The glycemic index chart is an index which aims to measure the rapidity of blood sugar level increase triggered by the consumption of carbohydrate based foods. Originally, it was devised to help diabetics maintain even blood glucose levels. Today, the GI is used by dieters and those just wanting to maintain an energetic and healthy lifestyle.
The initial genesis of this chart goes back to research conducted in 1981. Scientists were looking for a way to classify and rank carbohydrate based foods. The primary envisioned benefactors of this research were diabetics. Initial studies had subjects ingest 50 grams of food. Blood glucose levels were subsequently monitored. The impact upon blood sugar levels was then referenced against 50 grams of white bread.
The results of this research were used as a predicate to establish the Glycemic Index Chart. The chart ranks over sixty commonly eaten foods as to their glycemic response. Glycemic index scores are rated as low if they are below 55. Foods scoring between 56-69 are considered medium. Foods scoring higher than 70 are considered high on the chart.
Over time, the G.I. chart has been expanded to include many more foods in order to assist both diabetics and dieters alike. Although initially limited to use by diabetics, the chart is now followed by a much wider audience.
The good news is that there exists foods within each category that score low. Many forms of pasta such as spaghetti and plain macaroni score in the low range. Almost all vegetables score low with the salient exception of broad beans. Whereas white bread scores the highest, there are bread choices such as whole grain breads which score low.
There are low chart values within every category of food, including even candy. Believe it or not, chocolate scores moderately on both the GI and GL charts when consumed in moderation. This is because the GI chart effectively discriminates between carbohydrates, as opposed to traditional thinking which painted all carbohydrates with the same broad brush.
GL stands for glycemic load. This is a calculation which seeks to normalize values based upon the amount consumed. The glycemic index chart gives good guidance on a given food’s intrinsic qualities when it comes to impact on blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Load Index combines the GI chart along with the amount of the given food consumed per serving.
The glycemic index chart is easily understood and can be utilized by diabetics, dieters and all of us who simply desire a more energetic lifestyle. Although some of the rankings can be counterintuitive, keeping a copy of the chart handy can clear up any confusion and facilitate success in your next diet.
Doug Dearing writes about the glycemic index chart at http://glycemicindexfoodlists.com