What is the Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrate foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. The blood glucose response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream and have low glycemic indexes.
When you eat a slice of bread, the flour from the bread breaks down into sugar. The same thing happens when you eat a piece of fruit, drink a glass of milk or eat a chocolate bar. Each of these foods contains a different kind of sugar. Fructose is a sugar in fruit, lactose is found in milk and sucrose is found in a candy bar. All of these sugars are broken down during digestion and provide you with energy.
The speed at which a food is able to increase a person's blood glucose levels is the glycemic response. The glycemic response is influenced by many factors. Some factors may be the amount of food you eat, how the food is processed or the way the food is prepared. For example, pasta cooked 'al dente' (firm) is absorbed more slowly than pasta that is overcooked.
You can make this very difficult or simplify it. Simply, eating more low glycemic foods instead of high glycemic foods will have positive changes in your life.
What are the consequences of low GI foods?
- A smaller rise in blood glucose levels after meals
- Help people in weight loss
- Improve the body's sensitivity to insulin
- Help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise
- Improved control of diabetes
- Keep you fuller for longer after eating
- Prolong your physical endurance
Basics of a low GI Diet
- Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
- Use "grainy" breads made with whole seeds
- Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
- Enjoy all types of fruit and vegetables (except potatoes)
- Eat plenty of salad vegetables with vinaigrette dressing
- Reduce simple sugars – man-made products from your diet
- Limit fruit juice in your diet
These values are just guides to help you make choices between foods. Talk to us about how to apply these guides to your daily life.
|All Bran||51||chocolate bar||49||cheese tortellini||50||baked||44|
|Bran Buds||45||corn chips||72||fettuccini||32||black, boiled||30|
|Bran Flake||74||croissant||67||linguini||50||butter, boiled||33|
|corn chex||83||graham crackers||74||spagh, 5min||33||garbanzo, boiled||34|
|cornflakes||83||jelly beans||80||spagh, 15min||44||kidney, boiled||29|
|wheat, crm||66||life savers||70||spagh, prot enr||28||kidney, canned||52|
|frost flake||55||oatmeal cookie||57||vermicelli||35||lentils||30|
|grapenuts||67||pizza, plain||60||Soups/Vegetables||lima, boiled||32|
|life||66||pizza hut, supr||33||beets, canned||64||navy beans||38|
|muesli||54||popcorn light||55||black bean soup||64||pinto, boiled||39|
|nutri-gran||66||potato chips||56||carrots, boil||49||red lentils, boiled||27|
|oatmeal||48||pound cake||54||corn, sweet||56||soy, boiled||16|
|puffed wheat||67||power bars||58||green pea soup||66||Breads|
|raisin bran||73||pretzels||83||green pea, frozen||47||bagel, plain||72|
|rice chex||89||saltine cracker||74||lima beans, frozen||32||baquette, french||95|
|shredded wheat||67||shortbrd, cookie||64||parsnips||97||croissant||67|
|special k||54||snickers bar||41||peas, boiled||48||dark rye||76|
|total||76||strawberry jam||51||split pea soup||66||hamburger bun||61|
|Fruit||vanilla wafers||77||tomato soup||38||Muffins|
|apple||38||wheat thins||67||Drinks||apple, cin||44|
|grapefruit||25||wheat thin||67||pineapple juice||46||sourdough||54|
|grapes||46||Cereal Grains||Milk Products||rye||64|
|orange||43||bulgar||48||ice cream, van||60||Root Crops|
|papaya||58||couscous||65||ice milk, van||50||french fries||75|
|peach||42||cornmeal||68||skim milk||32||pot, new, boiled||59|
|pear||58||millet||71||soy milk||31||pot, red, baked||93|
|pineapple||66||Sugars||tofu frozen dest||115||pot, sweet||52|
|plums||39||fructose||22||whole milk||30||pot, white, boiled||63|
|prunes||15||honey||62||yogurt, fruit||36||pot, white, mash||70|
|Low GI = 55 or less Medium GI = 56-69||High GI = 70 or more|