Glycemic index refers to a food's ability to raise blood sugar to a
particular level within a given period of time. Glycemic index applies only to
carbohydrate foods because they are the foods that most affect blood sugar
Some starchy foods have a high glycemic index. These foods may
cause high blood sugar levels after meals. High glycemic foods include instant
rice, baked potatoes, and raisins. Foods that contain mostly fat and protein do
not affect blood sugar levels very much, so their glycemic index is not
Most nonstarchy vegetables, fruits, and legumes have a low glycemic
index. These foods may help prevent high blood sugar after meals. Low glycemic
foods include rye grain, dried beans and lentils, apricots, and peanuts.
The glycemic index of a food can change depending on the variety of the food (for example, red potato or white potato), its ripeness, how it is prepared (for example, juiced, mashed, or ground), how it is cooked, how long it is stored, and the foods eaten with it.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator