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Special Article

International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 20021,2
Kaye Foster-Powell, Susanna HA Holt, and Janette C Brand-Miller
ABSTRACT Reliable tables of glycemic index (GI) compiled from the scientific literature are instrumental in improving the quality of research examining the relation between GI, glycemic load, and health. The GI has proven to be a more usefulnutritional concept than is the chemical classification of carbohydrate (as simple or complex, as sugars or starches, or as available or unavailable), permitting new insights into the relation between the physiologic effects of carbohydrate-rich foods and health. Several prospective observational studies have shown that the chronic consumption of a diet with a high glycemic load (GI dietarycarbohydrate content) is independently associated with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. This revised table contains almost 3 times the number of foods listed in the original table (first published in this Journal in 1995) and contains nearly 1300 data entries derived from published and unpublished verified sources, representing > 750 differenttypes of foods tested with the use of standard methods. The revised table also lists the glycemic load associated with the consumption of specified serving sizes of different foods. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:5–56. KEY WORDS glycemic load Glycemic index, carbohydrates, diabetes, food choices. To promote good health, the committee advocated the consumption of a high-carbohydrate diet (≥ 55% of energyfrom carbohydrate), with the bulk of carbohydrate-containing foods being rich in nonstarch polysaccharides with a low GI. In Australia, official dietary guidelines for healthy elderly people specifically recommend the consumption of low-GI cereal foods for good health (3), and a GI trademark certification program is in place to put GI values on food labels as a means of helping consumers to selectlow-GI foods (4). Commercial GI testing of foods for the food industry is currently conducted by many laboratories around the world, including our own. Many recent popular diet books contain extensive lists of the GI values of individual foods or advocate the consumption of low-GI, carbohydrate-rich foods for weight control and good health (5). Reliable tables of GI compiled from the scientificliterature are instrumental in improving the quality of research examining the relation between the dietary glycemic effect and health. The first edition of International Tables of Glycemic Index, published in this Journal in 1995 with 565 entries (6), has been cited as a reference in many scientific papers. In particular, these tables provided the basis for the GI to be used a dietaryepidemiologic tool, allowing novel comparisons of the effects of different carbohydrates on disease risk, separate from the traditional classification of carbohydrates into starches and sugars. Several large-scale, observational studies from Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) indicate that the long-term consumption of a diet with a high glycemic load (GL; GI dietary carbohydrate content) is a significantindependent predictor of the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (7, 8) and cardiovascular disease (9). More recently, evidence has been accumulating that a low-GI diet might also protect against the development of obesity (10, 11), colon cancer (12), and breast cancer (13). The EURODIAB (Europe and Diabetes) study, involving > 3000 subjects with type 1 diabetes in 31 clinics throughout Europe, showedthat the GI rating of self-selected diets was independently related to blood concentrations of glycated hemoglobin in men and women (14)
1 From the Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences, University of Sydney, Australia. 2 Reprints not available. Address correspondence to JC Brand-Miller, Human Nutrition Unit, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences (G08),...
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