Glycemic Index

The Profile

You may have heard the term low-glycemic diet or just glycemic diet. These diets are referring to diets that are made up of foods that are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index was designed to give people a way of telling how quickly foods digest and break down into blood sugar in their body. It's a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being the lowest (turns into blood sugar the slowest) and 100 being the fastest (turns to blood sugar the fastest).

As a general rule, most foods that are highly processed, such as white flour, have the highest glycemic value and should be avoided. Foods that are high on the glycemic index can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, which can cause you feel run down and tired later. Foods low on the glycemic index give you a slow steady supply of blood sugar, which helps you have more energy and feel better throughout the day. Diets filled with high-glycemic-index foods, which cause quick and strong increases in blood sugar levels, have been linked to an increased risk for both diabetes and heart disease.

A number of factors determine a food's glycemic index. One of the most important is how highly processed its carbohydrates are. In highly processed carbohydrates, the outer bran and inner germ layer are removed from the original kernel of grain, which causes bigger spikes in blood sugar levels than would occur with less-processed grains. Whole-grain foods tend to have a lower glycemic index than their more highly processed counterparts. For example, white rice, which is highly processed, has a higher glycemic index than brown rice, which is less highly processed.

Below is a list of some common foods and their glycemic Index.

Low glycemic foods (55 or less)
(Foods you should try to eat more of.)

Medium glycemic foods (56-69)
(Foods you should try to eat in moderation.)

High glycemic foods (over 70)
(Foods you should try to avoid.)

Skim milk (32)
Plain yogurt (36)
Low fat dairy products
Most Vegetables (with a few exceptions)
Apples (39)
Oranges (40)
Orange Juice (46)
Cherries (23)
Grapefruit (26)
Grapes (45)
Peaches (29)
Pears (34)
Plums (25)
Sweet potato (48)
Oat bran bread (42)
Oatmeal (slow cook oats) (49)
All-Bran cereal (51)
Pumpernickel bread (50)
Pasta (47)
Bananas (62)
Pineapples (59)
Raisins (64)
Brown rice (66)
Couscous (65)
Whole grain cereals
Whole wheat bread
Rye bread
Instant mashed potatoes (80)
Instant rice (69)
Processed breakfast cereals
Bagel, white (72)
Popcorn (72)
White bread (73)
Russet Potatoes (98)
Carrots (92)
Soda crackers (74)
French fries (75)
Table sugar

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