In our Diabetes Lifestyle Modification Program, we recently discussed the significance of glycaemic index (commonly abbreviated to GI) in diabetes management. Glycaemic Index is a measure of the time it takes the carbohydrate you eat to enter the bloodstream as sugar. There are different forms of GI, which can be further separated into two and sometimes three different categories: Low GI, Intermediate GI, and High GI. GI is measured on a scale of 0- 100 with anything lower than 55 classified as Low GI, 55-70 as Intermediate GI, and above 70 as High GI. For example, when reading a food label, if the product has 100 g of sugar per 100 g this would be pure sugar and would rate 100, or High on the GI scale.
Given the available information on the glycaemic index, it was to my amazement that a participant in our Diabetes Lifestyle Modification Program brought in a product called “LoGiCane” (marketed as low GI cane sugar), which they were using on their cereal twice a week. But a pure sugar product also being Low GI challenged logic! If the product has 99.4 g of sugar per 100 g, wouldn’t that indicate a High GI food? Apparently not. After some further research into the topic, I found some very interesting and very confusing information. During the milling process at CSR (the manufacturer of LoGiCane), each sugar granule is covered with a layer of polyphenols, an antioxidant full of fibre that slows the absorption of the sugar into our bloodstream, therefore resulting in LoGiCane’s classification as Low GI.
- Do we really need to be consuming even more heavily processed foods?
- How does the layer of polyphenol coating stay attached to the sugar during the digestive process?