Reading and understanding nutrition labels can be challenging. Over the next couple of months, we will look at how to use the information on a nutrition label to determine if a food item is low-glycemic, how to interpret the ingredient list, and common ingredients to avoid. Let’s begin with looking at how to use the nutrition label to decide if a food item is low- or high-glycemic.

Low-Glycemic Food?

Nutrition labels are a treasure trove of information. With the application of a simple equation to a few of the nutrient values, you can quickly determine if a food item is low-glycemic or not. The equation is as follows:

If (total carbohydrates – fiber) > (fat + protein), then the food is high glycemic.

Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes ®


(Total Carbohydrate – Fiber)

27 – 1 = 26

(Fat + Protein)

0 + 1 = 1

Is 26 > 1? Yes. The food is high glycemic and causes a rapid increase in blood glucose; consequently, insulin production increases.











Oikos® Plain Greek Nonfat Yogurt


(Total Carbohydrate – Fiber)

6 – 0 = 6

(Fat + Protein)

0 + 15 = 15

Is 6 > 15? No. The food is low glycemic and allows the body to maintain a consistent balance of hormone levels.

If you have any questions, please email Bethany at!