The glycemic index of foods you eat could be the reason that one day you find your sugars out of control, but you’re shocked, because you haven’t strayed from your diabetes nutrition guidelines.
Following the food guide pyramid, you will eat at least 40 percent carbohydrates, and all carbohydrates raise your blood sugars. But the days when you eat mashed potatoes (glycemic index 72) could be much different from the ones when you’re dining on an apple (glycemic index 38).
The glycemic index ranks carbohydrate-rich foods according to how much they raise blood sugars. It gives a 50-gram serving of a particular food a number, with glucose being the standard, at a GI of 100.
White bread, with a glycemic index of 72, will send your sugars skyrocketing more than ice cream, with a GI of only 38.
Proponents of using the glycemic index believe that eating a low-GI diet helps prevent obesity and, in people with diabetes, helps keep glucose levels down.
This chart of foods with their glycemic indices comes from the book “Stop the Rollercoaster” by John Walsh, PA, CDE, Ruth Roberts, MA, and Lois Jovanovic-Peterson, MD (Torrey Pines Press, 1996). “Stop the Rollercoaster” addresses the glycemic index and many other topics on blood sugar control.
|Instant brown rice||88|
|Instant mashed potatoes||86|
|Corn flakes cereal||83|
|Whole-wheat or white bread||72|
|Swiss Muesli cereal||70|
|Shredded Wheat cereal||70|
|New potato, boiled||58|
|All Bran cereal||54|
|Frozen green peas||47|
|Spaghetti, boiled 15 min.||44|
|Spaghetti, boiled 5 min.||33|