The Glycemic Index is a type of food ranking that is based on how fast it affects blood glucose levels. Foods that are quickly broken down in the digestion process have high GI (Glycemic Index) while foods that are broken down slowly in the digestion process have low GI.
The Importance of the Glycemic Index
Especially for people who have diabetes, knowing the Glycemic Indexes of different types of food is very important. Food that have a low GI cause only a small rise in blood glucose levels and thus will help control diabetes. These types of foods also help people lower the level of blood lipids in the body, as well as improve the body’s insulin-sensitivity.
Foods that have high GIs can help refill carbohydrate stores immediately after exercising.
Low GI and High GI Foods
Foods that have low glycemic indexes are beneficial to diabetics, dieters, hypoglycemics, athletes and those who have Syndrome X (resistance to insulin). Low GI foods help balance the level of blood sugar and insulin in the body. It also helps reduce body fat levels.
Foods that have high glycemic indexes increase blood glucose levels, as well as insulin levels in the body. These types of foods stimulate the storage of fat and worsen hyperactivity. These foods also reduce performance in sports while low GI foods do not.
Eating high-GI foods is not necessarily bad. It all depends on the condition of your body and what types of food suit you in order to be in optimum condition.
Foods with High Glycemic Index
Glycemic Indexes that start from 70 are considered high. Examples of foods that have high indexes are cornflakes (GI=80), bran flakes (GI = 74), puffed wheat (GI = 80), Rice Krispies (GI = 82), Cheerios (GI = 74), bagel (GI = 72) and French baguette (GI = 95). Some fruits and vegetables that have high GI are parsnips (GI = 97) and dates (GI = 103).
Foods with Medium Glycemic Index
Glycemic Indexes from 56 to 69 are considered as medium values. Examples of food that have medium indexes are porridge oats (GI = 63), croissant (GI=67), beetroot (GI=64), mango (GI = 60), bananas (GI = 58), papaya (GI = 60) and pineapple (GI = 66).
Foods with Low Glycemic Index
Glycemic Indexes that are 55 or less are considered as low values. Some foods that have low indexes are wholegrain (GI=46), whole wheat (GI=49), raw carrots (GI=16), tomatoes (GI=15), cherries (GI=22), grapes (GI = 43), peaches (GI = 28) and apples (GI=34).