The Glycemic Index
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The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale that ranks the carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates can be digested at different rates. Slowly digested GI foods have a lower GI and make healthier choices.
A GI rating of 55 or less (low GI) means that carbohydrates are digested slowly. This means that blood sugars will rise slowly and fall gently over a longer period of time. A high GI food has a rating of 70 or more and results in a quick digestion of carbohydrates, which can cause your blood sugars to spike and drop.
The Benefits of Eating Foods with a Low Glycemic Index
- Control your blood sugar levels
- Control your appetite
- Control your cholesterol level
- Lower your risk of developing heart disease
- Lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
Six Ways to Go Low GI More Often
Since the GI is just one part of healthy eating, you can start incorporating lower GI choices into what you're eating now.
- Avoid foods that are over cooked and over processed. Serve pasta al dente and don't over cook your vegetables.
- Experiment with beans, lentils and other legumes by including them in dishes such as chili, soup and salad.
- Choose fruits and vegetables over juices more often.
- Switch from white to whole grain breads.
- Serve parboiled, brown or white rice more often than instant rice.
- When you heat a high GI food, combine with a low GI food. (Top a high GI cereal with fruit.)