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glycaemic index

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University of Windsor
Chemistry and Biochemistry

Glycaemic Index (GI)  Effect of 50g carbohydrates on blood glucose levels o Thus, how much and how quickly glucose is released from food o 50g of glucose → GI = 100  Low GI (<55) - slow release of glucose/energy from food  High GI (>70) o Factors that affect GI  Branching of starch (more bonds → takes longer to digest → lower GI)  Fibres and vinegar (lowers pH) slow down absorption of starch  Low GI food (fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice) o Complex/intrinsic sugars o Contain large carbohydrates (starch)  Made up of many bonds that need to be broken  Blood glucose levels rise and fall slowly  Glucose is converted to glycogen (storage compound) in the liver  Keeps blood glucose levels constant o Prevents disease and improves control of blood glucose in diabetics  High GI food (Lucozade, white bread, croissants, candy) o Simple/extrinsic sugars o Contain small carbohydrates (glucose)  Easy to digest and quickly absorbed from the gut  Rapid and prolonged rise of blood glucose levels  This releases large amounts of insulin from the pancreas  Not enough time to convert all glucose to glycogen  Glucose is stored as fat instead (→obesity) o High glucose levels can damage arteries (atherosclerosis) o Sharp rise of insulin may cause sudden drop of blood glucose  Stimulates hunger (→obesity)  Tiredness  Loss of concentration Glycaemic Load (GL)  Better indicator than GI alone o Small amount of high GI food has same effect as high amount of low GI food o Takes into account complexity (GI) and amount of sugar in food  GL = grams of carbohydrates x [GI / 100] o High GL (>20) o Low GL (<10) Diet and Disease Processed Foods  Raw food (bread, cereals, biscuits, cakes, pastries) is altered to improve its taste  Account for 75% of children’s salt intake  Rich in salt, simple sugars and fat (→obesity)  Food labels identify unhealthy food o Traffic light system  Red = high amount  Yellow = medium amount  Green = low amount o Guideline daily amounts (GDAs) system  Labels show amounts in one serving  Those are compared to guideline daily amounts Food Additives  Given an E number when it has passed safety tests  Make food
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