Low Glycemic Index Foods
We talk a lot about changing to a healthier diet, making better choices and eating more vegetables. Change we know is hard, especially when we have developed the habit of eating certain foods that are not healthy choices. I know that I should eat more vegetables and higher grain content bread, but I am not really sure why ? What is the benefit? The benefit is that these foods have lower “Glycemic Index” values meaning they break down more slowly in your digestive system. This reduces the size of glucose spikes and allows time for your body to burn the fuel and not store as much as fat. It also keeps your stomach full longer before emptying and reduces hunger before you next meal.
Reviewing your food choices to change to Low Glycemic Index foods is a good step to making a life change that will help you achieve your long term plan of permanent weight loss and increase your longevity.
An easy method to identify lower glycemic index foods is to choose foods that take longer to digest, are less processed and have higher fibre. Make some simple changes in your menu options to get the benefits of moving to a Low Glycemic diet. For example:
|High Glycemic Index food||Low Glycemic Index Food|
|White bread||Pumpernickle, 9 grain bread, sprouted grain bread|
|White baked potato||Whole grain Pasta|
|Corn flakes||Steel cut oatmeal|
|Peas||Broccoli, spinach, leafy greens, cabbage|
|White rice||Brown rice|
|Dates, watermelon||Apples, oranges, berries, cherries|
|Potato salad||Beans salad, quinoa salad|
|Fruit Yogurt||Plain Yogurt|
|Croutons for salad topping||Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, nuts|
|Baked sweet potato||Boiled sweet potato|
What is a glycemic index:?
Glycemic index ( GI) is a scale which helps rank carbohydrate rich foods, depending on how they affect blood sugar levels in a span of 2 -3 hours of ingesting the food.
High GI Foods: break down quickly and push up your blood sugar levels rapidly, these foods should be eaten less frequently. A high rating on the GI scale is 70 – 100 with 100 being the maximum . Foods that fall in this category are white bread, sugar, honey, processed cereals, baked potatoes, French fries.
Low GI Foods: take longer to digest and absorb, resulting in slower and gradual changes in blood sugar levels. Low Glycemic index foods have a value on the GI scale of 55 or less. Examples in this category are fruits and vegetables, high grain bread, brown rice, fish, eggs and all lean meat proteins.
Benefits of eating Low GI Foods are they help us to lose weight, reduce blood cholesterol levels, reduce hunger, they curb appetite by reducing spikes in blood sugar levels.
Identify and reduce the carbohydrate portion of your plate,and increase the vegetable portion ,by choosing lower Glycemic Index Food options.