Be conscious of the glycemic index in products consumed

THE high sugar intake among Malaysians is at an alarming rate and it is the main reason behind obesity and chronic diseases. Based on the recent case of Malaysians favourite chocolate malt drink that contains 40 percent of sugar– we should not just be wary of the level of sugar intake but also the value of Glycemic Index (GI) that is stated on every product.

WHAT is a GI? GI is the relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.

It is measured on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the ability of carbohydrates to raise the blood sugar (glucose) levels after eating.

Maintaining a lower value of GI is one of the secrets to long-term health as they reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. It is also the key to maintaining weight loss.

“Higher value of GI will have a direct impact in increasing the level of sugar and insulin in the blood.”

This is due to the fact that sugar gives away a high amount of GI which will later cause health problems.

For those who are healthy, higher GI may cause obesity while those who are facing health issues are susceptible for other types of diseases.

It may also lead to multiple organ dysfunction.

Patient will not be able to control their sugar levels when consuming products with a high level of GI even if the intake is only equivalent to one teaspoon.

There is no nutritionist or dietician including doctors that would agree consuming sweeten beverage is considered to be healthy however they might take a cautious approach by recommend-ing a moderate intake.

In conclusion, consuming products with high level of GI will forever not be considered as a healthy beverage.

On the bright sight, it will give you the energy that you need but it will take a huge toll on your health condition in the long run.

Frankly, most of us consume sweet beverages because of the sweetness not because of its health benefit.

Nonetheless, we are only talk-ing about one particular product and yet to move on the things that we take for lunch, dinner and supper.

Hence, I would like to advise the public to stop consuming sweetened food or beverages because we are not aware of the hidden sugar.

Even foods that are cooked at home contain sugar not to mention in cakes and pastries. Thus it would be wise to opt for healthy foods.

Currently the United States of America (USA) spends approximately RM743 million (USD190 million) a year to treat diabetes linked diseases and Malaysia might follow through the same scenario if serious actions are not taken.

Understanding that sugar is the root to all health condition, the America Heart Association only allows the intake of six to eight teaspoons of sugar which may vary according to age. – The HEALTH


Dr Zubaidi is a Central Committee PERDIM (Islamic Doctors Organisation Malaysia) member and serves at the Nusa Medical Clinic, Nusajaya, Johor as a general practitioner.
He can be reached at his Email: drzubaidiahmad at