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What Is the Glycemic Index?

Glycemic Index

Say: gly-SEE-mik IN-deks

The body breaks down most carbs from the foods we eat and changes them to a type of sugar called glucose. Glucose is the main source of fuel for our cells. After we eat, the glucose from the food gets into the bloodstream fast, slow, or somewhere in between. It depends on the type of carb and the food that contains it.

The glycemic index is a way of measuring how fast this happens and how a food affects blood glucose levels. Foods with higher index values raise blood sugar faster than foods with lower glycemic index values do.

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