What is the Secret to the Glycemic Index?

Not all carbohydrate foods are created equal, in fact they behave quite differently in our bodies. The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels.

Choosing low GI carbs - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels - is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.

Before the development of the glycemic index beginning in 1981, scientists assumed that our bodies absorbed and digested simple sugars quickly, producing rapid increases in our blood glucose level. This was the basis of the advice to avoid sugar, a proscription recently relaxed by the American Diabetes Association and others.

Now we know that simple sugars don't make your blood glucose rise any more rapidly than some complex carbohydrates do.  Of course, simple sugars are simply empty calories, and still should be minimized for that reason.

Many of the glycemic index results have been surprises. For example, baked potatoes have a glycemic index considerably higher than that of table sugar.

Look at the Glycemic Index Links page for more valuable information.