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What is a Glycemic Index Food List?

By M.R. Anglin
Updated: May 17, 2024

A glycemic index food list is a compilation that shows the glycemic index of various foods. Based mostly on the studies done by the University of Sydney in Australia, the index shows how various foods affect glucose levels in the body. The foods on the glycemic index food list that are absorbed quickly tend to lead to a spike in blood glucose and have a high glycemic index. In contrast, those that are absorbed slowly tend to keep glucose stable and have a low index. It is said that adhering to eating foods that have a low index will help keep diseases like diabetes and heart disease under control.

The glycemic index food list helps people understand that the body does not handle all carbohydrates the same way. Some carbohydrates are absorbed quickly while others are absorbed more slowly. The blood sugar spikes caused by high glycemic index foods can lead to sugar crashes and cravings. This can spell disaster for a person who needs to control his blood sugar. Those foods with a low glycemic index tend to help a person feel fuller longer and can help a person control his appetite and lose weight.

There are about 750 different foods that have been tested by the University of Sydney for the glycemic index food list. The list is calculated by giving a certain number of test subjects a certain food after they have not eaten anything the night before. The blood sugar levels of these subjects are then tested every 15-30 minutes. These findings are used to map out a curve of how the food affects the blood sugar levels in the test subjects’ bodies. The scientists can then use that information to determine the index of a specific food.

The information found on the glycemic index food list can be useful for many people. Certainly, it is helpful for diabetics who need to keep their blood sugar under control, but it can also be helpful for an athlete or a person trying to lose weight. By eating low glycemic foods, a person can feel fuller longer and can avoid the crash that comes when blood sugar fluctuates. Low index foods also can help to keep cholesterol and triglycerides under control, while high index foods can help a person restore his body’s carbohydrate levels after a workout. Stabilizing blood sugar through eating low glycemic index foods may help a person stay healthy.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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