Based upon the density of carbohydrates in a given food volume and their rate of entry into the bloodstream, the glycemic index is the rate at which any carbohydrate enters the bloodstream as the simple sugar glucose. Carbohydrates that slowly enter the bloodstream as glucose are considered low glycemic index foods. Foods such as most fruits and vegetables are your best bet for eating a low glycemic index number food.
The Making of a Low Glycemic Index Food
Not all foods are created equal. Complex carbohydrates such as potatoes enter the bloodstream as glucose at a faster rate than table sugar. The foods with the lowest glycemic index do not originally enter the body as glucose but as fructose.
The Best Low Glycemic Index Foods
Foods that enter the blood stream slowly and are low-density carbohydrates tend to be your best source of low glycemic index foods. These foods include most vegetables (except corn and carrots), most fruits (except bananas and raisins) and selected grains such as oatmeal and barley.
Detailed List of Low Glycemic Index Vegetables
A more detailed and comprehensive list of low glycemic vegetables are asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, mushrooms, squash, spinach, tomato, zucchini, chickpeas, romaine lettuce, radishes and snow peas.
Detailed List of Low Glycemic Index Fruits
Low glycemic fruits includes apples, blueberries, cherries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapple, raspberries and strawberries.
Foods to Avoid
All complex carbohydrates with the exception of oats and barley are not low on the glycemic index. Avoid unfavorable carbohydrates such as french fries, baked potatos, carrots, bananas, breads and pastas. Also, avoid fruit juices. To keep your glycemic index number low, stick to raw fruits and vegetables.