The Glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of the 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. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid level in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because the help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.
Recent studies from Harvard school of Public Health indicate that the risks of diseases such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease are strongly related to the GI of the overall diet. IN 1999, the World Health organization (WHO) and food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recommended that people in industrialized countries base their diets on low GI foods in order to prevent the most common diseases of affluence, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.