5 Rules for the Glycemic Index of Foods


Do you ever find yourself wondering if what you’re eating is good for you?  Here are 5 rules that you can use to quickly assess the glycemic index of a certain food.  These are not absolutes, but can serve you well if you don’t have access to a chart/table (easily found online):

  1. Whole Foods: the more natural, less processed the food, the lower the score
  2. Fiber Content: fiber helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates, but beware how processed the fiber is, I’ll talk about it in length another day
  3. Starch Content: there are two types, amylose and amylopectin.  Amylose is digested more slowly (basmati rice, black beans, lentils), thus makes for a lower score.  Amylopectin on the other hand is absorbed really fast, jasmine rice for example.
  4. Sugar Content: quantity and type of sugar influence the rate of absorption.  Most fruits generally score low, but tropical fruits like banana and mango score medium-high.
  5. Preparation of Food: cooking of foods usually increases their glycemic index, so raw food will generally score lower.

Next week: Glycemic Load.