All foods that you eat can impact blood sugar levels. Sugar and carbohydrates, however, have the most significant effect. That’s because after you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into sugar that enters your bloodstream, increasing your blood glucose levels.
But, that doesn’t mean all digestible carbohydrates work the same. Our bodies digest high fiber foods slower, making the rise in blood sugar more gradual instead of one big spike. Soluble fiber also helps reduce blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Processed carbohydrates, on the other hand, cause those sharp spikes in blood sugar and boost triglyceride levels.
Trying to digest all the information on how your body processes carbohydrates and sugars can be overwhelming. That’s where using the glycemic index can make it easier to understand. The glycemic index ranks foods on a scale from 0-100. The higher the number, the more your blood sugar will spike after eating.
This tool is especially helpful when evaluating foods you want to include in your overall healthy lifestyle plan. However, it is important to keep in mind that the glycemic index just predicts how someone’s glucose will respond to food on average. After taking unique personal differences into account, some people may see a response higher or lower than the average.