What Is the Glycemic Index?
🔆 The glycemic index (GI) is a value that’s used to show how much food increases blood sugar levels.
🔆 Foods are ranked as low, medium, or high glycemic foods on a scale from 0-100. Low is 0-55, medium is 56-69, high is 70-100.
🔆 The lower the glycemic index (GI) a food is, the less it may affect your blood sugar.
🔆 Foods high in refined carbs and sugar are digested quickly and often have a GI that’s quite high. Foods high in protein, fat, or fiber are typically some of the lowest GI foods.
🔆 If a food contains no carbs, it’s not assigned a GI. So things like meat, fish, nuts, seeds, and oils are effectively 0 GI usually.
🔆 Benefits of maintaining a mostly low glycemic diet include improved blood sugar regulation, reduced risk of diabetes, and reduced cholesterol levels that are risk factors for heart disease.
🟢 Very low or 0 GI foods: meat (beef, pork, lamb, bison), seafood (tuna, salmon, shrimp, sardines, anchovies), poultry (chicken, turkey, duck, goose), oils (olive, coconut, avocado, vegetable), nuts (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamias), seeds (chia, sesame, flax, hemp), and herbs and spices (pepper, dill, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric).
🟩 Low GI foods: fruits (apples, oranges, berries, citrus), non-starchy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, carrots), whole grains (quinoa, oats, barley, couscous, farro), and legumes (chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, lentils).
🟨 High GI foods: bread (white bread, bagels, pita, naan), rice (white, jasmine), pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, lasagna, fettuccine), starchy vegetables (white potatoes, french fries), baked goods (donuts, cake, pastries, cookies, muffins), snacks (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips, pretzels), beverages sweetened with sugar (tea, soda, fruit juice).
🔆 No foods need to be completely off-limits, but try and replace high GI foods with lower GI foods when possible.
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