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Glycaemic Index (GI)

The breakdown of carbohydrates during digestion can be measured on the glycaemic index (GI). The GI is a scale of how foods rank in the way they affect blood glucose levels; they are rated as high, medium and low.

The higher the GI, the quicker the glucose is released into the blood stream, which results in a rise in blood sugar levels, this also means that your glucose level will fall faster which may lead you to feel tired and hungry quicker.

The lower the GI level, the more slowly glucose is released into the blood stream which provides a gradual sustainable source of energy. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels constant and help you feel fuller for longer.

Refined carbohydrates such as white bread generally have a high GI. Unrefined carbohydrates such as oats, wholegrain bread, fruits and vegetables, are nutritionally rich in vitamins minerals and fibre, and usually (but not always) have a medium to low GI.

Low GI foods: Apples, dried apricots, cherries, grapefruit, peaches and plums; avocados, courgettes, leafy greens, mushrooms and peppers; baked beans, chick peas, kidney beans, lentils and all pulses; natural honey and milk.

Medium GI foods: Grapes, kiwi fruit, mangoes and oranges; raw carrots, boiled and sweet potatoes; pitta bread, rye bread, white and brown rice; noodles, oats and pasta.

High GI foods: Bananas, pineapple and raisins; cooked carrots, parsnips, baked and mashed potatoes and squash; white bread, wholemeal bread, rice cakes and cous cous; sugar and honey.

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