
    Popcorn 79
    Potato chips 77
    Peanuts 21
    Pretzels 116

    Soups

    Bean soup 92
    Green pea soup, canned 94
    Lentil soup, canned 63
    Split pea soup, homemade 86
    Tomato soup 54

    Sugars

    Honey 104
    Fructose 32
    Glucose powder 138
    Glucose tablets 146
    Maltose 150
    Sucrose (table sugar) 92
    Lactose 65
    High-fructose corn sugar 89
    Maltodextrin 107

    Vegetables


    Beetroot 91
    Carrots 101
    Parsnips 139
    Peas, dried 32
    Peas, green 68
    Potato, instant mash 118
    Potato, baked 121
    Potato, new 81
    Potato, boiled 80
    Potato, boiled, mashed 104
    Potato, microwaved 117
    Potato chips, deep-fried 107
    Pumpkin 107
    Sweet corn 78
    Sweet potato 77

    (List courtesy of Health24.com)
    Last edited by Mulletsoldier; 07-13-2006 at 05:13 PM.

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    Re: What is 'GI'


    Excellent post, succintly put. Thank you.
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    Re: What is 'GI'


    Good info thanks for putting it in one place.
    •   
       

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    BUMP!!! Great post Mullet!
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Mulletsoldier again.

    Good post Mullet!
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    very useful and efficent thread Mullet, thanks.
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    i eat Kraft minute brown rice.

    ingredients are: long grain brown rice

    i put it in a bowl w/ water and microwave for 10 mitues(90g's)

    now since i cook it this long does it shoot the GI way up or am i ok?

    FRom the chart
    Rice, brown 79
    Rice, instant, boiled for 6 min. 128
    Rice, instant, boiled for 1 min. 65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kato
    i eat Kraft minute brown rice.

    ingredients are: long grain brown rice

    i put it in a bowl w/ water and microwave for 10 mitues(90g's)

    now since i cook it this long does it shoot the GI way up or am i ok?

    FRom the chart
    Rice, brown 79
    Rice, instant, boiled for 6 min. 128
    Rice, instant, boiled for 1 min. 65
    Yes, any processing has the ability to significantly alter the glycemic index of your carbs. The longer you cook a pasta for example also raises it's GI.
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    I didn't realize oats were that high... Hmm...

    Good post Mullet!

    The Glycemic Index
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenMan
    I didn't realize oats were that high... Hmm...

    Good post Mullet!
    Alot of lists are different bro, and you always have to consider the glycemic load as well. Oats are hella high in fibre, meaning the digestable portion of the carbohydrate isn't that great. Subsequently, the response oats have are still very mediated within your body.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletsoldier
    Alot of lists are different bro, and you always have to consider the glycemic load as well. Oats are hella high in fibre, meaning the digestable portion of the carbohydrate isn't that great. Subsequently, the response oats have are still very mediated within your body.
    Lets also bear in mind that the TIMING of carbohydrate intake Ie; time of day, pre/post workout, activity level is very important as well, that being said, fiberous carbs are almost always the best choice. And (as I told one of my trainees recently) no, french fries are not a good pre workout meal,
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    Quote Originally Posted by cromwell
    Lets also bear in mind that the TIMING of carbohydrate intake Ie; time of day, pre/post workout, activity level is very important as well, that being said, fiberous carbs are almost always the best choice. And (as I told one of my trainees recently) no, french fries are not a good pre workout meal,
    Yeah, definitely a myriad of factors to be considered when making your choice of carbohydrates. GI is just another useful part of the puzzle.
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    Did you know that adding fat, vinegar or lemon juice to a meal will lower the glycemic index of the food your eating. Try using fresh lemon juice on your water when eating your meal, this will lower blood sugar. Cinnamon as well will lower blood sugar.
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    Wow. Those god damn rice cakes taste like hell and are so high in GI
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    [QUOTE=Mulletsoldier]Yeah, definitely a myriad of factors to be considered when making your choice of carbohydrates. GI is just another useful part of the puzzle.[/QUOTE
    You know, this is going to sound a little "seventies", but I am a firm believer in being in tune with your body and knowing how various foods affect you. For example, I love carbs but I can go without as long as i have to (want to ) anytime. I found however that I actually need more than the 50-100 grams (dieting) I was getting to function and grow best. I have been at this 20 years or so, and in the last 6-7 years diet has really become important. Personally I can hold pretty reasonable BF%, but it is hard for me to add any real muscle without reasonable carbs----to each their own though. If something bloats you or makes you hold too much water, avoid it(as long as you know its the culprit, and it takes a while to tune in that much)
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    Quote Originally Posted by cromwell
    If something bloats you
    Ugh that's broccolli for me. I LOVE steamed broc, but that stuff bloats me like you wouldn't believe. Like trying to pass a fire engine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TenMan
    Ugh that's broccolli for me. I LOVE steamed broc, but that stuff bloats me like you wouldn't believe. Like trying to pass a fire engine.

