Why Low Glycemic Foods?

Many articles will refer to low glycemic foods as a diet. I like to think of low glycemic foods as a way to consume good carbohydrates which are far better at controlling our blood Sugar levels.

Glycemic Index (GI) foods are used to stabilize short-term changes in blood glucose levels in humans following the ingestion of carbohydrate-containing foods. Glucose is the body’s source of energy; it is the fuel used by the brain, muscles, and other organs. Glucose is set at 100, and all foods are indexed against that number. Therefore, foods that are quickly digested have a high G.I., and foods that are digested more slowly have a lower G.I.

The glycemic index is a useful aid for diabetics and other people who wish to control their blood glucose levels. A diet based on foods with low glycemic response has been utilized with diabetes management, improved blood lipids (cholesterol), reduced risk of heart disease, and weight management.    Not only will foods with a low glycemic index take longer to digest (which also prolongs satiety levels) they will also maintain blood glucose levels at a relatively constant state. Foods with a high glycemic index not only digest quickly, but they also can cause extreme fluctuations in blood glucose.

There are some specific factors to consider in foods that can indicate their glycemic index: Low glycemic foods contain fat, protein, fiber, whole grains, raw starches, legumes, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. High glycemic foods contain refined grains, refined sugars, and increased amylopectin: amylose ratio.

There are other factors that contribute to a food’s glycemic index, such as plant variety, ripeness, food processing, cooking method, and the other foods served with it.

There are criticisms of the glycemic index, including how impractical it is. The preparation and combination with other foods can alter its glycemic index. There is no requirement to display the glycemic index of a food product, and it is not always easy to predict the glycemic index of certain foods. Switching from a high glycemic index diet to a low glycemic index diet can be made relatively easy. Switching white bread and pastas to whole grain, eating breakfast cereals from oats, bran or barley, adding more fruits and vegetables when cooking, and reducing potato consumption can all aid in lowering glycemic index. Be careful when choosing low glycemic options as food manufacturers will tell you their food has a low or good glycemic rating which could be true, however they may contain high levels of saturated fats which makes it a NOT SO GOOD CHOICE. By adding fat and or fibre to a high GI food will make it a low GI food.

There are also a few good APPS you can down load to help you make the right choice. I do like the GI scale as it helps us make better choices when selecting carbohydrates.

Choosing grainy breads over white breads, choosing whole meal pasta over white pasta sweet potato over white potatoes, lentils, kidney beans, basmati rice, bran flakes for breakfast, Rye Breads, baked beans, chick peas, mixed nuts etc are just some simple changes we can make in our day to day eating patterns that can help stabilize blood glucose levels. Remember if you are a very active person your body loves to consume carbohydrates as its preferred fuel, the brain especially likes this type of energy.

About John Hart… John has a :

Master’s In Education” (Disability/Rehab)Newcastle UniversityAustralia

“Grad Cert Education”NewcastleUniversity”Australia

“Diploma Fitness/Recreation”

“Diploma of Sport and Recreation”

“Cert 4 Personal Training”

“Level 1 Strength and Conditioning Coach”

Member of ASCA (Australian Strength and Conditioning Association)

Accredited First Aid Trainer

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