Making Smart Choices With The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) has been around since 1981 and is a great blueprint for eating healthy.

With a growing population of diabetics and overweight individuals, eating within GI guidelines, meaning that you take into account how much a particular food raises blood sugar and over stresses insulin production, is gaining interest among the medical community and the public.

What is the Glycemic Index (GI)?

The Glycemic Index indicates how quickly 50 grams of a food’s carbohydrates turn into sugar. At the most basic level, the GI ranks carbohydrate filled foods according to their glycemic response. Foods that raise your blood glucose level very fast have a higher GI rating than foods that raise your blood glucose level at a slower pace. In general, lower GI foods are the healthier choice.

What are the benefits of low GI foods?

Trying to keep the bulk of your food in the low GI rating can offer a number of benefits, these include:

Controlling your blood glucose level

Controlling your cholesterol level

Reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes

Assists in lowering and controlling weight

Reducing your risk of heart disease

Prolonging your physical endurance

How do I lower my GI?

There are simple steps you can take to lower your Glycemic Index. Here are a few ideas.

Limit your bread intake to whole grains and oats (No White Bread)

If you are eating a high GI food, try combining it with a low GI food (see chart)

Eat multiple servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. They fill you up and have a low GI.

Try rice vinegar in place of salad dressings.

Limit your intake of processed and starchy foods.

Choose healthy fats such as canola and olive oil.

For more ideas and a more in depth look at the GI, you may want to look at the following books.

“Sugar Busters”

“Eat Yourself Slim”

“The G.I. Diet”

Glycemic Index Food Chart

Low Glycemic Index food (less than 55)

Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are intermediate

High Glycemic Index food GI (more than 70)

Low Glycemic Foods

Apple 38

Pear 38

Skim Milk 32

Carrot Juice 45

Whole Grain Bread 50

Low Fat Yogurt 14

Oranges 44

Spaghetti, whole wheat 37

Sweet potato 54

Jams and marmalades 49

Popcorn 55

Artichoke 15

Asparagus 15

Broccoli 15

Cauliflower 15

Celery 15

Cucumber 15

Eggplant 15

Green beans 15

Lettuce, all varieties 15

Low-fat yogurt, artificially sweetened 15

Peppers, all varieties 15

Snow peas 15

Spinach 15

Young summer squash 15

Tomatoes 15

Zucchini 15

Soya beans, boiled 16

Peas, dried 22

Kidney beans, boiled 29

Lentils green, boiled 29

Chickpeas 33

High Glycemic Foods

Waffles 76

Doughnut 76

White bread 71

Rice Krispies 82

Cornflakes 83

Corn chips 74

Jelly beans 80

Pretzels 81

Rice Cakes 82

Potato, instant 83

Potato, baked 85

Rice pasta, brown 92

Dates 103

The GI should help you make smart choices when choosing what to eat. Remember to make most of your choices on balanced nutritionincluding a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables. Make an effort to cut back on foods with refined starch and concentrated sugar. Include some healthful fats and do not forget the protein.

Here’s to your health!