The glycemic index (GI) is an important nutritional tool. By indicating how quickly a given food triggers a rise in blood sugar, the GI enables you to choose foods that can help you manage a variety of conditions and improve your overall health.
Written by leading nutritionist Dr. Shari Lieberman, this book was designed as an easy-to-use guide to the glycemic index. The book first answers commonly asked questions, ensuring that you understand the GI and know how to use it. It then provides the glycemic index and glycemic load of hundreds of foods and beverages, including raw foods, cooked foods, and many combination and prepared foods. Whether you are interested in controlling your glucose levels to manage your diabetes, lose weight, increase your heart health, or simply enhance your well-being, the Glycemic Index Food Guide is the best place to start.
Shari Lieberman, PhD, CNS, FACN, earned her doctorate in Clinical Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from The Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio, and her master’s degree in
Nutrition, Food Science and Dietetics from New York University. A Certified Nutrition Specialist, Dr. Lieberman is the best-selling author of Mineral Miracle and The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book
PART ONE: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
What are carbohydrates?
Are there different types of carbohydrates?
How are different carbohydrates metabolized by the body?
What does this have to do with the glycemic index?
Understanding the Glycemic Index
What is the glycemic index?
Why is the glycemic index important?
How is the glycemic index of a food calculated?
Why do certain foods within the same food group have different rankings on the GI?
How is it possible that a plain baked potato has a higher GI value than potato chips?
Why is pasta ranked as a low-glycemic food?
Why isn’t sugar ranked high on the GI?
Certain foods such as meat, fish, and even some vegetables are not ranked on the glycemic index. Why?
Why don’t alcoholic beverages have GI numbers? Aren’t they made from high-carbohydrate ingredients?
Does eating more of a food cause its GI number to increase?
What is glycemic load?
Why is glycemic load so important?
Do I have to give up my favorite high-GI foods?
What factors can affect the GI of a food, making it higher or lower than shown on GI tables?
Can I estimate the GI of a packaged food that isn’t included on the table?
Health Disorders and the Glycemic Index
How are high-GI foods associated with diabetes?
How are high-GI foods associated with obesity?
How are high-GI foods associated with cardiovascular disease?
How are high-GI foods associated with metabolic syndrome?
How are high-GI foods associated with cancer?
How are high-GI foods associated with fatigue?
How can a low-GI diet improve your health?
PART TWO: THE GLYCEMIC INDEX FOOD GUIDE
How to Use This Table
The Glycemic Index Food Guide
About the Author
Originally designed as a guide for people with diabetes, the glycemic index is an important new nutritional tool that now has wide-ranging uses. By indicating how quickly a given food triggers a rise in blood sugar, it enables everyone—from diabetics, to individuals who want to lose weight, to people who simply want to remain healthy—to choose the foods that can help them meet their dietary and health goals. This book is an easy-to-use guide to the glycemic index, or GI. Whether you have been relying on the GI for years or have just heard about this wonderful tool, you’re sure to find it invaluable as you learn about the GI and use it to make smart food choices.
The book begins by answering a number of frequently asked questions about the glycemic index. Here you’ll get a crash course in carbohydrates, which is what the GI is all about; learn about the glycemic index itself; and discover the importance of the GI in preventing and managing a host of disorders, from diabetes to cancer to fatigue. If you’ve ever wondered why people with diabetes are urged to avoid certain foods, or simply why some foods so often lead to feelings of lethargy, you’re sure to enjoy this easy-to-read Q and A. This section also addresses some issues that often confuse people when they first glance at the glycemic index of different foods. Why are certain foods, like meat and fish, not ranked on the glycemic index? Does eating more of a food cause its GI number to increase? What is glycemic load, or GL? Since carrots have a high GI, does that mean that they’re an unhealthy food? Perhaps most important, the Q and A tells you how to use the glycemic index to create a diet that not only is healthy but also includes the foods you love. The fact is that you don’t have to give up your favorite foods—not even if they rank high on the index. You just have to learn to integrate them wisely in your diet by balancing high-GI choices with low-GI foods.
After the Q and A section, you’ll find the heart of the book: The Glycemic Index Food Guide. This table presents an alphabetical listing of hundreds of common foods and beverages, including many combination and prepared foods, along with their glycemic index ranking and their glycemic load. If you’ve already used other GI lists, you’ll immediately see that this one is different. First, while many lists express portion size in grams, this one has converted grams to familiar ounce measurements. Second, while other lists force you to search endlessly for a particular food, this one places each food not only under its name, but also under logical categories. Say you’re looking for udon noodles, for instance. Whether you search for it under “Udon,” “Asian Foods,” or just plain “Pasta,” you’ll quickly find its GI. In fact, several ethnic categories have been created to make it easy to dine at your favorite restaurant. You’ll also see that instead of confusing GI numbers, this guide clearly identifies the glycemic index of a food as being low, medium, or high, so that you immediately understand its effect on blood glucose levels. Meanwhile, intriguing questions and tips have been sprinkled throughout the guide, leading you to informative discussions and highlighting good food choices.
Because there’s so much to learn about the glycemic index, and because more information is always becoming available, the book ends with a list of helpful websites. These sites provide more detailed information about topics of interest, and in many cases offer continuously updated databases of foods. Check them out, and you’re sure to learn even more about this fascinating subject, as well as gleaning practical tips and suggestions for meeting your dietary goals.
Whether you are interested in controlling your glucose levels to manage a specific health problem, you’re trying to boost your energy levels, you wish to achieve a healthier weight, or you simply want to enhance your overall well-being, this guide was designed to help you every step of the way. Turn the page, and learn how the glycemic index can change your life.