A Guide to the Glycemic Index to Manage Diabetes

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Not sure how different carbs impact blood sugar? The glycemic index may be just the cheat sheet you need. The GI is a list of common carbs with a score based on how much and how fast they tend to raise blood sugar. The lower the score, the better for sugar levels.

Three groups of carbs are on the list. Low GI carbs, like oat bran and sweet potatoes, usually raise blood sugar levels slowly and steadily. These foods have scores of 55 or less. Medium GI carbs, like brown rice and pita bread, tend to boost blood sugar faster. These foods and drinks get scores of 56 to 69. High GI carbs, like soda and white bread, tend to spike sugar levels. They get high scores of 70 and up.

You don't have to use the glycemic index to make healthy food choices. Watch your portion sizes and ask your doctor for a calorie-restricted eating plan that's right for you.