All foods that we eat contain energy and the amount of energy they contain and which is available to us is based on their composition and structure. The main components of foods are fat, protein, available carbohydrates, and/or fibre.
Foods which are mainly composed of fat, protein, available carbohydrates, and/or fibre, are more slowly broken down and give a sustained release of energy. However foods which contain a high sugar and/or carbohydrate that is readily digested are quickly broken down meaning that energy is rapidly available.
Glycaemic Response focuses on how quickly carbohydrate-rich foods are broken down in the gut and how quickly the energy from the carbohydrates present in these foods is released into the body’s blood stream as blood glucose for use throughout the whole body. How quickly this happens can be categorised by measurements of the body’s blood glucose levels.
Relative values for energy release to the body as blood glucose are determined using scientific tests which measure the effect of foods on blood glucose compared with the effect of glucose references.
The following information explains the different measures: