What Is the Glycemic Index?
Man people ask me what is Glycemic Index and how does it affecting our body. The Glycemic Index—or GI, for short—is a system that ranks foods by how they affect your blood sugar levels. Low-glycemic index foods (less than 55) produce a gradual rise in blood sugar levels that’s easy on the body. Foods between 55 and 70 are intermediate-glycemic index foods.
Foods with high-glycemic index numbers (more than 70) make blood sugar levels as well as insulin levels spike fast. We now realize that’s a health threat. Mounting research suggests keeping blood sugar levels from spiking pays off in many ways. Foods low on the glycemic index appear to stave off heart disease, prevent type 2 diabetes, help you evade serious side effects if you have diabetes, curb your appetite so you lose weight, and perhaps even help you feel more energetic.
Is It Hard to Use the Glycemic Index?
Definitely not. Here is the general guideline: Include at least one low-glycemic index food at each meal or snack, advises top glycemic index expert Jennie Brand-Miller, PhD, University of Sydney, Australia.
No one’s suggesting you eliminate all high-glycemic index foods, but you can use this guide to work toward more intermediate- and low-glycemic index choices—with the exceptions noted below. So far, there’s no fixed rule as to the number of glycemic index points that you are “allowed” at each meal.
Let this guide put the glycemic index to work for you starting today.
* Eat sparingly any low- or intermediate-glycemic index foods that are printed in red, such as candy bars. These are high in empty calories. Eat too much, and you’ll crowd out essential nutrients and gain weight.
** On the other hand, don’t avoid or even limit high-glycemic index foods that are printed in green. These are low-calorie and very nutritious foods, such as watermelon and baked potato.
Low-Glycemic Index Foods: Less Than 55
|Lettuce, all varieties||<15|
|Low-fat yogurt, artificially sweetened||<15|
|Peppers, all varieties||<15|
|Young summer squash||<15|
|Canned peaches, natural juice||30|
|Baby lima beans, frozen||32|
|M&Ms Chocolate Candies, Peanut*||32|
|Low-fat yogurt, sugar sweetened||33|
|Whole wheat spaghetti||37|
|Mars Snickers Bar*||40|
|Canned lentil soup||44|
|Canned pinto beans||45|
|Canned baked beans||48|
|Oat bran bread||48|
|Chocolate bar, 1.5 oz*||49|
|Low-fat ice cream*||50|
|Canned kidney beans||52|
|Orange juice, not from concentrate||52|
Intermediate-Glycemic Index Foods: 55 to 70
|Canned fruit cocktail||55|
|Orange juice from frozen concentrate||57|
|Canned peaches, heavy syrup||58|
|Mini shredded wheats||58|
|Kudos Whole Grain Bars (chocolate chip)||61|
|Canned apricots, light syrup||64|
|Canned black bean soup||64|
|Macaroni and cheese||64|
|Table sugar (sucrose)*||65|
|Canned green pea soup||66|
|Angel food cake||67|
|Stoned Wheat Thins||67|
|American rye bread||68|
|Whole wheat bread||69|
High-Glycemic Index Foods: More Than 70
|Bread stuffing mix||74|
|Cream of Wheat, instant||74|
|Mashed potatoes, instant||83|
|Tofu frozen dessert||115|
Sources: Amer. Jour. of Clinical Nutrition. Excerpted in part from The South Beach Diet (Rodale) by Arthur Agatston, MD.
More related info: Glycemic Index and Diabeticc Diets