Glycemic index and glycemic load of commercial Italian foods

F. Scazzina, M. Dall'Asta, M. C. Casiraghi, S. Sieri, D. Del Rio, N. Pellegrini, F. Brighenti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aim: The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are useful parameters in the nutritional classification of carbohydrate foods. Diets characterized by a low GI and/or a low GL have been repeatedly and independently associated with decreased risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases. The aim of this study is to report the GI and GL value of carbohydrate-rich foods available on the Italian market and mostly consumed in Italy. Methods and results: GI values were determined according to FAO/WHO (1997) and ISO (2010). Overall, the 141 commercial foods that were analyzed represent food categories that are the source of >80% carbohydrate intake in Italy. The food items chosen were based mainly on the market share of the brand within each food category and grouped into 13 food categories: 1) beverages: fermented milk drink, juice, smoothie, soft drink; 2) biscuits; 3) breads; 4) bread substitutes; 5) breakfast cereals; 6) cakes and snacks; 7) candy and confectionery; 8) cereals; 9) desserts and ice-creams; 10) marmalade and jam; 11) pasta; 12) pizza; 13) sugar and sweetener. Conclusion: This database of commercial Italian foods partly overcomes the lack of information on GI and GL of local foods, contributing to a better understanding of the association between GI/GL and health and providing a more informed choice to Italian consumers and health practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-429
Number of pages11
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2016


  • Database
  • Glycemic index
  • Glycemic load
  • Italian commercial foods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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