Guide To Using the Glycemic Index

Some foods can cause your blood sugar level to increase immediately. The reason for this is that carbohydrates such as refined sugars and bread can be easily digested by the body and changed into glucose, the sugar your body uses for energy compared to those carbohydrates that are slowly digested such as those in vegetables and whole grains. For a list of good and bad carbs, check out  You can use the guide on the website to adjust your carbohydrate count and help keep your blood sugar level stable.

About The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a chart that can give you an idea about how quick your body can convert the carbohydrates in our food into glucose. Two foods with similar amount of carbohydrates can have different numbers in the glycemic index. The smaller the number, the lesser the impact the food has on your blood sugar:

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56- 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High (bad)

Check the glycemic index on the label of packaged foods. You can check the glycemic index list found on Harvard University has over 100 lists. You can also your dietician or nutritionist.  Foods that are close to how they are found in nature tend to have a lower glycemic index compared to refined and processed foods.

glycemic index increases

The Rank Can Change

The glycemic index of food can change once it is served on your plate depending on several factors.

Preparation. Fat, fiber, and acid can reduce the glycemic index. The length of time for cooking pasta increases the glycemic index.

Ripeness. As the fruit ripens, the glycemic index increases.

Foods Eaten Simultaneously. To reduce the glycemic index, combine a high GI food with those with lower ones.

Your age, the level of activity you indulge in, and how quick food is digested can also have an impact on how your body reacts to carbs. If you have gastroparesis, a complication of diabetes that delays the emptying of your stomach, absorption of food will be much more slowly.

Size Matters Too

The glycemic index should not be the only consideration when choosing food to eat. Just because the glycemic index is low does not mean it is healthy or that you should eat a lot of it. The allocation matters as well. You should also consider the glycemic load. It helps you take into account the quantity and quality of your carbs at the same time. Less than 10 is low; more than 20 is high.