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The Glycemic Index and Your Blood Sugar

We've all been programmed to think of carbs as the bad guy but not all carbs are bad. However, carbs that spike blood sugar can possibly raise your risk of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, not to mention possibly cancer, acne and Alzheimer's and can cause weight gain. Carbs low on the Glycemic Index (GI) are the good carbs that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels. These carbs are often considered the secret to health (you reduce your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes) and promote weight loss. Jean Caper, a nutrition researcher from the University of Sydney, gives the low down on controlling your blood sugar spikes with these foods:

  • Chocolate. Despite its high sugar, chocolate has a low glycemic index and doesn't cause blood glucose to surge. Even diabetics need not eat reduced-sugar chocolate. But note that high-calorie chocolate is a weight gain risk.
  • Bread. Beware: Some whole-grain breads spike blood sugar as much as white bread. Smart choices: coarse, dense bread with visible grainy bits; and sourdough, pumpernickel, soy or fruit breads.
  • Juice. Unsweetened fruit juices have a low glycemic index but are hazardous when overdone. Restrict a serving to 3/4 cup, dilute with water, or mix high-sugar fruit juices with low-sugar vegetable juices. Better yet, eat the whole fiber-packed fruit.
  • For the scoop on veggies, salad dressing and to learn which carbs most/least apt to spike your blood sugar

  • Vegetables. Despite the claims of many diet books, carrots (raw, cooked or juiced) do not increase blood sugar. All fruits and veggies, except potatoes, have a low glycemic index.
  • Salad Dressing. All types of vinegar and lemon juice in salad dressings suppress blood sugar rises.

Carbs least apt to spike blood sugar: Legumes, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, milk, yogurt, ice cream

Carbs most apt to spike blood sugar: Most bread, bakery products, rice, breakfast cereals (your best bet: oatmeal that's not instant)

This is great information and are you as happy as I am that chocolate is still not off limits?! Woo hoo! To read more great nutritional tidbits, visit Jean's website at

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