The glycemic index was created as a way of describing the effects of foods on blood sugar levels. This is done by measuring the rise and fall of blood sugar levels over a specific period of time. The results are then compared to the simple sugar glucose, which has a glycemic index of 100. A higher number relates to a higher blood sugar response. Over time, consumption of high-glycemic foods may result in conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes.
High on the Chart
High-glycemic foods have a rating of over 70 and include foods such as bananas and white bread. Medium-glycemic foods are between 56 and 69 and include foods such as sweet potatoes and raisins. Low-glycemic foods have a rating under 56 and include foods such as nuts and vegetables. Popcorn has a glycemic index of 72 for a 20-gram serving. This would categorize popcorn as being a high-glycemic-index food. Such foods should be eaten as occasional treats and not everyday foods.