Factors Influencing the Glycemic Index (GI) Value of Foods
Structure of Carbohydrate, Fiber, Fat

Carbs in Food
Glycemic Index GI of Carbs
Glycemic Load of Carbs
GI Diet - Low GI Diet

Information About Carbs | Carbohydrates Guide | Low Carb Diets

Factors Influencing the Glycemic Index Value of Carbohydrates

Several factors influence how fast a particular carbohydrate food raises blood sugar. These factors include: the chemical and physical structure of the carbohydrate-food in question; how refined the carb is; how the carb is cooked; and also the presence of other substances which reduce either the potency of the body's digestive enzymes, or the speed of digestion.

Chemical Structure of the Carbohydrate

The body processes glucose very efficiently. (The glycemic index of glucose is 100.) But the body cannot easily metabolize fructose, a common monosaccharide in fruits, which is why fructose has a low GI of 23. Ordinary table sugar (sucrose), is a disaccharide made up of one molecule of glucose linked to one of fructose. Hence the glycemic index of table sugar is 65, midway between 23 and 100 in the medium-glycemic-index range.

Physical Structure of the Carbohydrate

The physical structure of the carbohydrate also affects its glycemic index value. For example, most breads are in the high range - not due to the chemical nature of wheat starch, but for two physical reasons.

(1) The fine particle size of wheat flour gives digestive enzymes great surface area to attack and metabolize the bread. (2) The surface area of bread is also increased by its puffed-out, fluffy structure. Result? The glycemic value of bread is significantly raised by these structural attributes.

How Refined is the Carbohydrate

One of the most important factors that determines the glycemic index of carbohydrate foods, is how refined or processed the carbs are. In general, refined or processed carbs have had most of their 'natural' fiber and other 'inconvenient' constituents (eg. which may affect the food's shelf-life) removed. Result? The carbohydrate is incapable of resisting the digestive enzymes and is rapidly metabolized into glucose.

How Carbohydrates are Cooked or Prepared

Pasta has a medium-glycemic-index value of 40-50. This can be further reduced by cooking it less (al dente). This is because al dente pasta resists the effect of digestive enzymes more than regular cooked pasta and so has a lower GI.

Fiber Slows Down Metabolism of Carbs and Their Digestion

Fiber (either in the carbohydrate itself or in the stomach) protects the starchy carbohydrate from rapid attack by digestive enzymes, or slows digestion in the digestive tract. Either of these consequences will slow down the conversion of the carbohydrate to glucose.

Fat and/or Acid Slows Down Metabolism of Carbs and Their Digestion

The more fat or acid a carbohydrate food contains, (or, the more fat or acid in the stomach, during digestion) the slower the carbohydrate food is converted to glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream. The presence of fat and/or acid retards the emptying of the stomach.

Carbs and Glycemic Response
Carbohydrates Information
Complex Carbs Guide
Facts About Carbohydrates
Dietary Fiber
Digestion of Carbs
Blood Glucose Levels
Glucose into Energy
Glycemic Index Food Chart
Glycemic Index - How Measured?
What Affects Glycemic Value?
Glycemic Value of a Meal
Health Effects of High GI Carbs
Glycemic Index Food Pyramid
GI Diet Recipes
GI Diet Foods
GI Diet Menu
Low GI Diet Recipes

Glycemic Index (GI)
GI Diet Plan
GI Diet Book
GI Diet Forum
GI Values in Carbohydrates
GI Value For Beans
GI Value For Bread
GI Value For Cereal
GI Value For Dairy Food
GI Value For Drinks
GI Value For Fruit
GI Value For Meat/Fish
GI Value For Nuts
GI Value For Snacks
GI Value For Starchy Carbs
GI Value For Sugar
GI Value For Vegetables
GI Value For Whole Grains

Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes Information
Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes Test
Diabetes Treatment
Diabetes Management
Diabetes Health Problems
Diabetes and Weight Loss
Gestational Diabetes
Pre-Diabetes Guide
Hyperglycemia - High Blood Glucose
Hypoglycemia - Low Blood Glucose
Diabetes, Carbs and Diet
Diabesity, Diabetes and Obesity

Hormone to Reduce Blood Glucose
Insulin Information
Insulin Controls Blood Glucose
Hyperinsulimia - High Insulin Levels
Blood Glucose Monitor/Meter
Insulin and the Brain
Insulin and Obesity
Types of Insulin
Long Acting Insulin
Intermediate Acting Insulin
Rapid Acting Insulin
Short Acting Insulin
Insulin Resistance
Insulin Resistance, Obesity, Carbs
Insulin Resistance Syndrome

Carbs-Information.com provides general information about the glycemic index (GI), glycemic load (GL), low GI diets, GI value for all food groups, health problems of high blood glucose including metabolic disorders such as pre-diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinism as well as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But no information is intended as a substitute for medical advice. Copyright 2003-2021.