What is the glycemic index?

Par  | 

Alexandra Retion Dietitian-Nutritionist tells us more about the glycemic index (GI)

The definition of the Glycemic Index is the ability of a food to increase blood sugar, that is, blood sugar levels.

So it's a way for you to know if the food you're eating is raising your blood sugar a lot or not.

You have to know that your body likes to have a stable blood sugar level. However, when you eat foods that contain carbohydrates, it causes a spike in blood sugar levels (an increase in blood sugar). To lower this level, the pancreas will produce insulin that will lower blood sugar levels.

Thanks to insulin, glucose will be used up right away by the cells that need it, or if it is in excess, it will be stored as fat in the body.

The diet with low GI will allow you to have a stable blood sugar level, so avoid these famous spikes in blood sugar levels. The benefits are that with a stable blood sugar level, it avoids storage in the form of fat and overstrain the pancreas.

There is a ranking of foods according to their glycemic index because they are not absorbed at the same speed in the body:

Very low GI

Low GI

Moderate Ig

Ig high


Between 35 and 50

Between 50 and 70


In general, it is advisable to give preference to foods with a very low to moderate glycemic index. Because for people with type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes, this avoids the spike in blood sugar levels (insulin injection to adapt accordingly). For people with type 2 diabetes, too but it also avoids storage in the form of fat. And finally for everyone, it helps to avoid overloading the pancreas, because if the body can no longer respond, we cause insulin resistance and therefore a risk of type 2 diabetes as well as weight gain.

There are factors that influence the glycemic index of foods:

What raises blood sugar levels:

Cooking = my advice: cook “Al Dente” starches

Industrial refining = my advice: limit ultra-processed foods and favor “homemade”

Overcooked foods (example overcooked pasta, heated in the microwave) = my advice: once cooked Al Dente, consume it cold the next day as a small mixed salad to avoid heating it

The liquid form (sugary drinks or soups) = my advice to favor chewable foods

The composition of the meal (protein, lipids, fiber) = my advice: always integrate during the meal a protein (animal or vegetable) + a good fat (olive oil, rapeseed) preferably uncooked) + fiber (thanks to vegetables or/ and whole foods)

A few examples in practice:

Give preference to:

wholegrain rice vs white rice

rye bread vs sliced bread

buckwheat flour vs wheat flour

wholemeal vs white flour

whole fruits vs juice fruits

whole spaghetti vs white spaghetti

sweet potato vs potato

The glycemic index is not the only thing to take into account, there is also the glycemic load or simply the nutritional quality of the food. You should not suppress anything, but simply use common sense, eat as balanced as possible with healthy foods.

Don't forget the physical activity that is very important for the balance of your body.


Dietitian-Nutritionist in Paris


fr flag
en flag
Version Audio / Podcast
Print Friendly and PDF

1 Commentaire


    14 décembre 2021 à 11 h 01 min

    J’ai découvert grâce à vous cette sensationnelle farine italienne à IG bas FiberPasta . Je me demande juste pourquoi vous ne l’utilisez pas plus, au lieu de vos mélanges compliqués : épeautre, lin, sarrasin, coco, etc …

    • Recettes Diabète et bien être

      14 décembre 2021 à 16 h 15 min

      cette farine n’est disponible que sur un site internet… je laisses plus de portes ouvertes !

Commentez !

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur comment les données de vos commentaires sont utilisées.




Cette participation me permettra de continuer à proposer gratuitement des recettes en couvrant les frais techniques et de préparation.
* Don Via Paypal pour Kiwiiboo /recette-pour-diabetique.com

80 recettes et tous les conseils nutrition pour se faire plaisir tout en maîtrisant son index glycémique

mes bowls express igbasAcheter en ligne:20€90