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Glycaemic Index in Fruits and Foodstuff

Probably the discussion on managing Blood Pressure (BP) and Blood Sugar (Diabetes) looks never-ending with different medical systems proclaiming divergent views on the subject. The traditional system practitioners from ancient Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy among many others are of the viewpoint that both, BP and sugar-related problems are health disorders and not diseases. However, the allopathy doctors continue to scare you warning that once diagnosed a hypertension and sugar patient, you need to be on pills for a lifetime. These days, it looks like the less you know the better for your peace of mind.

Immunologist comes up with a Lab test group: A renowned ENT specialist with more than 41 years of experience has formed a WhatsApp group to share information on the prevailing ailments to create awareness among the practising medical fraternity. There are 607 doctors in the group barring me, an illiterate in medical science. When pressed to use the content for public interest, he was too happy. But, when requested to be quoted he refused to oblige and agreed to use the information without quoting or referring him. He assures his patients with the highest quality healthcare as he is dedicated to the newest advancements and keeps up-to-date with the latest healthcare technologies.

Glycaemic Index and prescribed ranges: According to the Doctor: The glycemic (glycaemic) index is a number from 0 to 100 assigned to a portion of food, with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food. Diabetics must strictly stay away from foods with a glycemic index of more than 40. A food is considered to have a low GI if it is 55 or less; a mid-range GI if 56 to 69, high GI if 70 or more.

Glycaemic index of various foods:

Guava GI: 12
Strawberries. GI: 40
Pears GI: 33
Plums GI: 53
Apples GI: 44
Grapefruit GI: 26
Cashew GI: 25,
Almonds GI: 15
Walnuts. GI: 15
Pista. GI: 15
Plums GI: 40
Apricots GI: 32
Guava GI: 12
Tomatoes GI: 30,
Onion GI:10,
[MChicken, beef, fish, and eggs....GI: 0
wheat roti GI: 62
idli GI:60

GI depends upon quantity and type of carbohydrates: He informs: The GI of a specific food depends primarily on the quantity and type of carbohydrate it contains but is also affected by the amount of entrapment of the carbohydrate molecules within the food, the fat and protein content of the food, the amount of organic acids (or their salts) in the food, and whether it is cooked and, if so, how it is cooked. GI tables, which list many types of foods and their GIs, are available. A food is considered to have a low GI if it is 55 or less; a mid-range GI if 56 to 69, high GI if 70 or more.

Foods high in GI to avoid: He advises the following foodstuffs to avoid as they are all high in GI:
White and whole wheat bread.
White rice.
Breakfast cereals and cereal bars.
Cakes, cookies, and sweet treats.
Potatoes and fries.
Chips and rice crackers.
Fruits such as watermelon and pineapple.
Sweetened dairy products such as fruit yoghurts

Term introduced by David J Jenkins and co-workers: The term was introduced in 1981 by David J. Jenkins and co-workers. It is useful for quantifying the relative rapidity with which the body breaks down carbohydrates. It takes into account only the available carbohydrate (total carbohydrate minus fibre) in a food. The glycemic index does not predict an individual's glycemic response to a food but can be used as a tool to assess the insulin response burden of a food, averaged across a studied population. Individual responses vary greatly, says the Doctor.

Tend to have a low GI: He explains: Foods with carbohydrates that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream tend to have a high GI; foods with carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, tend to have a low GI. Foods that contain no carbs are not assigned a GI and include meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and oils.

Indicates the impact on Glucose: The glycemic index only indicates the impact on glucose levels two hours after eating the food. People with diabetes have elevated levels for four hours or longer after eating certain foods. The glycemic index only indicates the impact on glucose levels two hours after eating the food. People with diabetes have elevated levels for four hours or longer after eating certain foods. The body is so fine-tuned that even slight consumption of little high glycaemic foods can immediately show high blood sugar causing harm resulting in stroke, blindness, neuritis and limb amputation....beware, warns the learned and experienced Doctor.

-Manohar Yadavatti


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