What is the Glycemic Index (GI)? Glucose is a carbohydrate and is the body’s primary source of fuel. Foods that contain glucose include grains, fruits, vegetable starches, legumes, dairy products, and in smaller amounts, non-starch vegetables. The glycemic index is a measure of the impact a food has on a person’s blood glucose (blood sugar). Foods that are low on the GI have a smaller impact on a person’s blood sugar and thus cause fewer blood sugar spikes and crashes.
What are the benefits of eating low to moderate GI foods?
1. Many foods lower on the GI contain more fiber. In addition to stabilizing blood sugar levels, fiber can also lower cholesterol and assist with weight control.
2. When foods move through your system at a slower rate, the body has more time breakdown and absorb nutrients. Therefor, people who consume foods lower on the GI may absorb more nutrients.
3. Stable blood sugar concentrations contribute to weight management, lessen mood swings, decrease overeating, and lower chances for disease.
Why is the GI helpful? Rewind back to a post I made on June 28, 2013, “Focus on Slow Carbohydrates.” (https://nutritionbytawnie.com/2013/06/28/focus-on-slow-carbohydrates/) The GI makes it simple to identify fast and slow carbohydrate foods. Remember, the goal is NOT to cut carbohydrates completely from the diet, but to be aware of the type of carbohydrate consumed and how the body responds.
Below is a list of GI tested foods. I retreived this list from http://www.lowgihealth.com.au/category/what-is-glycemic-index/. You can also search a specific food tested by the University of Sydney at http://www.glycemicindex.com/.