If you don’t know about the glycemic index, and you’re dieting, you need to get yourself in the know!
Simply put, the glycemic index is why you can feel totally full, then totally hungry an hour later. It’s based on how certain foods make your glucose levels in your bloodstream behave. While it seems like this is “too complicated,” it’s really not as crazy as it sounds. There’s all different types of sugars. Try to stick to dairy and fruit sugars.
How to Switch to a Low GI Diet (from http://www.glycemicindex.com/)
The basic technique for eating the low GI way is simply a “this for that” approach – ie, swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You don’t need to count numbers or do any sort of mental arithmetic to make sure you are eating a healthy, low GI diet.
- Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
- Use breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
- Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
- Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables
- Use Basmati or Doongara rice
- Enjoy pasta, noodles, quinoa
- Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing
There’s a number of books out there that get into this motivation, SugarBusters is one I’ve heard of but I don’t know if you need a book to assist with these guidelines. Understand why calories are not just calories, and also understand that artificial sugars trick your body into wanting more of the real thing. Stick to dairy sugars and fruit sugars, and keep the rest at whole grains. Another rule of thumb is that more fiber usually means lower glycemic index number, but definitely read this prior to making any decisions (www.glycemicindex.com, click on FAQ).
A great example of this is Yoplait(tm) Yogurt (sorry Yoplait(tm)). You have to watch exactly how much of your yogurt is ADDED sugar, versus milk & fruit sugar. For instance, a 6oz serving of Yoplait regular yogurt (pick a flavor) has 170 calories, 1.5g fat, and over 30g sugar (last time I looked I think it said 36). Yoplait’s Greek Yogurt has 130 calories, zero fat, and only 18g sugar. They are both 6oz cups and neither is diet, but I pick the greek simply because of the extra protein and HELLO, a LOT less sugar. I think it tastes better, too. Their website nutritional data is wrong, so I can’t comment on exact ingredients (because that also makes a difference as to types of sugars and why they’re a better GI choice), but one of these days I’ll snap a picture at the market and let you know.
Today was a “high” sugar count day as far as nutritional information goes, but it was low GI. Take a look at this chart and compare to my food today, and please note, Shaklee’s Chocolate Cinch has a glycemic index of 15!!! For all you naysayers, that means that YES, a shake CAN keep you full.
Glycemic index of foods
GI values can be interpreted intuitively as percentages on an absolute scale and are commonly interpreted as follows :
|Low GI||55 or less||most fruits and vegetables, legumes/pulses, whole grains, meat, eggs, milk, nuts, fructose and products low in carbohydrates|
|Medium GI||56–69||whole wheat products, basmati rice, sweet potato, sucrose|
|High GI||70 and above||baked potatoes, watermelon, white bread, most white rices, corn flakes, extruded breakfast cereals, glucose|