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The Glycemic Index Explained

The glycemic index is a ranking system for carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose levels. It compares carbohydrates gram for gram in individual foods, providing a numerical, evidence-based index of post-meal glycemia. Carbohydrates that break down rapidly during digestion have the highest glycemic indices. These carbs require less energy to be converted into glucose, resulting in faster digestion and a quicker increase in blood glucose.  Carbs that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have a low glycemic index. A lower glycemic index also means a slower rate of digestion and absorption of the sugars and starches in food. A lower glycemic index means lower insulin demand, better long-term blood glucose control and a reduction in cholesterol.

Foods that are low on the glycemic index and therefore "good carbs" include apples, dried apricots, oranges, pears, cherries, strawberries, asparagus, broccoli, eggplant, green beans, spinach, zucchini, peanuts, brown rice, multi-grain bread, whole wheat pasta and tortillas, and kidney beans. Whenever possible choose whole grains and foods that are organically grown.

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