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Making Sense of Foods

How to Choose Low GI Foods: What Factors Influence the GI of a Food?

  • Simple sugars, such as regular sugar, syrup, and honey, are high on the Glycemic Index. Foods that contain more sugars are higher on the GI.
  • Starchy foods, such as white baking potatoes and white bread, are absorbed more quickly by the body, so they are higher on the GI.
  • Processing foods raises the GI. Any time rice is stripped of its brown coating, or oats are cut thinner for quicker cooking, the GI is increased. Your best bet is to eat the "whole food"—as close as possible to how it came off the plant.
  • Cooking can also raise the GI, because the food itself is broken down during heating, making it more readily digestible. Pasta, which is low on the index, can be made into a high GI food if you overcook it and turn it to mush.
  • Fiber in foods helps lower the GI. When you read labels, choose foods that have at least three grams of fiber per serving (more is better).
  • Protein can also help lower the GI, so add beans to your meal.

 

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