The glycemic index, or GI, ranks food and drinks on a scale of one to 100 depending on how quickly and steeply your blood sugar rises after you consume them.
The benchmark is glucose at 100. Technically, a GI between 1 and 55 is considered low while 56 to 69 is medium and anything 70 or above is high. The goal is to consume mostly foods low on the GI.
To keep things simple, because this can get a bit complex with all of the nuances, I’ve listed below common foods under which category they belong (low, moderate, and high).
You’ll want to ground your diet in low-GI items with medium GI foods in moderation! Ideally, you will work to limit high-GI foods as much as possible.
So, here we go! Healthy skin starts from within and this is a great guide, guys!
LOW GI FOODS
100% whole grain bread
whole wheat tortilla
beans (kidney, garbanzo, pinto, and black)
fiber-rich fruits and vegetables (green beans, apples, grapefruit, asparagus, broccoli, berries)
nuts and peanuts
cereals made with 100 percent bran
unsweetened almond milk
full-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
MEDIUM GI FOODS
whole wheat pastas and some breads
barley and bulgur
OJ and other fruit juices without extra sugar
HIGH GI FOODS
macaroni and cheese
bagel (white, plain)
baguette (white, plain)
low-fiber cereals (high in added sugar)
high-sugar beverages (sweetened tea and fruit juices, soda pop)
French fries and baked potatoes
The GI is not perfect because some foods that appear high on the GI actually do not contain enough carbohydrates per serving to raise blood sugar significantly. Watermelon, for example, is one such food. (Foods that contain no carbohydrates, such as meats and oils, have a GI of zero. Similarly, coffee, tea, and wine have a GI of zero.) Also keep in mind that we rarely eat foods in isolation. They are combined with other foods during a meal, which also changes the chemistry of the food and how the body metabolizes it. Note, too, that your body’s response to foods is unique. The GI should be referenced for general guidance—not as a hard and fast rule.