Carbohydrates and Glycemic Index

Carbohydrates are absorbed by the body at varying rates.  The glycemic index (GI) measures how much a fixed amount of carbohydrates from a food raise glucose level.  Thus high GI carbohydrates are digested quickly and so tend to lead to hunger, whereas low GI carbohydrates tend to suppress hunger.  GI does not take into account the caloric density and other factors influencing a food's glycemic effect.  A better measure is glycemic load, which refers to how much a standard serving raises glucose levels.  When I find values of the glycemic load, I'll post them instead.

Current recommendations are that at least 1/3 of your carbohydrates should have a GI that is 55 or below (Dr. Wolever, coauthor of The Glucose Revolution: The Authoritative Guide to the Glycemic Index in a Bottom Line, Jan. 15, 2001).

It was once thought that high sugar meant high GI (bad) and complex carbohydrates meant low GI (good), but it is not that simple.  Here is some information for specific foods.