The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is pretty popular with diabetics, but it's value has become mainstream.
The glycemic index is basically a rating of carbohydrates developed in 1981 by Dr. David J. Jenkins of the University of Toronto. The concept was developed to help people wanting to rank carbohydrates based upon how they affected the blood glucose levels. In other words, different carbohydrates are absorbed into the system in different manners and they take different times to break down and digest.
Carbohydrates which break down and cause rapid digestion tend to leave the most glucose in the blood stream, causing the most damage to a diabetic. These carbs are given a high rating on the Glycemic Index. So it's important to understand that, in this case, a higher rating is a bad thing.
The carbs given a high rating on the Glycemic Index include anything with white sugar, white flour, baked potato, French fried pototoes, white break, pastas made with white flour. Even corn flakes are considered bad carbohydrates on the Index.
This type of knowledge is invaluable to diabetics. While most diabetics are told to avoid carbs, avoiding carbohydrates all together is not often feasible and, in reality, not good for the health.
Another way to make use of the Glycemic Index is to learn which carbohydrates are better for those who are either trying to watch their carbohydrate intake or who are on a diabetic diet. Some foods, an example being fruits and certain vegetables, are low on the glycemic index and take a longer time to absorb into the bloodstream, giving the body the benefits of the nutrients while allowing the body to expel the glucose in a more natural way.
It probaly would surprise no one that potatoes are one of the highest ranking foods in the Glycemic Index. Not only are they high in fat and offer little protein; they are also very high in carbohydrates.
Carbs in the middle range in the Glycemic Index include foods with a rating from 56 to 69. These include candy bars, some brown rices and croissants.
Most people may assume that a piece of white bread is way worse for a person with diabetes than a candy bar, but this is not true. By learning the different ratings and classifications on the Glycemic Index, a person who is watching their carbohydrates as well as their diabetic diet can learn some invaluable lessons and learn how to use the Glycemic Index to their advantage.
Glycemic Index Diet
Here's a good informative article from the people at the Mayo clinic that shows you some of the problems you might encounter when trying to follow the Glycemic Index.
Low Glycemic Index Foods