The Glycemic Index - Being Fiber Smart

The Glycemic Index system ranks foods from 0 to 100 according to the effect on blood sugar levels after eating. Developed in 1981 by David Jenkins and Thomas Wolever of the University of Toronto, the Glycemic Index was used for the management of diabetics. The Glycemic Index or GI, for short, replaced the older method of classifying carbohydrates, either "simple" or "complex" in structure.

Whole grains like oats, whole wheat, and brown rice are very nutritious high fiber foods. They keep the bran and the germ intact, which are abundant in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and important phytochemicals. High fiber foods are digested more slowly, and so there is a more modest effect on blood sugar than refined or processed carbohydrates or sugars. Most carbohydrates are digested into glucose which then enters the bloodstream, causing an increase in glucose levels.


White bread is not a high fiber food by any means

is digested almost immediately to glucose, causing blood sugar to spike rapidly. Brown rice, however, is digested more slowly, causing a lower and more subtle change in blood sugar.

When you eat foods that have high-GI numbers, you may feel an initial boost in energy and mood as your blood sugar rises, but this is followed by a cycle of increased fat storage, sluggishness, and even more hunger. Low-GI foods (less than 55) produce a gradual rise in blood sugar that's easy on the body, keeping blood sugar levels fairly tame. Foods between 55 and 70 are intermediate-GI foods . Foods with high-GI numbers (more than 70) make blood sugar as well as insulin levels quickly surge.

The theory behind the Glycemic Index is simply to minimize insulin-related problems by identifying and avoiding foods that have the greatest effect on your blood sugar.

A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into glucose. It doesn't tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving of a particular food. Adding protein and/or fat or increasing acidity may alter the GI of any given carbohydrate-laden food.

Glycemic load was developed by scientists to describe the quality (glycemic index) and quantity of available carbohydrates, like starch and sugar, in a given meal or diet. The glycemic load measures the effect of the glycemic index of a certain food times its carbohydrate content in grams in an average serving.


High fiber foods such as whole-grain rye bread and bran cereal are rated low on the GI because they do not produce a rapid rise in blood sugar after eating them. Whenever possible, replace highly processed grains, cereals, and sugars with minimally processed whole-grain products.

High fiber foods are crucial when balancing a low glycemic diet. They are more difficult for the body to digest, stay in the body longer, and keep you feeling full so there is less need to eat more. This also effects the amount of fat absorbed in the body, and less calories to burn off. High fiber foods give you an excellent low score on the GI. Share this valuable tip with a good friend!


The Glycemic Index

Cereals Snacks Pasta Beans
All Bran 51 chocolate bar 49 cheese tortellini 50 baked 44
Bran Buds + psyll 45 corn chips 72 fettucini 32 black beans, boiled 30
Bran Flakes 74 croissant 67 linguini 50 butter, boiled 33
Cheerios 74 doughnut 76 macaroni 46 cannellini beans 31
Corn Chex 83 graham crakers 74 spagh, 5 min boiled 33 garbanzo, boiled 34
Cornflakes 83 jelly beans 80 spagh, 15 min boiled 44 kidney, boiled 29
Cream of Wheat 66 Life Savers 70 spagh, prot enrich 28 kidney, canned 52
Frosted Flakes 55 oatmeal cookie 57 vermicelli 35 lentils, green, brown 30
Grapenuts 67 pizza, cheese & tom 60 Soups/Vegetables lima, boiled 32
Life 66 Pizza Hut, supreme 33 beets, canned 64 navy beans 38
muesli, natural 54 popcorn, light micro 55 black bean soup 64 pinto, boiled 39
Nutri-grain 66 potato chips 56 carrots, fresh, boil 49 red lentils, boiled 27
oatmeal, old fach 48 pound cake 54 corn, sweet 56 soy, boiled 16
Puffed Wheat 67 Power bars 58 green pea, soup 66 Breads
Raisin Bran 73 pretzels 83 green pea, frozen 47 bagel, plain 72
Rice Chex 89 saltine crakers 74 lima beans, frozen 32 baquette, Frnch 95
Shredded Wheat 67 shortbread cookies 64 parsnips 97 croissant 67
Special K 54 Snikers bar 41 peas, fresh, boil 48 dark rey 76
Total 76 strawberry jam 51 split pea soup w/ham 66 hamburger bun 61
Fruit vanilla wafers 77 tomato soup 38 muffins
apple 38 Wheat Thins 67 Drinks apple, cin 44
apricots 57 Crackers apple juice 40 blueberry 59
banana 56 graham 74 colas 65 oat & raisin 54
cantalope 65 rice cakes 80 Gatorade 78 pita 57
cherries 22 rye 68 grapefruit juice 48 pizza, cheese 60
dates 103 soda 72 orange juice 46 pumpernickel 49
grapefruit 25 Wheat Thins 67 pineapple juice 46 sourdough 54
grapes 46 Cereal Grains Milk Products rye 64
kiwi 52 barley 25 chocolate milk 35 white 70
mango 55 basmati white rice 58 custard 43 wheat 68
orange 43 bulgar 48 ice cream, van 60 Root Crops
papaya 58 couscous 65 ice milk, van 50 french fries 75
peach 42 cornmeal 68 skim milk 32 pot, new, boiled 59
pear 58 millet 71 soy milk 31 pot, red, baked 93
pineapple 66 Sugars tofu frozen dessert 115 pot, sweet 52
plums 39 fructose 22 whole milk 30 pot, white, boiled 63
prunes 15 honey 62 yogurt, fruit 36 pot, white, mash 70
raisins 64 maltose 105 yogurt, plain 14 yam 54
watermelon 72 table sugar 64

With thanks to