Factors affecting the glycemic index of foods


Several factors affect the glycemic index of a food:

Nutrient content: Adding protein or fat to a meal can slow down digestion and lower the glycemic index of the food.

Cooking method: Preparation and cooking techniques can affect the glycemic index. In general, the longer the food is cooked, the faster its sugar is digested and absorbed and its glycemic index increases.

Starch structure: Starch is a carbohydrate that contains 2 molecules of amylase and amylopectin. Amylase is difficult to digest; While amylopectin is easily digested. Foods with high amylase have a lower glycemic index.


Type of Carbohydrate Refinement: Carbohydrate processing methods such as milling can affect amylase and amylopectin molecules and raise their glycemic index. In general, the more processed a food is, the higher its glycemic index.

The type of sugar in food: It is a misconception that all sugars have the same glycemic index; Whereas, for example, the glycemic index for fructose (fruit sugar) is 23 and for maltose (barley sprout sugar) is 105. With this account, the glycemic index of foods partially depends on the type of sugar.

Ripeness of the fruit: Unripe fruits contain complex carbohydrates that turn into sugar as the fruit ripens. The more ripe the fruit, the higher its glycemic index; For example, the glycemic index of an unripe banana is 30, while the glycemic index of a ripe banana is 48.

The amount of carbohydrates is also important

The effect of food on raising blood sugar depends on 3 factors: their type of carbohydrates, their nutrient content, and the amount consumed. For this reason, since the glycemic index does not include the amount of food consumed, it cannot be a comprehensive title. To solve this problem, another title called glycemic load (GL) has been defined.