All the carbohydrate foods we eat cause a release of glucose into the bloodstream and a rise in insulin, but some raise glucose more than others. The glycemic index was created to differentiate those foods from each other: It’s a system of ranking foods containing equal amounts of carbohydrate according to how much they raise blood-glucose levels.
By understanding what it is and how it works it can help you choose foods that have a gentler effect on blood-glucose levels.
How it Ranks
The glycemic index (GI) categorizes foods based on how much a food containing 50 grams of carbohydrate raises blood-glucose levels after eating. A food with a GI of under 55 is considered low, while anything more than 70 is high. An even more precise measure is a food’s glycemic load (GL), which considers both a food’s GI and how much carbohydrate the food contains in a standard portion.
Most vegetables, whole grains, beans and other high-fiber foods are lower on the glycemic scale, while foods containing refined starches are higher. While it is good to use the GI as a guideline it is also important to keep in mind blood-glucose responses to foods can vary widely from person to person, especially people with diabetes.
The GI system is a helpful guide that can give you some general direction for making better choices among different carbohydrate foods, but keep in mind you don’t always need to refer to a ranking system to know what foods are good for you to eat. Simply use your good judgment. You know that whole grains, vegetables, beans and other high-fiber foods are great choices and that a Snickers bar, donut and other processed foods are not.
Healthy Choice Naturals Glucose Factors can also help manage your blood sugar levels. It provides 13 essential herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals known to be effective in supporting and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
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