Low-glycemic foods, which have minimal impact on blood sugar levels, are listed on the glycemic index. This list, found online, in books and available through doctors and nutritionists, measures food on a scale of 1 to 100, based on the impact each food has on blood glucose. Low-glycemic foods have a rating of 55 or less.
Not all carbohydrates have an equal impact on the body. Some create a fast spike in blood sugar while others are digested more slowly and produce a moderate rise in blood sugar levels. Typically, the less processed the food, the lower it is on the glycemic index. For example, fruit juice has a higher rating that whole fruit.
Examples of low-glycemic foods include nuts and seeds such as almonds and flax seeds, legumes such as soybeans and lentils, lean meats, seafood and vegetables such as asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, avocados and leafy greens. Some fruits, including apples, berries, plums and citrus fruits, are also considered low on the glycemic index. Short-term and preliminary results indicate that following a diet focused on low-glycemic foods can help with heart disease and diabetes, but according to NYU's Langone Medical Center, there is minimal long-term evidence linking low-glycemic index diets with weight loss.