Glycemic Index Limitations

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

The glycemic index is a useful tool in the effective planning of meals to prevent “spikes” in the blood glucose level after meals.

Foods with a low glycemic index release glucose into the blood slowly and steadily, therefore ensuring the blood glucose level remains relatively constant. Preventing sharp increases in the blood glucose level is thought to help prevent several diseases such as coronary heart disease and type II diabetes.

However, there are limitations to bear in mind when calculating the glycemic index of foods and planning meals.

Some examples of these limitations are described below:

  • The glycemic index only concerns the relative rise of blood sugar after a meal and not other bodily responses such as the insulin response. The insulin response to a meal can be measured using the insulin index.
  • One of the major drawbacks of glycemic index is that the glycemic response to a particular food varies between individuals as well from day to day and even throughout different points in the day.  
  • The glycemic index of different types of foods can vary according to several factors. For example, the ripeness of a fruit may influence its glycemic index as can the variety of fruit and the preparation method used.
  • Glycemic index is only based on the glycemic response two hours after a meal and not periods after that. In most diabetics, the blood sugar may be raised persistently for up to four hours after a meal.



Further Reading

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Written by

Dr. Ananya Mandal

Dr. Ananya Mandal is a doctor by profession, lecturer by vocation and a medical writer by passion. She specialized in Clinical Pharmacology after her bachelor's (MBBS). For her, health communication is not just writing complicated reviews for professionals but making medical knowledge understandable and available to the general public as well.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Mandal, Ananya. (2023, July 14). Glycemic Index Limitations. News-Medical. Retrieved on April 22, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Mandal, Ananya. "Glycemic Index Limitations". News-Medical. 22 April 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Mandal, Ananya. "Glycemic Index Limitations". News-Medical. (accessed April 22, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Mandal, Ananya. 2023. Glycemic Index Limitations. News-Medical, viewed 22 April 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Fenugreek seeds: A superfood for health and wellness, says new review