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When we first began selling our granolas at a small market in New York's picturesque Catskills several years ago, I was astounded by the number of customers that looked wistfully at our gourmet breakfast products only to tell me, "It all looks so good, but I can't eat it - I'm diabetic." Just as amazing was the complete lack of cereal products available for these hungry people. Having personally experienced repeated incidents of hypo-glycemia while working construction, I could definitely empathize. Clearly, something had to be done.
A food's glycemic index is simply a measure of how fast the carbohydrate in the food is broken down into glucose and absorbed into your body's bloodstream. The measure of high to low glycemic foods is a way to compare how quickly energy is released in your body from specific foods. Foods that provide a fast blood sugar peak after consumption are called high glycemic foods. These foods may give a quick explosion of energy for the first hour or so after eating them, but this energy burst often fades just as quickly, resulting in a crash or low energy feeling within a couple of hours of consumption. Foods that are high in simple carbohydrates are often high glycemic foods. Most cereal products, especially those sweetened with evaporated cane-juice crystals (another word for sugar) are relatively high in carbohydrates, and are therefore not suitable for many people with blood-sugar sensitivities, such as diabetics. Low-glycemic foods are foods that release energy more slowly, resulting in a smaller change in the blood sugar level and more uniform and longer lasting energy.