Making Sense of the Glycemic Index

Mid-October, I went to the DiabetesSisters Weekend for Women convention Alexandria, Virginia. (See my disclaimer at the finish.) One of the excellent displays I attended was Thriveabetes 2016 speaker Gary Scheiner’s presentation on “Making use of the Glycemic Index.” This shouldn’t be a shock to anybody who has learn Gary’s guide “Think Like a Pancreas.”

I will probably be sincere right here. When I heard the phrases “Glycemic Index,” I pretended I didn’t. And the cause is that a number of years in the past, when it grew to become a factor that was related to diabetes administration, I attempted to study however I discovered it utterly and completely complicated. So I went to Gary’s speak as a skeptic.

But! As at all times Gary places the info collectively nicely. See his weblog posts right here.

He began by saying that the glycemic index (GI) is the velocity glucose enters the blood in the first two hours. It doesn’t measure how briskly meals enter the blood as glucose past that or how lengthy it takes in any respect. A-ha! Okay, so glycemic index is helpful info for first two hours. I really feel exonerated now.

This is massively related to my diabetes administration as a result of I do know that my speedy performing insulin peaks in roughly 2 hours and that I would want further insulin doses after that to cowl the glucose launched into my blood after the two hours.

The glycemic index is measured from zero to 100. The nearer to 100 a meals is, the increased its glycemic index is and the faster the glucose hits your blood.

making sense of the glycemic index - Making Sense of the Glycemic Index


Here is a snapshot of the different issues I discovered:

  • A combined meal (i.e., a meal with protein, carbohydrates and/or fats) gravitates in the direction of the carb. Meaning your physique will course of that first, albeit slower than if it was simply carbs. So I would have to take a post-meal dose of insulin along with my pre-meal dose.
  • If you may have a low GI meals earlier than your meal, it should decelerate the comply with up starch in your meal. This is absolutely good to know! Bring on the peanuts earlier than the pasta or pizza.
  • Larger parts take longer to digest. This isn’t new info to me however I suppose I at all times underestimate simply how flippin’ lengthy it takes.
  • Time since your final meal impacts the glycemic index. If you might be nonetheless processing your meals from the final meal, it’s going to decelerate glucose absorption much more.

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Some further items of info not associated to glycemic index however beneficial:

  • Don’t belief your CGM if you find yourself recovering from a low. The lag time is in full power.
  • Insulin on board pump characteristic doesn’t take into consideration the meals on board. As talked about in the earlier paragraph, if you’re nonetheless digesting meals, chances are you’ll have to override the insulin on board advice.
  • Insulin resistance can occur if in case you have a meal with lots of fats.
  • Protein to insulin components = ½ the complete of protein grams and deal with as carbs.
  • Amylin/Symlin is a hormone that slows gastric emptying. People who don’t have insulin don’t have amylin both so stomachs course of meals extra shortly.
  • Victoza is a GLP-1 injectable medicine and reduces glucagon secretion; slows down the absorption of meals.

In abstract, glycemic index vital to individuals with diabetes as a result of:

  • Satiety. Low glycemic index meals aid you really feel full for longer.
  • Helps with the timing of insulin. For instance, if a meal or snack goes to have a excessive glycemic index then you may take your insulin 15 – 20 minutes beforehand to present it a head begin.
  • Helps keep away from post-meal spikes.

So, I’m glad that I discovered all of this and I’m glad that I don’t should waste any extra of my time making an attempt to determine it out as a result of it makes extra sense to me now. And it could assist me to know the glycemic index of a meals I’ve by no means tried earlier than in order that I can determine methods to ship my insulin (pre-meal, at meal, or prolonged bolus).

Disclaimer: Diabetes Sisters paid for my convention registration and lodging but in addition gave me a contribution in the direction of my journey prices. All they requested for in return was that I’d write a weblog submit about the convention which I needed to do anyway as a result of I discovered a lot that must be shared. And I wrote right here about how I used to be chosen.

Photo Credit: Grainne Flynne

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