Indicates how fast and how high a given food raises blood sugar.
It applies only to carbohydrates, which are sugars or starches.
Not all carbohydrates are created equal; in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycemic index, or GI, describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Choosing low GI carbs, the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels, is the secret to long-term health and reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Go easy on foods with a high glycemic index. Since these foods raise blood sugar to high levels shortly after eating them, the body has to release large amounts of insulin to keep blood sugar in the normal range. Foods with high indexes cause peaks and valleys in blood sugar, and high fluctuations in blood sugar are detrimental to health.
***The only way to know a food’s glycemic index is to look it up on a chart with such values. These charts are in nutrition books and on the Web. You cannot guess at a food’s index. For example, you might think table sugar has a high glycemic index, but it actually has a medium value. On the other hand, a baked potato has a high glycemic index.***
Demand that Your Food Uses Only Low Glycemic (GI) Complex Carbohydrates