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

wild rice

quinoa

lentils

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

tomato juice

 

MEDIUM GI FOODS

whole wheat pastas and some breads

traditional oatmeal

barley and bulgur

brown rice

sweet potato

sweet corn

graham crackers

OJ and other fruit juices without extra sugar

 

HIGH GI FOODS

white bread

white rice

white pasta

macaroni and cheese

pizza

couscous

bagel (white, plain)

baguette (white, plain)

low-fiber cereals (high in added sugar)

high-sugar beverages (sweetened tea and fruit juices, soda pop)

sweetened yogurt

rice milk

rice crackers

rice cakes

water crackers

pretzels

French fries and baked potatoes

raisins

**NOTE:

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.

Dr. Whitney