What is a glycemic index and what is it used for? What is a glycemic index and what is it used for?

This is a number that people who have diabetes must keep track of. The following are some factors to keep in mind.

According to the American Diabetes Association blood sugar is a measurement that is used to quantify the amount of carbohydrates in foods, not because of the number of calories they have, but because of how they affect blood sugar levels after digestion.

The most recommended foods are those with a glycemic index lower than 55. If the food has an index that is above 70, this means that it raises blood sugar levels quickly. This can be harmful, especially to people who are diabetic as it causes a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Foods with low glycemic indexes allow for slower absorption, as the American Diabetes Association states on its website. (Related article: Diabetes can be prevented, article in Spanish).

Certain foods should therefore not be eaten in excess, as their glycemic indexes are high, such as sugar, honey, white bread, potatoes and white rice. Foods with low glycemic indexes include whole wheat bread, brown rice and legumes. The American Diabetes Association offers a few recommendations to consider for your diet.

  • The glycemic indexes of foods such as pasta, potatoes or any other grain can increase if they are overcooked. This number also changes depending on whether it is a fresh, canned or processed food.
  • Depending on how their body absorbs carbohydrates, each person’s blood sugar levels are different.

November 14th is World Diabetes Day. This day was founded 27 years ago by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


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