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Is Popcorn Low Glycemic?

author image Dr. Peter Nickless
Dr. Peter Nickless has been a chiropractor and Nutritional Counselor for 13 years specializing in sports nutrition and sport related injuries. He received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, a Master's degree in human nutrition and has a Certified Nutrition Specialist CNS designation. In addition to clinical experience, Dr. Nickless has been an educator and administrator at the undergraduate and graduate levels for the past five years.
Is Popcorn Low Glycemic?
A small bowl of popcorn on a wooden table Photo Credit: HandmadePictures/iStock/Getty Images

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.

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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.

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