Thursday 19th of July 2018
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High and Low GI Effects of the Body PDF Print E-mail

In an effort to keep blood glucose levels as near to normal as possible, the body will sensitize the pancreas to produce a surge of insulin to take care of the huge increase in blood glucose levels.  This extra insulin then rapidly lowers blood glucose levels, creating a “witches hat” type of graph. Blood glucose levels surge up the one side of the “witches hat” and then come screaming down the other side.   If this surge in glucose is repeated several times a day, the pancreas will eventually over-produce insulin and the consequent drop in blood glucose levels could then result in reactive hypoglycaemia, and / or type 2 diabetes.

 

High GI Graph

 

Low GI foods, on the other hand, are digested and absorbed slowly, but steadily, and thus only produce small increases in blood glucose levels.  Please see Graph 2 below.

Low GI Graph

This also means that the body only needs a small, steady stream of insulin to control the small increase in blood glucose levels. From the graphs, it is clear that the carbohydrate supplied by the bread would only give fuel to the body cells for about 45 minutes, whereas the baked beans would give a smaller, but steady trickle of fuel for  2½  - 3 hours.

Thus a meal containing baked beans would give much better blood glucose control and keep one feeling full for much longer than a meal based on bread. In addition, the body would need much less insulin to deal with the carbohydrate from the baked beans, than for the large amount of carbohydrate that is dumped into the blood stream by the bread.

 
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