All the carbohydrate foods we eat cause a release of glucose into the bloodstream—and a corresponding rise in insulin—but some raise glucose more than others. The glycemic index (GI) is a system of ranking foods containing equal amounts of carbohydrate according to how much they raise blood-glucose levels. Foods with a high GI value tend to cause a higher spike in blood sugar, and because high-GI foods are so quickly metabolized, they tend to make you hungry again sooner. By contrast, lower-GI foods are metabolized more slowly and are believed to keep your appetite on a more even keel.
Most of the so-called “healthy” foods you probably try to eat more of are low on the glycemic scale—like vegetables, whole grains, beans and other high-fiber foods. And the foods with higher glycemic values, like refined grains and sweets, are probably ones you aim to avoid anyway. Here are five ways to eat lower on the glycemic index every day: