Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Glycemic Load

Taking Glycemic Load Index Knowledge To The Next Level

Scientists that were studying the GI soon found that the Glycemic load index was even more important than the Glycemic index. You can review the history of the GI here. The GL index is another way of ranking carbohydrate foods, but this time, it’s based on portion size. Let me explain.
You can get the GI of foods by referring back to article 2 and 3.
Why Should Cantaloupe, Popcorn and Watermelon Be Penalized?
Here’s the bottom line on this concept: Some foods are full of water, like watermelon; yet there are very few carbohydrates in this fruit. Some foods like chocolate frosted white cake are full of carbohydrates with very little water.
Watermelon shouldn’t be penalized because it has a lot of water in it. It’s not a bad food, compared to that piece of cake. So the Glycemic Load Index corrects the Glycemic index so that you can still eat the good foods with a lot of water in them and high GI.
Here are a few examples to show you how this works:
See the difference? It’s actually a lot because the Glycemic Load Chart range of values for foods is rated right here:
  • 0 to 10 - Low
  • 11 to 19 - Medium
  • 20 or more - High
Aim for the 0 to 10 category for the individual carbohydrate foods in your diet. Here are a few examples:
Glycemic Load Chart for Various Foods
  • 2 cups popcorn 7
  • 1 tablespoon honey 9
  • 1 cup orange juice 12
  • 1 cup brown rice 23
  • 1 baked potato 28
  • 1 cup white rice 33
  • 1 apple 6
  • ½ grapefruit 3
  • 1 cup corn flakes 21
  • 1 bagel 25
Do you see how this is all coming together now? There’s one more thing to know: You have to total the GL Indexes for all foods eaten for the day. The goal is to be below 80. This number includes all snacks.
So when you create your diet, as shown here, add a new little column for the foods' Glycemic Load.
By adding the Glycemic Load index concept into your plans for your low Glycemic diets, you can now be better assured of good control of your blood sugar levels. 

Create Glycemic Control with These 6 Tips

Create Glycemic Control with These 6 Tips

It’s time for you to have Glycemic control in your life. That’s control of your blood sugar levels whenever you want. The word Glycemic means blood sugar.
The benefits of Glycemic control are vast:
  • Better weight control
  • Lose fat weight faster
  • Fewer headaches, irritability, anger outbursts, and mood swings
  • Better focus and concentration
  • Better sleep at night
  • Less hunger
  • Better workouts because of better endurance
  • Less risk of endometrial cancer and heart attacks
  • Healthier babies
  • Healthier when pregnant
  • Enhanced learning and memory
To gain Glycemic control, you may want to re-read the general guidelines in Getting Started with Low Glycemic Diets. Also, review the charts here .
Then you’ll start by creating low Glycemic diets for your weekly meal plans. You already know this, so here are 6 specific guidelines:
1. First write out your meal plan for the Glycemic diets.
  • On a plain sheet of paper, write Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner up at the top in a horizontal line. Write Snacks to the right of Dinner.
2. Add in your protein source
  • Eggs, chicken, turkey, beef, bison, pork, fish or lamb. For example, if you like eggs for breakfast, add eggs under the breakfast category. If you like spicy chicken wings for lunch, add them under the lunch category. And if you are a steak lover, add steak under dinner.
3. Now add your carbohydrate foods.
  • The ones that are primarily low GI. Again, review the charts and here. For example, if you like grapefruit with eggs in the morning, add a grapefruit. If you like a big salad for lunch with chicken wings, add salad ingredients. And if you like potato with your steak, well…substitute Uncle Ben’s converted rice.
4. Add another serving of carbohydrate foods.
  • From the Low GI category to the meals and fill in your snacks with nuts that have a GI of 0 or are low GI.
5. Add fat to the meals
  • To increase the calories a little, or only for one meal a day if you are trying to lose weight. For example, if you ate eggs for breakfast, fry them in butter. Add a salad dressing for lunch. Cook the steak with mushrooms marinated in olive oil.
6. Add a beverage to your meals and you’re finished.
  • Avoid soda, coffee and drinks loaded with sugar. Try fresh fruit juices, teas or just plain water.
When you want Glycemic control, there’s no doubt about it that you will have to compromise. The first week is the most difficult because some of the foods you are used to eating aren’t anywhere in sight. But keep your eye on the goal: monthly Glycemic diets that lead you to all the benefits.
The benefits are felt as early as Day 1! And that alone is a lot to look forward to. 

