How Much Sugar is in Your Diet?
When it comes to avoiding sugar, not all foods are created equal. Sure, passing on ice cream is always smart, but do you realize that some foods in the "vegetable" category pack a sugar punch? For a general idea how certain foods affect blood sugar, you can check the glycemic index (GI). Depending on the index, glycemic index values are established relative to either glucose or white bread, which is assigned a GI value of 100. While glycemic indexes often differ from each other, a good reference can be found at www.mendosa.com.
Foods with high glycemic indexes
In general, foods with high GIs are those that contain a lot of sugar, honey, molasses and/or corn syrup. Fruits high in sugar such as watermelon and raisins tend to have GIs of around 65. Less obvious foods with high GI values include starchy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Breads and other flour products, pasta, refined cereals and alcohol rank relatively high, at 60-90.
Foods with low glycemic indexes
Non-starchy vegetables such as leafy greens, tomatoes and squash have fairly low GI values, as do oats, barley and other whole grains. Berries, pears and most fruits tend to have low to moderate GIs, ranging from 30-50. All meats, unsweetened dairy products, nuts and most legumes have low glycemic values. The GI for legumes such as chick-peas, kidney beans or black beans is around 30.
Writer: Sydney Maupin, Staff Writer
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