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Understanding the Glycemic Index

You've probably never heard of the Glycemic Index. Well, now you have! The glycemic index is a relatively easy to understand rating system for ranking carbohydrate based foods.

A low rating on the glycemic index means that the food does not spike blood glucose and insulin levels quickly within the body.

Now you might wonder why that is important.

Foods that raise blood sugar levels quickly increase the chance of developing diabetes and heart disease but they also contribute heavily to weight gain. High GI carbohydrates are typically foods that don't keep you full for very long, like white bread and junk food, and instead you gorge yourself on half a loaf of bread or an entire bag of potato chips because you still feel hungry.



LOW GI FOODS


Breakfast Cereal

All-bran
Oat bran
Rolled Oats
Special K
Natural Muesli
Porridge

Staples

Wheat Pasta Shapes
New Potatoes
Meat Ravioli
Spaghetti
Tortellini (Cheese)
Egg Fettuccini
Brown Rice
Buckwheat
White long grain rice
Pearled Barley
Yam
Sweet Potatoes
Instant Noodles
Wheat tortilla

Dairy

Whole milk
Skimmed milk
Chocolate milk
Sweetened yoghurt
Artificially Sweetened Yoghurt
Custard
Soy Milk

Bread

Soya and Linseed
Wholegrain Pumpernickel
Heavy Mixed Grain
Whole Wheat
Sourdough Rye
Sourdough Wheat

Snacks & Sweet Foods

Slim-Fast meal replacement
Snickers Bar (high fat)
Nut & Seed Muesli Bar
Sponge Cake
Nutella
Milk Chocolate
Hummus
Peanuts
Walnuts
Cashew Nuts
Nuts and Raisins
Jam
Corn Chips
Oatmeal Crackers

Legumes (Beans)

Kidney Beans (canned)
Butter Beans
Chick Peas
Haricot/Navy Beans
Lentils, Red
Lentils, Green
Pinto Beans
Blackeyed Beans
Yellow Split Peas

Vegetables

Frozen Green Peas
Frozen Sweet Corn
Raw Carrots
Boiled Carrots
Eggplant/Aubergine
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Chillies
Lettuce
Green Beans
Red Peppers
Onions

Fruits

Cherries
Plums
Grapefruit
Peaches
Peach, canned in natural juice
Apples
Pears
Dried Apricots
Grapes
Kiwi Fruit
Oranges
Strawberries
Prunes



MEDIUM GI FOODS



Breakfast Cereal

Bran Buds
Mini Wheats
Nutrigrain
Shredded Wheat
Porridge Oats
Special K

Fruits

Mango
Sultanas
Bananas
Raisins
Papaya
Figs
Pineapple

Bread

Croissant
Hamburger bun
Pita, white
Wholemeal Rye

Staples

Basmati Rice
Couscous
Cornmeal
Taco Shells
Gnocchi
Canned Potatoes
Chinese (Rice) Vermicelli
Baked Potatoes
Wild Rice

Vegetables

Beetroot

Snacks & Sweet Foods

Ryvita
Digestives
Blueberry muffin
Honey

Legumes (Beans)

Beans in Tomato Sauce

Dairy

Icecream

HIGH GI FOODS


Breakfast Cereal

Cornflakes
Sultana Bran
Branflakes
Coco Pops
Puffed Wheat
Oats in Honey Bake
Team
Total
Cheerios
Rice Krispies
Weetabix

Fruits

Watermelon
Dates

Bread

White
Bagel
French Baguette

Snacks & Sweet Foods

Pretzels
Water Crackers
Rice cakes
Puffed Crispbread
Donuts
Scones
Maple flavoured syrup

Vegetables

Pumkin
Parsnips

Staples

Instant White Rice
Glutinous Rice
Short Grain White Rice
Tapioca
Fresh Mashed Potatoes
French Fries
Instant Mashed Potatoes

The g
lycemic index food chart above is a guide of which foods have a low, medium or high GI rating. By choosing healthier foods off of this list, it creates a very simple way to improve your nutrition without having to do a lot research/buying diet books/learning to count calories, etc.

The Glycemic Index is not just for weight loss. Regular exercise enthusiasts and athletes benefit from choosing low GI food. Low GI food before exercise maintains blood sugar concentration and increases the rate of stored fat being used for energy (fat oxidation). Low GI foods before exercise have been shown to increase endurance.

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