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Glycemic Index and Meals - Calculate Glycemic Index of Meal - Low to Reduce Harmful Effects of High GI Foods

Glycemic Index and Meals

Diet Information - What is the Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index and Meals

How to Calculate the Glycemic Index of a Meal

We do not eat measured portions of single-carbohydrate foods. We eat meals containing a combination of foods that contain varying amounts of carbs, plus protein, fat, fiber, and other micronutrients. The Glycemic Index applies only to the carbohydrate content of a meal, but even if this carb-content is divided across a number of different foods, we can still calculate the GI of a meal fairly easily.

  • Add up the total grams of carbohydrates in the meal.
  • Calculate the percentage of the carb-total contributed by each food.
  • Multiply the percentage contributed by each food by the food's GI.
  • For example, if your meal contains 60g carbohydrate and includes two slices of bread (26 grams of carbs), the bread accounts for 43 percent of the total. Since the GI for bread is about 70, calculate 43 percent of 70 - i.e. about 30.
  • Repeat this calculation for each source of carbs in your meal, then add the figures. This gives you the glycemic index of the whole meal.

How to Reduce the Glycemic Effect of a Meal

Because glycemic index only concerns carbs, if the only carbohydrate in a meal has a high GI, then the GI of the whole meal is high. For example, if the only carbohydrate in a meal is bread, the GI of that meal is 70. But you can reduce the glycemic effect of the meal in several ways, for example:

  • Include a low GI food like beans or berries.
  • Add vinaigrette or any acidic extra, like lemon juice.
  • Add a little olive oil.

Low Carb Diet Supporters Can Misrepresent Glycemic Index

Supporters of low-carb diets typically issue wholesale condemnations of high glycemic foods, like bread and potatoes, on the basis that high-GI foods cause blood-sugar spikes. Yet they conveniently ignore the fact that the glycemic effects of high-GI foods can be moderated - if not neutralised - by eating them together with low glycemic index foods in a balanced meal.

Related Glycemic Index Links

Low GI Diet
Low GI Diet Foods
Low-GI Diet Meals
Low GI Diet Snacks
How is Glycemic Index Measured
Glycemic Load
Glycemic Index Advice
Glycemic Index & Weight Loss
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Low GI Diets: Weight Loss Study
Glycemic Index: List of Foods
High GI Foods
Glycemic Index and Foods
What Determines Glycemic Index Values of Carbs
Effects of Fiber on Glycemic Index Value of Foods
Effect of Acid on Glycemic Index Value of Foods
Effects of Fat on Glycemic Index Value of Foods
Glycemic Index and Meals
Low GI Diet and Potatoes
GI Value of Rice, Potatoes, Pasta and Bread
GI Value of Carrots
GI Value of Sugar
Glycemic Index and Fruit
Glycemic Index and Diabetes
Carbs and Glycemic Index

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