The glycemic index is a great way to make choices about carbohydrates. There really is no such thing as "good" and "bad" carbohydrates. There are ones you should choose more often and ones you should choose less often.
The glycemic index (GI) is the ranking of foods based on the speed at which different foods affect blood glucose levels. White bread is given the value of 100 and is the standard control food for glycemic index. Foods that have a value of less than 100 are converted into sugar more slowly than white bread. Foods that have a value of more than 100 are converted into sugar more quickly than white bread. Selecting foods with low glycemic index and reducing foods with high glycemic index may help to manage diabetes. The glycemic index has also been proven useful for individuals with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or pre-diabetes.
You should also remember that table sugar can produce a slower rise in blood glucose levels than potatoes, but it lacks the vitamins, minerals and fibre provided by the potato. Decisions on foods must be made on the basis of overall nutrition, as well as the impact on blood sugar.
Also, don't forget about the roles that fat and protein will play. Protein and fat with our meals can also slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, which are converted into sugars during digestion. Add fats in moderation to your foods and choose heart healthy fats such as non-hydrogenated margarine and vegetable oils.
High glycemic index foods
Food Glycemic Index
Instant rice 124
Corn Flakes ® 119
Rice Krispies ® 117
Jelly beans 114
French fries 107
Soda crackers 106
White bread 100
Melba toast 100
Ice cream 87
Table sugar 83
Oooooh . . . I hate this good carb/bad carb business.
Yeah, the glycemic index works pretty well . . . personally I look at it more in terms of how processed a food is (this would make, say, pasta and most cereal less desirable than the GI index would indicate) . . . avoiding refined, processed foods.
I tend to NOT use the glycemic index (GI). And there are carbs that are more nutritious and some that are not as nutritious.
For one, every person responds differently to food - we are like snowflakes - you will process a slice of bread differently than I will based on our individual metabolic structure. The physical activity we conduct before/after eating a food also effects the degree to which our blood sugar is raised. Therefore, to state that a particular food has a specific GI and this is the standard just does not make scientific sense.
Secondly, how often does one sit down to just one type of food, of a certain serving, and eat only that type of food? Who has just a bun or plain cereal or slice of bread? We sit down to hamburgers, cereal with milk, and bread with butter (or pizza, or a meat sandwich, etc). Thus, the protein, fat, and fiber contents of food also affect the rate at which a food is absorbed into the bloodstream.
In terms of carbohydrates, whole grains are so salubrious and will always be better for your health. That means 100% WHOLE GRAIN waffles, bread, cereals, crackers, brown rice, tortillas, english muffins, etc. Also, vegetables and fruits are very good for a balanced diet. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, and popcorn are natural whole grains are should be enjoyed too.
In terms of foods that are high in refined carbs, not very nutritious, and usually high in calories and fat, this would be the candy, cookies, cakes, sodas, and snack foods. These treats should be enjoyed sparingly and in moderation. Hope this helps!
Last edited by runnergirl; 03-24-2005 at 03:22 PM.