    Curious...are you eating it raw? There are a number of digestive (plant based) enzymes that could help. It is not an uncommon problem
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    Quote Originally Posted by cromwell
    Curious...are you eating it raw? There are a number of digestive (plant based) enzymes that could help. It is not an uncommon problem
    I steam/boil it. I'll look into the enzymes... any suggestions?
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    I know you don't wanna religiously maintain these restrictions, but just wondering what exactly is the basic idea...so if low gi is 55-0 and high is 70+ is the idea to stay below 55 or below 70?
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    Short History on GI

    The Glycemic Index was created by comparing the blood sugar levels of volunteers after eating different foods. After an overnight fast, volunteers ate a quantity of food that provided 50 grams of energy-providing carbohydrates. Nutritionists took blood samples from the volunteers at 15- to 30-minute intervals over the next 2 hours to ascertain the volunteer's blood sugar and insulin response to the test food. Nutritionists compared the results with the response caused by consuming 50 grams of pure carbohydrate (usually glucose). Nutritionists then gave each food a number depending on how fast the body absorbed the carbs -- the high the number, the faster the absorption. The number is called the food's Glycemic Index or GI.

    The Glycemic Index has three categories, and all foods fall into any one of the categories:

    * GI of less than 55 = Low GI

    * GI of 56-70 = Moderate GI

    * GI of 71-100 = High GI

    Just thought this short piece of info was pretty interesting.
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    A more accurate GI system


    Although the GI system is an ideal source for seeing how certain foods affect your blood sugar, there is a more accurate version called the GLYCEMIC LOAD, which isnt anything too different, just that its done with more realistic serving sizes pending on the food. The results are different, and my opinion a little more accurate. Its fairly new.
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    This is a good post, but it seems like the GIs for grains are higher then anything I've read before.
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    The information about GI is so helpful.Thank you.
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    Very helpful....gracias
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    Quote Originally Posted by doggzj View Post
    This is a good post, but it seems like the GIs for grains are higher then anything I've read before.
    I agree. I checked several other websites, including the official glycemic index website, and the values listed there are much lower than the ones listed in this thread.
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    haha fruit ****tail
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    I found a pretty good way to explain GI to a neophyte...

    Think of your body as a grocery store. Milk is glucose, muscles are the dairy department, fat is the meat department, and insulin is the stock boys.

    A milk truck comes in that has a bad refrigeration and the driver is in a hurry, so it must be unloaded immediately (high GI). The manager calls up all the extra stock boys, and they start moving milk as fast as they can. If its a normal day, demand for milk is not all that great, so the dairy dept. fills up quickly. Then, they decide to put some milk over in meat, and pull from there later.

    Now, if the demand for milk is huge that day (post workout), the stock boys keep feeding the dairy department. In fact, the manager decides to make room for some more milk, due to the high demand.

    If the truck is functioning, and the driver is in no hurry to unload (low GI), then the manager only calls one or two stock boys, and they load milk into the dairy department. They might have to put a couple gallons in the meat department, but for the most part, they just replace milk that has been bought by customers.

    Yeah, not perfect, but I finally got my wife to grasp GI.

    Toby
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    Glycemic load is more appropriate.
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    I am new so thanks for the info.
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    So basically, I should incorporate as many low GI foods in my daily diet as possible?
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    Hey, great post. One thing I have noticed about this list: the high GI foods seem to be much more palatable than the low GI ones. Like many other people on AM, I like to eat, a lot. But things like bagels and gatorade now appear worse than pure dextrose, so I'm not quite sure how to proceed.

    Rice bran has nearly as much fiber as carb, and I want people to see my progress, not smell it.

    With this in mind, I will pick out a few selections from each list that appear reasonably palatable and have a GI under 75...
    Mixed grain bread 64
    Cake, banana loaf 67
    Cake, sponge 66
    Rice, instant, boiled for 1 min. 65
    Apple 52
    Apricots, dried 44
    Spaghetti, white 59

    From this list, apricots look like a winner. 3 apricots contain: Total Carbohydrate 11g, Dietary Fiber 1g.

    I don't claim to be a nutrition expert, but apricots seem to pop out from this list as a food that is relatively low GI, and have a relatively low risk of causing gastrointestinal (the other GI) discomfort.

    That said, I will pick up some dried apricots next time I am at the health food store. Does anyone else have suggestions for low GI foods that taste good and don't have too much fiber?
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    delete
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    so for instance with pancakes, is whole/mixed grain(pancake mix) less GI than white pancake mix?
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    awesome post, thanks for the info!
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    Anyone know the GI of brown rice syrup????
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    Good read. Well worth a sticky.
  39. New Member
    coldseed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnegq22 View Post
    So basically, I should incorporate as many low GI foods in my daily diet as possible?
    ...other than post workout, YES!
  40. New Member
    nonidentity's Avatar
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    this is great, bc I always was confused by GI's.. but I don't exactly understand how I can implement this in my diet..
    morning meals "banana to kickstart things" then sweet potatoes as my complex carbs.
    after workout: maltodextrin, and dextrose for insulin spike. and no carbs after about 4-5 o'clock "while dieting". That's basically a breakdown of the carbs in my diet "I am meticulous about measurements but that doesn't apply here" so how would knowing this help? simple carbs hit your system fast in the morning, complex carbs throughout the day, and simple carbs post workout- isn't that enough info??
  

  
 

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