The Glycemic Index (GI) refers to the effect carbohydrates have on blood glucose. If the carbohydrate increases blood glucose by a large amount, it is considered a high glycemic index food. If, on the other hand, it increases blood glucose a small amount, it is a low glycemic index food. A carbohydrate's GI is determined by its rate of digestion and absorption in the body. For example, foods that have a high degree of soluble fiber, such as whole grains, have lower GI values.
The glycemic index was initially developed to help recommend appropriate carbohydrates for diabetics. A low GI food will have a less profound effect on postprandial (after a meal) glycemic and insulinemic effects. Though the use of a low GI diet is still in debate, the thought is that through a low GI diet, there is more appropriate overall glycemic control. There is also thought that postprandial hyperglycemia, which may be increased in high GI foods, can lead to insulin resistance and in effect increase the risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
It is important to keep in mind that the total amount of food intake, regardless of its glycemic index, is also very important for your health. You should follow up with your primary care physician
to discuss a healthy diet, the glycemic index, and other nutritional goals.