Foods with a high glycemic index can make your blood sugar levels spike, which can make your body store fat and encourage you to overeat. Others help stabilize your blood sugar and come loaded with nutrients and fibrewhich fill you up, give you longer lasting energy and keep your digestive system humming.
White bread High GI rating, zero fibre, few nutrients
White bagel Same as white bread, plus an average bagel equals as many as four servings of bread
Potatoes High GI rating, lends itself to frying or loading with butter and other toppings
White cereals High GI rating, no fibre, often loaded with sugar
Soft drinks GI rating through the roof, calories galore, zero nutrients, don’t fill you up
Ice cream High GI rating, loaded with fat and sugar
“Light” and “fat-free” foods High GI rating; manufacturers often fill these salad dressings, yogurts and other low-fat foods with sugar for taste
Instant white rice No fibre means a sky-high GI rating
Bananas and melons High GI rating because of their sugar content; eat in moderation as these tasty fruits are a good source of vitamins
Whole-grain bread Moderate GI rating, filling, loaded with fibre
How to eat it well Eat as toast with a low-sugar jam, in a sandwich filled with tuna (made with low-fat mayo and lots of veggies) or slices of roast turkey
Legumes Lentils, kidney beans, chick peas and the like are both a protein and a carb; low GI rating, full of nutrients and fibre
How to eat them well Mixed with vegetables and some curry sauce on brown rice, rolled into a whole-wheat wrap
Brown rice Moderate GI rating
How to eat it well The same way you would eat white rice, served with curries, meat and veggies and in sushi
Sweet potatoes Moderate GI rating, plenty of nutrients and fibre, great taste
How to eat them well The same way you would eat regular potatoesmashed, baked or barbecued with spices and a dash of olive oil, chopped up in a soup, chili or curry
Pasta Low GI rating, especially whole-grain varieties
How to eat it well Buy whole-grain pasta whenever possible, cook al dente and keep your serving size between half a cup and one cup (125 to 250 mL).
Apples, pears, grapefruit Low GI rating, nutrient- and fibre-rich
How to eat them well Whole rather than juiced. Although you always want to eat a variety of fruit, focus on these low-GI varieties if your weight is an issue.
Lettuce, broccoli, spinach, celery Low GI rating, minimal calories and lots of fibre
How to eat them well At almost every meal, toss low-cal vegetables onto your plate to fill up your stomach and give you lots of nutrients; eat salads frequently.