Current Diabetes Reports

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 120–127 | Cite as

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load of Carbohydrates in the Diabetes Diet

  • Kate Marsh
  • Alan Barclay
  • Stephen Colagiuri
  • Jennie Brand-MillerEmail author


Medical nutrition therapy is the first line of treatment for the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and plays an essential part in the management of type 1 diabetes. Although traditionally advice was focused on carbohydrate quantification, it is now clear that both the amount and type of carbohydrate are important in predicting an individual’s glycemic response to a meal. Diets based on carbohydrate foods that are more slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolized (i.e., low glycemic index [GI] diets) have been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, whereas intervention studies have shown improvements in insulin sensitivity and glycated hemoglobin concentrations in people with diabetes following a low GI diet. Research also suggests that low GI diets may assist with weight management through effects on satiety and fuel partitioning. These findings, together with the fact that there are no demonstrated negative effects of a low GI diet, suggest that the GI should be an important consideration in the dietary management and prevention of diabetes.


Glycemic index Glycemic load Diabetes Carbohydrate 


Conflicts of interest

K. Marsh: receives royalties from Hachette Australia as a co-author of three books on low GI diets; A. Barclay: is a board member and a consultant for Glycemic Index Ltd., is an employee for the Australian Diabetes Council, and receives royalties from the New Glucose Revolution for diabetes for book sales; S. Colagiuri: none; J. Brand-Miller: receives book royalties for The New Glucose Revolution series, is the director of a glycemic index testing service at the University of Sydney, and is the president of the Glycemic Index Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kate Marsh
    • 2
  • Alan Barclay
    • 3
  • Stephen Colagiuri
    • 4
  • Jennie Brand-Miller
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Molecular Bioscience and Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and ExerciseThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Northside Nutrition & DieteticsChatswoodAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Diabetes CouncilGlebeAustralia
  4. 4.Metabolic Health, Faculty of Medicine, Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition and ExerciseThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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