Some low glycemic index fruits include blueberries, bananas, apples and pears. Dr. William S. Alevizon also recommends grapefruit, plums, peaches and cantaloupe; these fruits deliver a lower glycemic load.
The glycemic index is an important gauge for diabetics and non-diabetics looking to reduce the glycemic impact, or disruption of blood glucose levels, of certain foods. It utilizes a numeric rating scale that helps individuals distinguish between "good" and "bad" carbohydrates, according to Dr. Alevizon. Different types of carbohydrate-rich foods affect blood sugar levels differently. Glycemic index values range from 0 to 100 and, all else being equal, the higher the value the greater the impact.
While the glycemic index is a primary indicator of how different foods affect blood sugar, the glycemic load, or total number of available carbohydrates in a food, acts as a more practical gauge, explains Dr. Alevizon. Foods with a lower glycemic index, such as bananas, carry a higher glycemic load and a greater effect on glucose levels, while foods with a higher glycemic index, such as a slice of watermelon, have a lower glycemic load and minimally affect blood sugar levels. Although glycemic index values are helpful, they are approximations of glycemic impact; reactions to a particular food vary with factors such as age, activity levels, time of day and other foods consumed.