The glycemic index (GI) is a system that has been developed that is quick and easy to use. The primary purpose of the index is to quickly summarize how different carbohydrates influence blood sugar levels. Since all foods vary in their nutritional and chemical composition, it is no great surprise that foods also have different GI numbers. As it turns out, these numbers can vary wildly from one food or one type of food to another.

While it may be easy to become confused by the index, there is a straightforward way of understanding the index and what it means to one's overall health. Foods with a high index value release glucose into the bloodstream quickly. Conversely, those foods with low glycemic index value will release glucose into the blood stream slowly. This process helps avoid the highs and subsequent crashes associated with high glycemic foods. Of course, foods fall across the spectrum from low to high and everywhere in between.

Foods with low glycemic index are also foods that are usually healthy and packed with nutrition. For example, most fruits and vegetables are on the list of foods with low glycemic index. However, there are a couple of notable exceptions, such as watermelon and potatoes. While watermelon may be packed with nutrition, it is one of the few examples of a fruit that is not low on the index. Many people would automatically consider a potato to be healthy, yet white potatoes are high on the GI. Watermelons and potatoes underscore an important point. One must not assume that a food is high or low on the glycemic index. It is important to consult your index list before making an assumption.

Many of the foods with low glycemic index are also healthy foods loaded down with antioxidants and anti-cancer properties. For example, blueberries, raspberries and other berries have numerous benefits including being low on the index. With factors like these in mind, is possible to use the index list to greatly increase the quality of an overall diet.

In fact, if you eat foods primarily low on the glycemic index, you will almost exclusively be eating foods that are nutritious and healthy. For example, some of the lowest foods on the index are nutritional powerhouses such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and peppers. These vegetables are loaded down with vitamins and minerals and an array of disease fighting compounds.

Of course, it is not just fruits and vegetables that are foods with low glycemic index . Foods such as white bread and most breakfast cereals are very high on the GI; however, there are alternatives such as buckwheat and oats, which are somewhat lower on the index list.

Those looking to eat foods that are low on the index chart are in luck as most of the low glycemic foods are also quite healthy. Most nuts, for example, are low on the GI, as are some breads like pumpernickel and sourdough. The bottom line is that there are lots of foods with low glycemic index . While you might have to change around your eating habits to incorporate them, odds are your body will thank you in the long run.

Author's Bio: 

Jonathan is main contributor and co-creator of the new Glycemic Index info based web-site: . Get lots more info there on Foods with Low Glycemic Index and also check out our free 10-part mini-eCourse, “Glycemic Index Secrets”, it might be all you’ll ever need (and did I mention it was free!!)