SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA. Researchers at the University of Melbourne have compiled an impressive listing of the glycemic index and glycemic load of more than 750 different types of food. The glycemic index (GI) is an indication of how quickly a carbohydrate food releases its glucose content into the bloodstream. It is determined by comparing blood glucose levels after ingesting the test food with blood glucose levels after ingesting a similar amount of pure glucose or white bread. In 1997 researchers at Harvard University introduced the concept of glycemic load. Glycemic load is the product of the amount of available carbohydrate in a standard serving of the food and the glycemic index of the food. Glycemic indices, on the white bread scale, vary from 147 for pure glucose (white bread = 100) to 10 for peanuts while glycemic loads (per standard serving) vary from 60 for some types of rice to 2 for yogurt. Several studies have shown that the chronic consumption of a diet with a high glycemic load is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
Foster-Powell, Kaye, et al. International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 76, July 2002, pp. 5-56
Editor's comment: This new table is a must for dieticians and anyone interested in achieving and maintaining optimum health. It needs to be used with caution though. Many foods with a low glycemic load are very high in fats.