The glycemic index (GI) is a numerical system developed to measure how fast a carbohydrate triggers a rise in blood sugar. A high-GI food will trigger a huge rise in sugar while a low-GI food will cause a small rise. The lower the glycemic index of a food, the healthier the carbohydrate. A variety of foods fall under a low glycemic option for those seeking to instil low GI foods into their diet.
A food is considered low GI when its glycemic index is below 55 on the numerical system.There are plenty of fruits that are low GI as well as fruits that range high on the numerical index, such as watermelon (72). Cherries (22), plums (24), grapefruit (25), apricots (31), apples (38), pears (38), peaches (42), oranges (44) and grapes (46) are ideal fruits to include into a low GI diet.
Vegetables tend to be mostly low GI foods. Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, peppers, mangetout, spinach, squash, tomatoes and zucchini are all rated 15 and under on the GI index. Then the vegetables begin to rise, such as lentils (29), chickpeas (33), baked beans (48) and canned kidney beans (52).
Breads and cereals can be low glycemic as well. Raw oat bran for cereal is 50 on the GI index while breads such as soya and linseed are at 36. Heavy mixed grain (46), wholegrain pumpernickel (46), sourdough rye (48), whole wheat (49), and sourdough wheat (54) are all breads that are considered low GI. White breads (71) are high in the GI index. Rices are also available such as long-grain and parboiled rice (47), basmati rice (50), and brown rice (50). Long-grain white rice and short-grain white rice are high on the GI index comparatively (long-grain is 56, short grain is 72).
- Breads and cereals can be low glycemic as well.
- Heavy mixed grain (46), wholegrain pumpernickel (46), sourdough rye (48), whole wheat (49), and sourdough wheat (54) are all breads that are considered low GI.
Few beverages are considered low GI. Whole milk (31), skimmed milk (32) and soy milk (44) are low for beverages. Natural fruit juices are slightly higher on the low GI index side with apple juice (41), pineapple juice (46), grapefruit juice (48), and orange juice (52) as good juices to add to a low GI diet.