The Glycemic Index Compendium
Health Topics

Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index is just plain brilliant because it’s based on the science of how foods, specifically carbohydrates, work in your body. But the Glycemic Index isn’t merely someone’s good idea or an interesting intellectual theory. The Glycemic Index has been research-tested on real people who have the same kinds of weight-loss and heath issues as you.

Is the Glycemic Index just another fad? The answer is a resounding “NO.” It’s a medically-sound scientifically-tested explanation for how the body reacts to the foods we eat. The Glycemic Index has been researched since the 1980s and is used by nutritionists around the world to guide people—especially those with eating challenges such as persons with diabetes.

Glycemic Index as a Reference

By using the glycemic index as a reference when you eat, you actually know how a food will affect your weight and health. With many food theories, such as food combining, or vegetarian eating, personal testimonials are often the only evidence. And, these are often based on a person’s internal belief systems and perhaps a desire to prove a point (or not). With actual testing, well, let’s put it this way–it would have been really difficult and most likely impossible for a volunteer to fool the blood sugar test.

For simple clarification, the glycemic index groups carbs into three groups. Low-glycemic carbs are those with a glycemic index of 55 or lower. Medium-glycemic carbs are those scoring 56 to 69. High-glycemic carbs are those scoring 70 or higher. Pure glucose was used to set the baseline at 100.

High-glycemic foods include:

Breads, rice crackers, some cookies and cakes, most muffins, and most foods made with enriched white flour. The more easily digestible the starches and sugars in a food, the higher it is on the glycemic index. Refined grain products are usually high as well as most breakfast cereals, white potatoes, and modified food starch.

Medium-glycemic foods include:

Stone-ground breads that don’t contain white flour, whole-grain cereals, some cakes and cookies, corn taco shells, table sugar, and energy bars. Some of the tropical fruits, such as papaya and pineapple, are medium-glycemic.

Low-glycemic foods include:

All vegetables, most fruits, some whole grain products like steel-cut oats and whole barley, and some pasta. Legumes, such as lentils and pinto beans, are low-glycemic. Dark chocolate is too. Nuts and seeds are low, and most dairy products, provided they don’t have added sugar, are also low.

Glycemic Index
4.3 (85%) 16 votes