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Bread and the glycemic index The glycemic index rates foods on a scale of 1 to 100 based on how the foods affect your blood glucose levels. A rating of less than 55 is considered low 56 to 69 medium and 70 plus high. Bread ranges from 34 to 73 or more depending on the kind of grains used to make it. Bread with a low rating will be broken down more slowly in your gut giving you a steady increase in your blood sugar level. Bread with a GI value of 70 or more will cause your blood glucose to spike ie to surge and then drop suddenly. Labels for bread do not usually show whether bread has a low GI value. However you can usually estimate whether the GI value is low or not by checking the ingredients. These are usually listed in descending order by weight.
You also need to avoid breads made with shortening unless the fat content is less than 3% by weight as well as all fried breads such as Indian puri. This still leaves you with plenty of breads you can eat and still beat your diabetes. Breads diabetics can eat Whole-grain breads usually have low GI values (less than 56). Regular whole-grain bread has a GI value of about 51 while the rating for pumpernickel is about 50. Barley bread (if you can find it) is very dense and has a GI value of about 34 while wheat tortillas have a rating of about 30. Thus as a diabetic you can eat most wholemeal breads rye breads and crisp breads made from rye. You can also eat unleavened flatbreads such as whole-wheat Indian breads like roti and chapatti though you need to check the salt and fat content.
So if the first ingredient is whole-wheat flour it is likely that the bread has a lower GI value than bread for which refined flour is listed as the first ingredient. Sometimes the percentage by weight of each main ingredient is shown in brackets in the list and this information can be used to estimate whether the bread has a low GI value. Breads diabetics should avoid White rolls have a GI value of about 73 white loaf about 71 and baguettes a rating of 95 which is extremely high. Indeed to control your diabetes you need to avoid all white bread and also brown bread as it is essentially only coloured white bread. Other breads you need to avoid are quick breads such as Irish soda bread unless they are made from wholemeal flour breads with a high salt content and malted breads which usually have a high sugar content.