The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of five commonly consumed foods of the South Pacific.Pac Health Dialog. 2004 Mar; 11(1):47-54.PH
Glycemic index (GI) has been widely used in the management of blood sugar levels among diabetes however; in the South Pacific very little information regarding the GI of local foods is made available. The objectives of this research were to determine the glycemic index and the glycemic load of 5 South Pacific foods, which have not been studied. The foods tested were plantain (Musa AAB), tannia (Xanthosoma sagittifolium), roti or chappati, homemade pancake and Lees cabin crackers. Glucose powder mixed in 200 mL of water was used as reference food. Eight apparently healthy indigenous Fijian males from the Fiji Military Forces aged 25-36 years old were recruited for this study. Participants were given a 50 g carbohydrate portion of the test foods to ingest after a 10-12 hour fast the night before the test and the standard reference food were administered to participants on different days for comparison. In the morning, capillary blood samples were drawn from the fingers at 0 min, 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 minutes postprandially and the blood glucose level was determined. The equation of Wolever using computer software was used to calculate the glycemic index and the glycemic load was calculated using the formular provided in the Harvard Health Online. The results showed that individuals respond to foods differently thus affecting the GI average values. The glycemic index has been categorized by Miller as low GI is pounds 55, moderate GI is between 56-69 and high GI is > or = 70. All the five carbohydrate foods understudy have moderate GI values ranging from 59 to 68. The Glycemic Load (GL) for cabin biscuit was the highest.