Cenegenics Atlanta

Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index is a scale that ranks carbohydrates by how much they raise blood glucose levels compared to glucose or white bread.

When you eat food that contains carbohydrates, the sugar (glucose) from the food breaks down during digestion and your blood glucose level rises. The speed at which the food is able to increase your blood glucose level is called the "glycemic response."

This glycemic response is influenced by many factors, including how much food you eat, how much the food is processed or even how the food is prepared.

Foods that raise your blood glucose level quickly have a higher GI rating than foods that raise your blood glucose level more slowly.

In general, the lower the rating, the better the quality of carbohydrate in terms of impact on your blood sugar and your health.

Not only do low GI foods raise your blood glucose more slowly and to a less dramatic peak than higher GI foods, but most low GI foods are all-around healthier choices. Low GI foods are usually low in calories and fat, while also being high in fibre, nutrients and antioxidants. Choosing low GI foods more often may help you increase levels of HDL (healthy) cholesterol in your blood and might help you control your appetite, as they tend to keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Try to choose low and medium GI foods more often than high GI foods. A GI of 55 or less ranks as low, a GI of 56 to 69 is medium, and a GI of 70 or more ranks as high.

Here are some tips to help you lower the Glycemic Index of your daily meals:

Try to choose at least one low GI food at each meal.

Limit the amount of processed, refined starchy foods, as they tend to be low in fibre and other nutrients and have a higher GI.

Try new foods that have a low GI. Experiment with beans, legumes and lentils by including them in dishes such as chili, soups and salad.

Eat whole grain, pumpernickel and oat bran bread more often than white bread.

Eat fresh fruit and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables have a low GI, so they break down into sugar slowly in your body.

Choose brown rice more often than instant rice.

Watch your portion sizes; the bigger the portion, the more it will increase your blood glucose, regardless of its GI rank.

Remember that the Glycemic Index is just one part healthy eating.

Don't forget to:


Skim milk
Plain Yogurt
Soy beverage
Sweet potato
Oat bran bread
Oatmeal (slow cook oats)
Fiber One
Converted or Parboiled rice
Pumpernickel bread
Chick peas


Split pea or green pea soup
Brown rice
Basmati rice
Shredded wheat cereal
Whole wheat bread
Rye bread


Dried dates
Instant mashed potatoes
Baked white potato
Instant rice
Corn Flakes
Rice Krispies
Bagel, white
Soda crackers
French fries
Ice cream
Table sugar (sucrose)


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