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eVitality January 2011
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The Glycemic Index

Photo of string beansThe glycemic index (GI) measures how foods that contain carbohydrates raise the body’s blood sugar, or glucose. Foods are rated from 0 to 100, with glucose or sugar often given the highest rating.

When eaten, foods high on the GI, such as white bread and potatoes, increase the body’s sugar levels quickly. Foods with low glycemic values, such as soy beans and peanuts, increase the body’s blood sugar levels slowly.

Eating with the GI in mind can help people with diabetes balance their blood sugar levels. By sticking to foods with low to moderate glycemic levels, they can also keep their blood glucose levels from rising too rapidly.

Low glycemic foods can also help people who are trying to lose weight feel less hungry.

How Foods Rate on the Glycemic Index

Bread and Grains
Doughnut ............................................... 76
Bread, whole wheat ............................................... 73
Bread, white ............................................... 70
Bran muffin ............................................... 60
Rice, white ............................................... 56
Rice, brown ............................................... 55
Spaghetti, white ............................................... 41
Spaghetti, whole wheat ............................................... 32

Cereals
Corn flakes ............................................... 77
Shredded wheat ............................................... 67
Bran ............................................... 38

Dairy
Ice cream ............................................... 62
Yogurt, sweetened ............................................... 33
Milk, skim ............................................... 32
Milk, whole ............................................... 21

Fruit
Watermelon ............................................... 7
Pineapple ............................................... 66
Raisins ............................................... 64
Banana ............................................... 51
Orange ............................................... 48
Grapes ............................................... 43
Apple ............................................... 40
Pear ............................................... 33

Starchy Vegetables
Carrots ............................................... 92
Potatoes, instant ............................................... 88
Potatoes, baked ............................................... 78
Potatoes, mashed ............................................... 73
Potatoes, sweet ............................................... 48

Legumes
Baked beans ............................................... 40
Lentils ............................................... 28
Kidney beans ............................................... 23
Soy beans ............................................... 15

Snack Foods
Rice cakes ............................................... 82
Jelly beans ............................................... 80
Graham crackers ............................................... 74
Potato chips ............................................... 57
Popcorn ............................................... 55
Oatmeal cookies ............................................... 54
Banana cake ............................................... 47
Chocolate ............................................... 44
Corn chips ............................................... 42
Peanuts ............................................... 13

Beverages
Soda ............................................... 63
Orange juice ............................................... 57
Apple juice ............................................... 41

Sources: Iowa State University; University of Sydney

© StayWell Custom Communications. Information is the opinion of the sourced authors and organizations. Personal decisions regarding health, diet, and exercise should be made only after consultation with the reader's own medical advisers. This material may not be reproduced for redistribution without written permission from StayWell Custom Communications.


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