Things that affect the GI of a food include:
- The other foods eaten at the same time- protein and fat can alter the absorption time
- Preparation of the food: cooked, uncooked, seasoned (i.e. al dente noodles have a lower GI than well cooked noodles)
- Your body's unique reaction to the food
- Ripeness (a ripened banana will have a higher GI index than an unripened one)
The GI index is a great tool as a general guideline, but nothing to look at as black and white. For example, carrots are a high GI food, but this doesn't mean you are going to have a large blood sugar spike and gain weight because you had some on your salad (despite what many fad diets may tell you). This isn't a reason to avoid carrots. Think about it this way. To eat 50 grams of carrots you would need to eat 10 cups in one sitting. You'd have to really love carrots to accomplish that. :-)
For a more accurate picture the GI load was introduced.
This is based on the carbohydrates in a typical serving size of that food. This allows us to get a clear picture that eating a cup of carrots or watermelon is not going to raise our blood sugar in comparison to eating 50 grams of that food. To find the GI load use the following equation:
GI value of a food x number of carbohydrates per serving = GI load
In the end it is a good tool to use as a guideline as it does promote more high fiber, whole foods while limiting the refined food products.
About the Bogger: