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Diabetes

How to Use the Glycemic Index

Some foods can make your blood sugar shoot up very fast. That's because carbohydrates like refined sugars and bread are easier for your body to change into glucose, the sugar your body uses for energy, than more slowly digested carbs like those in vegetables and whole grains. Eat a lot of those easy carbohydrates and you'll have a hard time controlling your blood sugar, even with insulin and diabetes medications.

The glycemic index gives you a way to tell slower-acting "good carbs" from the faster "bad carbs." You can use it to fine-tune your carb-counting and help keep your blood sugar more steady.

What Is the Glycemic Index?

Glycemic index is a number. It gives you an idea about how fast your body converts the carbs in a food into glucose. Two foods with the same amount of carbohydrates can have different glycemic index numbers.

The smaller the number, the less impact the food has on your blood sugar.

  • 55 or less = Low (good)
  • 56- 69 = Medium
  • 70 or higher = High (bad)

WebMD Medical Reference

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