Using the Glycemic Index
Tips for using the GI:
- Get a guide. The New Glucose Revolution, by Drs. Jennie Brand Miller and Thomas Wolever, is the authoritative printed guide to the GI.
- Consider the carbs. Don’t lose sight of the total carbohydrates in a particular food or meal. Just because a food has a low GI doesn’t mean you can eat twice as much.
- Don’t forget form. The same food can have different GI values based on whether it’s cooked or raw, ripe or underripe, whole grain or finely ground. Make sure you have the right GI value for the form or preparation method.
- Lighten your load. The glycemic load (GL) of a food, which takes the GI and factors in serving size, is also a useful tool for managing dietary control. A GL of 10 or less is considered low.
If you're interested in using the glycemic index for better dietary control of blood glucose levels, talk with your registered dietitian about incorporating it into your meal plan.
Reviewed by Francine Kaufman, MD. 4/08
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