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Foods with Low Glycemic Index

Mar 28, 2008
The Glycemic Index, or GI, has been supported and popularized in recent years by medical practitioners worldwide. The glycemic index is a ranking system that places a number value on foods based on how much and how quickly they raise blood glucose levels. The glycemic index separates good carbs from bad carbs through this ranking system; these biological measurements support diets that have a balance of low glycemic foods and restrict foods with a high glycemic ranking.

The health benefits of foods with low glycemic index

Various studies have shown that eating a large quantity of high GI foods can result in serious medical conditions such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. High GI foods are those that contain starches, refined flour, or sugars. Foods such as white bread, candy, potatoes, cookies, and the like are high GI foods. They digest quickly and result in a quick burst of blood sugar. On the other hand, low GI foods such as oats, and other whole grains, and most vegetables, digest more slowly, thereby resulting in a slower change in blood sugar and more balanced digestion.

According to an article published by the Harvard School of Public Health, the most comprehensive list of glycemic index food rankings was released in 2002. In the July, 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, almost 750 foods were ranked within the glycemic index. Today in 2008, the database of GI food rankings, updated by the University of Sydney in Australia, now includes almost 1,600 different food types.

Delicious foods with low glycemic index

What are some of the foods with low glycemic index? The glycemic index ranks foods from 0 to 100, with the low numbers referring to low glycemic foods. Low GI foods are ranked from 0 to 55. Some of these foods include the following:

1) Most types of vegetables including: asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, eggplant, cucumber, artichoke, green beans, lettuce, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and dried peas. These types of food rank from about 14 to 22.

2) Some calcium-rich foods, such as yogurt (low-fat), whole, or fat-free milk, and soy milk. Yogurt ranks low (14), while other milk products rank in the 30s.

3) Some fruits, such as grapefruit, cherries, dried apricots, apples, pears, plums and peaches. The GI of these fruits can range from a low of 25 (grapefruit) to a high of 42 (peaches). While fresh fruit is healthy, some fruits can have a very high GI. Watermelon, for example, carries a high GI ranking.

4) Whole grains, such as barley, oats, green lentils, rye, and multi-grain breads. These grains can range from a low ranking of 25 (pearl barley) to a ranking of 48 (multi grain bread)

5) Nuts, such as peanuts, cashews and walnuts. Peanuts have the lowest GI of the group, with a GI of 14.
6) Some pastas, such as whole grain spaghetti, egg fettuccini, and ravioli. The GI of this food group is in the upper end of the low glycemic index (ranging from 42 to 48).

7) Some beans, such as soy beans, red kidney beans, lentils, white beans, and cannellini beans (ranging from a GI of 18 to 31).

There are many more foods in the low glycemic index, which contribute to higher levels of health and digestion.
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