Low Glycemic Diet

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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-03-13 (EDT)

See Also Naturopathic Therapies
See Also Clinical Nutrition

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical system of measuring how fast a carbohydrate triggers a rise in circulating blood sugar. The high the number, the greater the blood sugar response. In other words, a low GI food results in a small rise in blood sugar; a high GI food will tigger a blood sugar spike.[1] [2]

Over time there have been two different standard used for establishing the glycemic index. One standard used the ingestin of glucose as the baseline another used white bread. This has caused some confusion when people are trying to reference glycemic index charts. The current accepted standard for the glycemic index scale is to compare different foods to the reaction that white bread has on blood sugar. Hence, white bread has a GI of 100. All other foods are compared to this standard.

Glycemic Index Foods

The following provides an overview of the glycemic index. For more detailed breakdown visit [1] [3]

High glycemic foods (GI above 70) include: white bread, processed white products (donuts, waffles, cakes, etc.), white rice, glucose, sugar-based foods, cereals such as corn flakes, rice krispies and cheerios. Avoid these foods as much as possible.

Medium glycemic foods (GI between 56 - 69) include: whole wheat products, brown or basmati rice, starchy vegetables such as white potatoes and sweet corn. Medium glycemic foods are okay in moderation.

Low glycemic foods (GI of 55 or lower) include: most fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts. Choose low glycemic foods the most often.

Therapeutic Use

Following the glycemic index, that is choosing low glycemic foods and avoiding high, is primarily prescribed when stabilization of blood sugar is a requirement. It is often part of the treatment plan for conditions such as:


  1. http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm
  2. Canadian Diabetes Association
  3. Canadian Diabetes Association