Glycaemic index and glycaemic load of selected popular foods consumed in Southeast Asia

Lijuan Sun, Davina Elizabeth Mei Lee, Wei Jie Kevin Tan, Dinesh Viren Ranawana, Yu Chin Rina Quek, Hui Jen Goh, Christiani Jeyakumar Henry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of the present study was to determine the glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) values of standard portion sizes of Southeast Asian traditional foods. A total of fifteen popular Southeast Asian foods were evaluated. Of these foods, three were soft drinks, while the other twelve were solid foods commonly consumed in this region. In total, forty-seven healthy participants (eighteen males and twenty-nine females) volunteered to consume either glucose at least twice or one of the fifteen test foods after a 10-12 h overnight fast. Blood glucose concentrations were analysed before consumption of the test food, and 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and 120 min after food consumption, using capillary blood samples. The GI value of each test food was calculated by expressing the incremental area under the blood glucose response curve (IAUC) value of the test food as a percentage of each participant's average IAUC value, with glucose as the reference food. Among the fifteen foods tested, six belonged to low-GI foods (Ice Green Tea, Beehoon, Pandan Waffle, Curry Puff, Youtiao and Kaya Butter Toast), three belonged to medium-GI foods (Barley Drink, Char Siew Pau and Nasi Lemak), and the other six belonged to high-GI foods (Ice Lemon Tea, Chinese Carrot Cake, Chinese Yam Cake, Chee Cheong Fun, Lo Mai Gai and Pink Rice Cake). The GI and GL values of these traditional foods provide valuable information to consumers, researchers and dietitians on the optimal food choice for glycaemic control. Moreover, our dataset provides GI values of fifteen foods that were not previously tested extensively, and it presents values of foods commonly consumed in Southeast Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-848
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number5
Early online date26 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Glycaemic index
  • Glycaemic load
  • Southeast Asia


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