The Glycemic Index is a scale used to measure the length of time it takes for the body to digest, or break down, specific carbohydrates. This indicator was created in 1981 and now is used to rank foods that are allowable on the Atkins, South Beach, caveman and other popular low-carb diets.
Foods rated as low on the index take a long time to be absorbed into the body. That lets the digestive system properly take apart the refined starches and sugars. This is highly beneficial to people who have Types I and II diabetes and those on the carb-restrictive diets. The sweet news is that many delicious low carb desserts can be made out of ingredients on the low end of the scale.
Edibles ranking high atop the Glycemic Index are especially hard for diabetics to digest, making it difficult to expel sugar from the blood. This is why those with the disorder are smart to cut out all carbs, but there are some certain foods containing carbohydrates that are better for them to eat than others. Knowing which is which is the key!
Luckily, there are many low-carb foods that can substitute for carbohydrate-packed ones. Tasty low carbohydrate desserts can be made by using such replacements as artificial sweeteners for sugar, heavy cream for milk and sugar-free chocolate.
Still, "good" foods on the Glycemic chart have carbs. They are just a little easier to digest, making them healthier and preferable to the eats with high numbers on the Index.
Fruits and vegetables are among the foods that rank low on the chart. They contain sugars, but they digest at a slower rate and provide the body with valuable nutrients. To be completely avoided are potatoes, white rice or white bread and corn flakes, along with anything made with refined flour or sugar.
Whole grain pastas and breads rate as "good" on the Index. Basmati rice can also be considered to be a "good" glycemic food. Whole wheat can help manage glycemia. Low-carb dieters can also usually have small portions of recipes using whole wheat.
Understanding the Glycemic Index allows a diabetic or low-carb dieter to enjoy some healthy and helpful carbs. And using the Index to select ingredients gives a creative chef or weekend kitchen junkie whip up some satisfying low carb desserts that make the low-carb lifestyle easier than ever before!