Choosing the Right Carbs

basket of vegetablesIf you're not diabetic or at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, you may never have heard of the glycemic index. Yet understanding this carbohydrate food-ranking tool can help you lose pounds and keep them off—whether you have diabetes or not.

"In general, the glycemic index is a measure of how much and how fast a food raises the blood sugar level," says Osama Hamdy, MD, PhD, director of the Obesity Clinic, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA. "Foods with a high glycemic index rapidly spike blood sugar levels, while foods with a low glycemic index can help control blood sugar."