Where Food Ranks:
Getting to Know the Glycemic Index Chart
Getting to know the glycemic index chart can be a bit of a challenge. The information here is a helpful tutorial on how to read and interpret the glycemic index chart. The chart can be quite confusing until you find your way around it and understand the meaning of everything. The reason it is so challenging is that it was originally made for communicating between doctors and patients. Doctors wanted a simpler method of teaching patients what to eat so that everybody was on the same page so to speak. The patients therefor had the benefit of planning and explanation with the help of the doctor. Go to the link to see a bit more of the history behind getting to know the gylcemic index chart
Not Too Hard
It is not hard to understand what the numbers mean. That is what this site is about and it will help you with getting to know the glycemic index chart. It really is quite simple once you know what all the numbers mean. Just be open-minded and willing to learn.
Getting to know the glycemic index chart starts with understanding that the numbers range from a high of 100 to a low of 0. The foods listed alongside the numbers are the foods associated with that number, or index. Download your copy of the glycemic index chart by right clicking the icon on the right and save as.
High is Bad, Low is Good
The number is the effect the food will have on your blood sugar. A high number means that the corresponding food is likely to cause your blood sugar to spike. For example a high number such as 82 will mean that your blood sugar will go up quickly because the food is digested fast. Conversely, the lower number means your blood sugar will only go up gradually as the food is digested slower than the higher number foods. Generally speaking the lower numbers lead to more stable blood sugar levels and are more healthy for you (especially if you are a person with diabetes) .
Put simply, the higher the number the higher the blood sugar spike when that food is eaten.
Understanding is thus simple. Reading might take a bit of effort. Most of the charts are arranged so that a number less than 55 means it has a low effect on spiking your blood sugar. A middle range is between 55-70 and a high range of foods is considered to be above 70.
All of the charts work on the same principles but arrange the foods in a different way. Most of the charts list foods in groups or in food types rather than listing them by their index number. A little effort and you will find your way around your favorite chart! Don’t give up, persevere. It is well worth it.
Explaining the Index Levels in Getting to Know the Glycemic Index Chart: Some Foods are Lower than Others
You may very well be surprised by some of the rankings as you casually glance at the glycemic index chart while getting to know the glycemic index. For example you may be surprised to see that a Snickers bar has an index number in the 40s while a bagel has an index number in the 70s. The explanation is that the mixture of peanuts and chocolate in the Snickers bar shoots the protein levels up. Protein slows digestion and therefore slows sugar absorption and steadies sugar levels.
Conversely the bagel is a really high carbohydrate, easy and fast to digest and thus pushes the sugar levels up really quickly. This is easy to understand.
Avoid the High – Stick with the Low – OR Combine It
Therefore, you can use the glycemic index to understand which foods are high on the index. If a food is high on the index you should either avoid that food or eat it with a bit of protein to slow down the digestion.
For example toast is high by itself, add a bit of protein such as peanut butter and you will slow down the digestion! Another classic is a tuna sandwich.
How Getting to Know the Glycemic Index Chart Information Helps You
The rule is simple – eat protein with high index foods to lower the impact of those foods on your blood sugar levels. Getting to know the glycemic index charts should no longer be overwhelming. It is worth mastering. Many people use the glycemic index for diabetic control, for weight loss and for a much healthier, higher quality life. This will be time well spent, but you can experiment and learn from your own experience as to what makes a difference in your health. Don’t wait until you have mastered the whole chart. Simply start eating according to the glycemic index and learn from the experience. Your body will thank you for it!
More Information from YouTube
More information is available at this great resource for the more medically minded on getting to know the glycemic index chart.
Wikipedia is always brimming with information too!