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What are low GI foods?

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Quick Answer

According to the American Diabetes Association, low glycemic index (GI) foods are carbohydrate-containing foods that raise the blood sugar less than high GI foods. Eating low GI foods is good for people with diabetes.

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What are low GI foods?
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Full Answer

As explained by the American Diabetes Association, the glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrate-containing foods based on their ability to increase blood sugar. When carbohydrate-containing foods are consumed, they are digested into sugars and absorbed into the blood. According to the American Diabetes Association, high GI foods are rapidly absorbed and raise blood sugar higher than low GI foods.

As described by the American Diabetes Association, low GI foods include stone-ground whole wheat bread, oat bran, oatmeal, muesli, pasta, barley, sweet potatoes, corn, yam, beans, lentils, peas, legumes, carrots, non-starchy vegetables and most fruits. Examples of medium GI index foods are couscous, pita bread, quick oats, brown and basmati rice. The American Diabetes Association cites white bread, cornflakes, bagels, short-grain white rice, pretzels, popcorn, saltine crackers, pumpkin, melons and pineapple as high GI foods.

According to the American Diabetes Association, fruits and vegetables that are less ripe are lower on the glycemic index. Unprocessed foods generally have a lower GI compared to processed foods. Foods that are cooked longer have a higher GI; for example, pasta that is soft cooked has a higher GI than when it is cooked al dente.

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