What is the Glycemic Index of food? The Glycemic Index (GI) 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
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 glycemic index.
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 low glycemic index.
- Plan your meals with foods in the low and medium Glycemic Index starch choices on the list that follows.
- Try foods such as barley, bulgar, couscous, or lentils, which have a low Glycemic Index.
- 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 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
(55 or less)
choose most often
(56-69 or less)
choose more often
(70 or more)
choose less often
100% stone ground whole wheat
Heavy mixed grain
Bran Buds with Psyllium™
Parboiled or converted rice
Stoned Wheat Thins™
Ryvita™ (rye crisps)
Black bean soup
Green pea soup
Potato, baking (Russet)