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Glycemic Index and Control of Diabetes

Carbohydrates fall into two major categories: simple (including sugar, honey and maple syrup) and complex (including whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans and legumes). While complex Carbs as they are commonly called are better for your health, it is even more important to be cognizant of which particular Carbs will metabolize (i.e. processed or convert) into sugar which in turn impacts your glucose or blood sugar levels. (See article on Diabetes under Brisker Health). The more sugar your absorb into your blood stream, the harder your pancreas have to work--and the harder you have to exercise to burn it off.

This is where Glycemic Index comes into play.

What Is Glycemic Index? The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical indicator of how fast and how high a particular food can raise our blood glucose (blood sugar) level. A food with a low GI (less than 55) will typically prompt a moderate rise in blood glucose, while a food with a high GI (more than 70) may cause our blood glucose level to increase above the optimal level. Following are the known GI's for common foods.

A common myth is that fruits are always good for you. Well not all of them. If you have a diabetic or pre-diabetic condition, or if you have a weight problem, certain fruits high in GI like ripe bananas are unhealthy for you.

Similarly, processed foods, foods with high starch are also not as good. Note other common myths--See the GI for Rice Crispies, Cornflakes, Shredded Wheat, Parsnips and Jelly Beans. All high in GI and therefore not as good as, say Hazelnuts, Sweet Potato, Kidney Beans or Lentils. The latter two are also rich in protein.



Yogurt--A Very Low GI Food (Sweetened 33, Unsweetened 14) ! And Delicious!!


•All Bran 43 •Apple 37 •Apple juice (clear) 44 •Apricot (dried) 30 •Apricot (jam) 55 •Apricot (tinned) 64 •Baked beans (tinned) 46 •

Banana (ripe) 58 •Banana (unripe) 30 •Beetroot 64 •Butter beans 31

•Carrots 51 •Cashews 22 •Cherries 22 •Chickpeas 33 •Chocolate 49 •Cornflakes 81 •Croissant 69

•Dark rye bread 76 •Dates (dried) 72 •Digestive biscuit 60 •Doughnut 76

•French baguette 68 •Fructose 46

•Glucose 100 •Grapefruit 25 •Grapes 48

•Hazelnuts 33

•Ice cream 61

•Jelly beans 80 •Kidney beans 28

•Kiwi fruit 53

• Lentils 28

• Mango 56 • Mars bar 65 •Milk (full fat) 27 •Milk (skimmed) 32 • Mixed grain 49 • Muesli 58

•Oat bran 50 •Orange 44 •Orange juice 55

•Parsnips 68 •Pineapple 66 •Peach 42 •Peanut butter 29 •Peanuts 22 •Pear 36 •Peas 48 •Pineapple juice 46 •Pinto beans 40 •Pitta bread 58 •Plums 32 •Popcorn 55 •Porridge 46 •Potato (boiled or mashed ) 74 •Potato (jacket baked) 72 •Potato crisps 54 •Potato: new 62 •Puffed Wheat 80

•Raisins 64 •Rice Crispies 83 •Rich Tea biscuits 57 •Rye bread 65

•Shredded Wheat 70 •Sourdough 57 •Soya beans 20 •Spaghetti (white) 43 •Spaghetti (wholemeal) 39 •Special K 54 • Split peas 32 •Strawberry 32 •Sultanas 57 •Swede 72 •Sweet corn 55 •Sweet potato 54 •Table sugar 65

•Tomato juice 38 •White bread 70

•Wholemeal bread 69

•Yoghurt (low-fat, sweetened) 33 •Yoghurt (low-fat, unsweetened) 14