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Sensitive to sugar, diabetic, or just cutting it out of your diet? Glycemic Index & Load Chart (White Rice is worse than a can of Cola!!!)

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those which are rapidly digested and absorbed and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health. Low GI diets have been shown to improve both glucose and lipid levels in people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). They have benefits for weight control because they help control appetite and delay hunger. Low GI diets also reduce insulin levels and insulin resistance.

The glycemic load of a food tells how much eating that food raises blood glucose. It is a similar concept as the glycemic index, except it takes serving sizes into account. The formula is to take the number of grams of carbohydrate in the serving, multiply by the glycemic index, and divide by 100. Theoretically, if a food has glycemic load of one point, it would raise the blood sugar as much as one gram of glucose.

An awareness of foods’ Glycemic Index can help you control your blood sugar levels, and by doing so, may help you prevent heart disease, improve cholesterol levels, prevent insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, prevent certain cancers, and achieve or maintain a healthy weight. A substantial amount of research suggests a low GI diet provides these significant health benefits.

After we eat carbohydrate-rich foods, our digestive process breaks them down and turns them into glucose, which enters bloodstream. (Since most proteins and fats are not turned into glucose , they have much less of an immediate effect on our blood sugar). Glucose in the bloodstream triggers the production of insulin, a hormone that helps glucose get into cells where it can be used for energy. Once our immediate energy needs have been met, extra glucose still remaining in the bloodstream will be stored in our muscles and liver for later use. If our muscle and liver stores of glucose are full, but we still have extra glucose floating around in our blood, then our body will store this excess sugar as fat.

Food Glycemic Index One Serving Glycemic Load
Coca-Cola 63 250ml 16
Gatoraide 78 250ml 12
Instant Oatmeal 83 250ml 30
Cornflakes 93 250ml 23
Quinoa 53 150ml 13
White Rice 89 150ml 43
Brown Rice 50 150ml 16
Apple 39 120ml 6
Banana 62 120ml 16
Grapefruit 25 120ml 3
Orange 40 120ml 4
Pear 38 120ml 4
Prune 29 60ml 10
Raisins 64 60ml 28
Watermelon 72 120ml 4
Peanuts 7 50ml 0
Black Beans 30 150ml 7
Carrots 35 80ml 2
Boiled White Potato(average) 82 150ml 21
Sweet Potato 70 150ml 22
Bread – French baguette 95 1oz.
Cereal Cheerios General Mills 95 1 cup, 1oz.
Cereal Rice Chex General Mills 89 1 1/4 cup, 1oz.
Cherries 22 10 large, 3oz.
Dark Chocolate(60%+ cocoa) 22
Crackers – saltine 72
Tofu frozen dessert low fat 115  1/2 cup, 2 ozs
Dates, dried 103  5 or 1.4ozs
Parsnips, boiled 97  1/2 cup, 2.5 ozs.
Sweet potato, peeled, boiled 54 1/2 cup mashed, 3 ozs.
White bread 70 1 slice or 1oz
Whole wheat bread 69 1 slice or 1oz
French fries 75
Grapenuts Cereal 75  30g  16
Pineapple, raw 66  120g  6
Ocean Spray Cranberry juice cocktail 68  250ml  24
Beef steak, battered, fried, lean & fat eaten 50  250ml  3.6

A food is generally considered to have a high GI if it is rated above 60.

Individuals who have problems with maintaining proper blood sugar levels should restrict their selection to foods with a GI of 40 or less. These include those who have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and high blood sugar (hyperinsulemia) as well as those who have a high sensitivity to sugar. Sugar includes not just simple sugars, honey and maple syrup but also fruits, fruit juices, starchy vegetables and grain products or foods with a high glycemic index.

FYI…..Average GI of beer = 110.

Why doesn’t the GI chart include things like beef, chicken, fish, nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and berries? These foods contain no carbohydrate, or so little that their GI cannot be tested according to the standard methodology. Bear in mind that the GI is a measure of carbohydrate quality. Essentially, these types of foods, eaten alone, won’t have much effect on your blood glucose levels.

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