Where Foods Rank:
Getting to Know the Glycemic Index Chart

It has been said that if you don’t know what it means, you won’t know what to do with it. If you don’t know what to do with it, you won’t get the benefit of the glycemic index chart.

I know the GI chart can be quite baffling, especially if you are uncertain what the whole thing means.

Even though it was at first developed for physicians and diabetic patients for help in controlling and managing blood sugar through the foods consumed, it does not mean that you cannot appreciate what the numbers mean.

If you understand the GI numbers, you have taken the first step in controlling your diet.

First, however, do not think the glycemic index chart is a huge, intimidating monster. This chart can be just the answer to your quest for a sensible weight loss diet, and can truly support you and help your health. All you have to do is have an open mind and a willingness to learn!

Numbers: High, Low, and Everywhere in Between

In reviewing the glycemic index chart, you will see a mind boggling list of various numbers associated with each foods listed. They generally range from 1 to 100, although some can go above. The numbers in the chart signify how blood sugar will spike after you eat that food.

A food with high number, say 96, will predict that it will digest relatively rapidly in your system. This will result in your blood sugar going up high very fast.

A food with a lower number, say 22, will predict that it will digest relatively slowly in your system. This will result in your blood sugar rising slowly and evenly, which is considered better for your body, particularly of you are diabetic.

Getting a better feel of the GI numbers will take some time and effort, but understanding them is straightforward, as outlined in the chart below:

Glycemic Index Ranking

High

70 and greater

Medium

56 to 69

Low

55 and less


Memorize the number range for each of the three categories of high, medium and low. Use the color coding to help you remember.

In selecting your foods, reduce the reds, moderate on the ambers, and increase the greens.

The charts you may see and come across from different sources, will generally not list foods based on their index number. Rather, and it is more helpful, they usually are listed by food groups or types. There may be slight differences. Do not let that confuse you.

The principal remains the same. Choice of foods using this approach is all about balancing your diet, and adjusting your approach to eating. If you follow them, you will get a better outcome and not be unduly stressed out with keeping to a strict set of rules.

Why Ranking of Some Foods Don’t make Sense?

Once you actually review the glycemic index chart, other than absorbing the information contained in it, you just may be bewildered about some of the rankings, since it defies your own logic about foods that are good for you versus bad. An example is the ranking of a Snickers bar, which is in the 40's compared to a bagel which is in the 70's.

This brings up the other key element of understanding the chart and using it wisely.

The explanation for the Snickers bar is that it contains proteins from the peanuts in it, in addition to chocolate. The protein reduces the absorption of the rest of the food, which means that the bar takes longer to digest into your system compared to just eating a chocolate bar.

This is a very important concept and well worth remembering and appreciating, since it mimics real life in many instances. It is the same as eating white bread alone, or eating white bread with peanut butter. The addition of peanut butter makes all the difference, and why moms are known to give their children peanut butter sandwiches for school.

Remember this well, if you eat foods high on the GI index, eat it with proteins.

Now this is starting to get interesting. It should feel empowering to you, as you perhaps are finally sensing that you may just get the better of this after all. I hope you are getting a sense as to why some foods may seem wrongly categorized. They are not, and there is a method behind it.

How This Information Helps You

As I indicated earlier, and as you are hopefully beginning to figure out, the glycemic index is an important tool for a healthy lifestyle, especially for those grappling with weight issues. It is not only for diabetics.

Actually, even if you do not have a weight problem, the principles of the glycemic index can help you feel better and more energetic. Master the principles of the glycemic index, and you have taken the first step to a sensible, healthy, energetic and long life.

Remember, it will take some time to fully appreciate and truly understand how to properly use all the data in a glycemic index chart. Do not wait to become an expert. Start applying the principles by eating foods that makes sense. Make a glycemic index list and keep it handy to help you shop and eat better. The earlier you start and the more you practice it, you will slowly but surely start to feel and see the difference.

Even better, just pick up a copy of the Stop Failing Diets ebook, which will show you how to use the glycemic index chart and eat better to lose weight. 

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