The High on Diabetes, Part 7: The Diabetic Glycemic Index Food List

Diabetics are constantly concerned about their glycemic intake.  For this reason, numerous websites, books, and other forms of media have endeavored to produce a glycemic index food list.  Unfortunately, this is often an extensive list that can easily make things overly complicated.  Use the following lists and explanations to quickly refer to when wondering just how much you are spiking your blood sugar levels.

Starchy carbohydrates are probably the foods with best ability to spike your insulin the highest.  In fact, white flour products have a notoriously high number that can be easily avoided by simply substituting white flour products for those made with whole wheat.  For example, bread made from white flour (remember Wonder Bread?—so nutritious you could squish a slice into the size of a marble?) tend to score an (average) 73.  Change out your wonder bread for a hearty slice of whole wheat bread, and you will get an average of around 70.  If you use a whole wheat bread that uses cracked wheat in the recipe, the number goes even lower—all the way down to 48, depending on the percentage of cracked wheat in the bread.  Most starchy grains and carbohydrates will have a higher number, but the white grain products—including white flour and white rice—truly top the charts.

Fruits are another food group that tends to have high glycemic indexes.    If you are faced with a choice, opt for the fruit that is less ripe—the riper the fruit, the more sugar it contains, and thus the higher they are rated on the gi foods list.  Bananas are a prime example of this.  An under ripe banana scores only a 30 on the scale; whereas if it is over ripe, it will tend to get around 52.  Dried fruits of any kind also tend to be higher on the list, due to the concentration of sugars into the fruit.  Dried apricots, however, are one kind of dried fruit that will actually not spike your insulin so much—dried apricots score only a 31 on the glycemic foods list.

If you are trying to be mindful of your blood sugar levels and are unable to pay close attention to the glycemic index numbers for every food you consume, be especially aware of consuming soft drinks, candies, and other snacks.  It is often the processed foods that tend to have the very highest of numbers on the glycemic index; so while you are out or away and may not have your handy list nearby, you can at least be aware of these particular foods to avoid.

The glycemic index foods list is a wonderful tool for those who have the time to look up every food they are eating.  But for those who are truly on the go,  this general overview will help them be aware of just how much they are affecting their blood sugar levels.

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