Glycemic Index

Last Updated: February 22, 2019

Definition - What does Glycemic Index mean?

Glycemic index (GI) is a classification of different foods illustrating their carbohydrate content according to a numerical value formula that corresponds to a low, moderate, or high GI designation serving as a benchmark for digestibility of glucose (blood sugar) in the body. While carbohydrates are primary elements to any diet, GI represents a cumulative amount of glucose intake that regulates homeostatic functions and processes in promoting good health.

WorkplaceTesting explains Glycemic Index

Glycemic index is an effective means of gauging the metabolic rate at which carbohydrates convert into sugar, assisting people in their dietary selection. However, many foods contain equal carbohydrates with discrete GI values that appear on package labels, which may not be consistent with an individual’s health needs. For instance, patients with diabetes do not produce sufficient insulin, a biochemical hormone that tempers blood sugar levels, hampering the physiological breakdown of sugar into energy from high GI food consumption.

Elevated glucose levels can have epidemiological ramifications where individuals become candidates for blindness, kidney failure, and cardiovascular disease. Independent variables including age, activity level, overall metabolism and daily allotment of calories, minerals, and nutrients in a particular diet are also crucial aspects where GI levels can fluctuate. Moreover, glycemic load is an adjunct metric to quantify portions of a person’s diet coinciding to the number of carbohydrates found in certain foods as a way to maintain healthy GI levels.

While high glycemic levels are detrimental to health, research studies conclude that psychosocial stressors in the workplace can compound the etiological implications related to diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and obesity. Because many people lead sedentary lifestyles, coupled with the convenience of eating refined and processed foods with high GI values, the morbidity rate for diseases remains a prominent issue. Incidentally, employers can face financial setbacks with marked absenteeism, increased medical liabilities, and job productivity deficits.

Share this:

Connect with us

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of employment testing and employee wellness professionals.