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What Is a Low Glycemic Food?

Reviewed on 11/17/2020

What Is the Glycemic Index?

Foods with high fiber or protein and low sugar and carbohydrate content are considered low on the glycemic index. This is a way of measuring how quickly a food makes your blood sugar spike; important information for people with diabetes and other conditions.
Foods with high fiber or protein and low sugar and carbohydrate content are considered low on the glycemic index. This is a way of measuring how quickly a food makes your blood sugar spike; important information for people with diabetes and other conditions.

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food causes blood sugar levels to rise.

    The Index Ranks Foods Chart
    Index Ranks FoodsRanges (Scale of 0 to 100)
    Low (good)55 or Less
    Medium56 to 69
    High (bad)70 or Higher

    Foods with a high glycemic index are quickly digested and absorbed, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar while foods with a low GI are digested and absorbed at a slower rate, resulting in a slower rise in blood sugar levels. 

    High glycemic foods tend to be those high in processed carbohydrates and sugars while low GI foods tend to be rich in fiber, protein, and/or fat.

    A criticism of the index is that it is based on the consumption of foods by themselves, on an empty stomach, and it does not take into account that most people consume a variety of foods in a meal, which can affect digestion and absorption. 

    What Is the Glycemic Index Used For?

    There are a number of reasons people may want to consider the glycemic index of the foods they eat. 

    • It may help with weight loss
    • May help with blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes
    • Some studies have shown high GI diets are associated with higher risk for heart disease and stroke
    • Two studies found a higher GI diet to be associated with significantly increased risk of developing gallstones (more study is needed)

    What Is a Low Glycemic Food?

    To consume a low glycemic index diet: 

    • Eat plenty of whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables
    • Avoid potatoes, white rice, white bread, and sugary foods like cookies, cakes, candy, and soft drinks

    Low glycemic foods tend to be rich in fiber, protein, and/or fat. Examples of foods that have a low GI (55 or less) include: 

    1. Sweet corn (52)
    2. Banana, raw (51)
    3. Mango, raw (51)
    4. Orange juice (50)
    5. Brown rice, boiled (50)
    6. Strawberry jam/jelly (49)
    7. Vegetable soup (48)
    8. Corn tortilla (46)
    9. Spaghetti, white, boiled (46) 
    10. Whole-grain pumpernickel bread (46)
    11. Orange, raw (43)
    12. Peaches, canned (43)
    13. Dates, raw (42)
    14. Apple juice (41)
    15. Yogurt, fruit (41)
    16. Carrots, boiled (39)
    17. Milk, full fat (39)
    18. Pear, raw (38)
    19. Milk, skim (37)
    20. Apple, raw (36)
    21. Soy milk (34)
    22. Lentils (32)
    23. Barley (28)
    24. Chickpeas (28)
    25. Cashews (25)
    26. Kidney beans (24)
    27. Peanuts (18)
    28. Soybeans (16)

    QUESTION

    Weight loss occurs in the belly before anywhere else. See Answer

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    Reviewed on 11/17/2020
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