Do you know about the glycemic index?

I first learnt about the glycemic index when I was in university. I wanted to eat healthily and realised that foods could be classified according to their glycemic index (GI) – a ranking of carbohydrates based on how much they raise blood glucose levels after they are being eaten. Low GI foods are digested and absorbed more slowly and hence produces more gradual rises in blood glucose. These foods have health benefits and are good for weight control because they allow people to feel full for longer periods of times. High GI foods have a value of 55 and above, while low GI foods have a value below 55.

Some diets recommend eating more fruits and vegetables, but did you know that even among fruits, there is a range of different GI values? Dried apricots for example, are a great snack because they not only contain a whole load of nutrients, they are a low GI-food with an index of only 30. Cherries are also low at 22, and prunes are at 29. You may want to eat less watermelon (GI-index 80) and dates (GI-index 108),

For grains and carbs, a few of the low GI options are barley (GI-index 22), brown rice and long grain white rice (GI-index 50), pasta (GI-index 32). Generally, the least processed a cereal/grain is, the lower the glycemic index. Processing most foods increase their GI-index.

Beans and legumes are generally considered low -GI foods. They are a good source of proteins, especially for vegetarians.

Craving for something sweet? Dark chocolate has a low GI of about 25. Sweetened yogurt is a good choice too at 33.

So if you are looking for weight control, paying attention to the Glycemic Index of the foods you eat may prove very useful. Afterall, if you feel full for a longer period of time, you will generally eat less and snack less. Happy eating!


  1. […] Porridge is one of my comfort foods on a cold rainy day, or when I am recovery from a flu. It is simple to prepare, feeds a large number of people easily, and best of all, has a low glycemic index! Did you know that porridge has a GI index of 42-45, in comparison with steamed rice, that has a whooping GI index of 98? To find out more about the glycemic index, you can refer to my earlier post here. […]

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