What is the Glycemic Index of food?  It is a scale that ranks carbohydrate-rich foods by how much they raise blood glucose levels compared to a standard food.  The standard food is glucose or white bread.

The Glycemic Index (GI)

The glycemic index measures how fast a food is likely to raise your blood sugar and can be helpful for managing blood sugars (glucose).  For example, if your blood sugar is low and continuing to drop during exercise, you would prefer to eat a carb that will raise your blood sugar quickly.  On the other hand, if you would like to keep your blood sugar from dropping during a few hours of mild activity, you may prefer to eat a carb that has a lower glycemic index and longer action time.  If your blood sugar tends to spike after breakfast, you may want to select a cereal that has a lower GI.

Use the Glycemic Index to lose weight and gain health

Eating foods with a low Glycemic Index may help you to:

  • Control your blood glucose level
  • Control your cholesterol level
  • Control your appetite
  • Lower your risk of getting heart disease
  • Lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes

Include the Glycemic Index as part of healthy eating

  • Enjoy vegetables, fruits and low-fat milk products with your meals. These are carbohydrate-rich foods that, in general, have a low GI.
  • Plan your meals with foods in the low and medium GI starch choices on the list that follows.
  • Try foods such as barley, bulgar, couscous, or lentils, which have a low GI.
  • Consult a registered dietitian for help with choosing low GI foods, adapting recipes, and other ways to incorporate low GI foods in your meal plan.  Dr. Simpson has a full time registered dietician available to you at weight loss surgery support meetings.

If I eat foods with a low Glycemic Index can I eat as much as I want?

No. Using the Glycemic Index to choose foods is only one part of healthy eating.

Healthy eating also means:

  • Eating at regular times
  • Choosing a variety of foods from all food groups
  • Limiting sugars and sweets
  • Reducing the amount of fat you eat
  • Including foods high in fiber
  • Limiting salt, alcohol and caffeine

Glycemic Index

Low GI
(55 or less)
choose most often
Medium GI
(56-69 or less)
choose more often
High GI
(70 or more)
choose less often
BREADS:
100% stone ground whole wheat
Heavy mixed grain
Pumpernickel
BREADS:
Whole wheat
Rye
Pita
BREADS:
White bread
Kaiser roll
Bagel, white
CEREAL:
All Bran™
Bran Buds with Psyllium™
Oatmeal
Oat Bran™
CEREAL:
Grapenuts™
Shredded Wheat™
Quick oats
CEREAL:
Bran flakes
Corn flakes
Rice Krispies™
Cheerios™
GRAINS:
Parboiled or converted rice
Barley
Bulgar
Pasta/noodles
GRAINS:
Basmati rice
Brown rice
Couscous
GRAINS:
Short-grain rice
OTHER:
Sweet potato
Yam
Legumes:
Lentils
Chickpeas
Kidney beans
Split peas
Soy beans
Baked beans
OTHER:
Potato, new/white
Sweet corn
Popcorn
Stoned Wheat Thins™
Ryvita™ (rye crisps)
Black bean soup
Green pea soup
OTHER:
Potato, baking (Russet)
French fries
Pretzels
Rice cakes
Soda crackers