Nutrition Glossary

   

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Glucose

Glucose is a monosaccharide (a sugar). Carbohydrate containing foods are broken down during digestion into glucose. The body’s cells use glucose to make energy to fuel the body. Sometimes the words blood glucose and blood sugar are used interchangeably.

Gluten

Gluten is a type of protein found in cereal plants like wheat, barely, rye, triticale and oats. For some people, gluten is an allergen.

Glycemic Index (GI)

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrate containing foods according to the effect they have on blood glucose levels. Low GI carbohydrates are broken down by the body slower and result in a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. High GI carbohydrates are broken down more quickly and result in more rapid increase in blood sugar levels. A GI of less than 55 is considered low, 56-69 is considered medium GI and a GI of 70 or over is considered high. Low GI foods are useful for everyone, and particularly for those with type two diabetes mellitus, to help with control of blood glucose levels. High GI foods can be useful for sportspeople as a more rapid source of glucose to fuel working muscles. GI is best used to compare foods with similar carbohydrate contents, such as comparing one bread with another or one breakfast cereal with another cereal.

Glycemic Load (GL)

Glycemic load, like GI (Glycemic Index), is a way of ranking carbohydrate containing foods. However, the glycemic load takes into account both the GI of the food and the amount of carbohydrate in a serve of the food.

GL= (GI X carbohydrate per serve (g)) / 100

A GL of 20 or more is high, a GL of 11 to 19 inclusive is medium, and a GL of 10 or less is low.

Because it takes into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food, the GL is best used to determine the overall impact on blood glucose levels of foods of different types.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)

Genetically modified organisms are organisms that have been modified via the introduction of genetic material and proteins from another source. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) regulates the sale of all genetically modified (GM) food in Australia and New Zealand. All foods produced using GM technology must undergo a pre-market safety assessment and mandatory labelling requirements.