A glycemic index diet is normally known as the low glycemic index diet, or low GI diet.
The glycemic index is a way to tell how quickly foods that contain carbohydrate may raise your blood sugar.
On a low glycemic diet, you eat foods that raise your blood sugar slowly so that you can keep your blood sugar from getting too high.
Low glycemic foods break down slowly in your body and release sugar into the blood slowly, such as but not limited to:
Dried beans and legumes like lentils.
Nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli and peppers.
Some starchy vegetables, such as yams.
Some whole grains and cereals, such as oatmeal and whole wheat bread.
Many fruits, such as apples, berries, dried apricots, and cherries.
High glycemic foods break down quickly and make blood sugar rise quickly. They include:
Some fruits, such as dates and watermelon.
A few vegetables, such as some types of potatoes.
Moderate glycemic foods include:
Shredded wheat cereal.
Here is the glycemic index chart of some common foods. It gives each of the foods a number from 0 to 100. The higher the number, the higher the glycemic index. Foods are compared to glucose, which is sugar. It has a rank of 100.
Foods that raise blood sugar quickly are high. They are rated 70 or more.
Foods that raise blood sugar moderately are medium. They are rated 56 to 69.
Foods that raise blood sugar slowly are low. They are rated 55 or less.
People respond differently to the glycemic content of foods. The only way to know for sure how a food affects your blood sugar is to check your blood sugar before and after you eat that food.
The glycemic index might not be helpful unless you're eating a food by itself. Eating foods together can change their glycemic index.
Choosing a low glycemic index diet doesn't mean that you can't eat any high glycemic foods at all. Some high glycemic foods, such as potatoes, have lots of nutrients. The best approach is to limit how much and how often you eat these foods.