Glycemic Index list

Post a Glycemic Index Food Chart on your refrigerator to regulate blood sugar.

It’s time to take a closer look at a Glycemic Index food chart for breads, fruits and vegetables now that you are over the initial shock of the GI of some of your favorite foods. Once you become familiar with these charts, it’s relatively easy to start using low GI foods to create low Glycemic recipes.
And by learning these low GI foods, you will be focusing on the foods that lower blood sugar. You may want to review the history of the GI, the principles.
We won’t be able to give you a comprehensive list here, but these lists will continue adding to your knowledge. You may want to cut out and paste the Low GI food chart on your refrigerator since these foods are foods that lower blood sugar more readily than others. 

Glycemic Index Food Chart: Breads & Cereals

Low GI (0-55)Med GI (56-69)High GI 70-100+)
Oat Bran 55Rye Bread 58White Bread 70
Buckwheat 54Life Cereal 66Instant White Rice 87
Museli, ToastedSpecial KBagel 72
BarleyBrown Rice 50GrapeNuts Flakes 80
Instant Noodles 47Croissant 67Whole Wheat Bread 77
Bean Thread Noodles 33Pumpernickel 60Rice Chex 89
Uncle Ben's Converted Rice 39Basmati Rice 58Crispix 87
Bulgur 48Pita Bread 57Waffles 76
Spaghetti Noodles 38Cream of Wheat 66Corn Flakes 92
Old Fashioned Oatmeal 38Non-Toasted Muesli 56Kellogg's Cocoa Puffs 77
Kellogg's All Bran 30Kellogg's Nutri Grain 66Rice Krispies 82

Glycemic Index Food Chart: Fruits

Low GI (0-55)Med GI (56-69)High GI 70-100+)
Apple 38Papaya 59Dates 39-109
Apricot 31Dried Figs 61Watermelon 72
Banana 51Pineapple 59
Kiwi Fruit 53Cantaloupe 65
Grapes 46Raisins 64
Orange 48
Plum 39
Peach 42
Cherries 22
Strawberries 40
Grapefruit 25
Pear 38
Mango 51
By the way, you’ll notice that there really aren’t too many high GI foods in the fruit category.You’ll also notice that these charts are Glycemic Index charts, not Glycemic Load charts. There is a big difference and you’ll find out more about the Glycemic Load here

Glycemic Index Food Chart: Vegetables & Legumes

Low GI (0-55)Med GI (56-69)High GI 70-100+)
Black Beans 28New Potato 57Boiled Potato 88
Carrots 41Canned Beets 64Microwaved Potato 82
Soybeans 18Sweet Corn 60French Fries 75
Peas 48Sweet Potato 61Pumpkin 75
Lima Beans 32Split Pea Soup 60
Lentils 29Baked Potato 85-99
Butter Beans 31
Kidney Beans 28
Yam 37
Mung Beans 44
Baked Beans 48
There’s so much good news on this list! Here are a few pointers:
  1. Almost all salad vegetables such as lettuce, onions, garlic, leeks, peppers, leafy greens, spinach, artichokes and other vegetables that have few calories have a GI of 0.

  2. mixing two fruits together, you can create Low Glycemic recipes. For example, how about apple apricot sauce instead of just applesauce? Or how about apple cherry sauce? These fruits are foods that lower blood sugar.

  3. Low Glycemic recipes could be made by mixing Uncle Ben’s converted white rice with onions, garlic, peas, a few tablespoons corn, French dressing, and toasted almonds – or use other low GI veggies. The vegetables with the exception of corn (that’s why you only use a few tablespoons in the entire recipe) are foods that lower blood sugar.

  4. The high GI foods really aren’t that difficult to eliminate from your diet. Look at all the other good foods you can eat instead!

The Glycemic Index Chart

The Glycemic Index Chart

GI Chart
The glycemic index chart was originally designed as a guide for people with diabetes to help indicate how quickly a food triggers a rise in blood sugar. Today this chart is a great tool for EVERYONE!

Healthy Eating Produces Desirable Results!

For diabetics and dieters alike, the purpose of the glycemic index chart is to help you choose carbohydrate-rich foods which rank low on the glycemic index to keep blood levels steady and to enable your body to stay in a fat burning mode.
The glycemic index is measured on a scale of 1-100. Foods with a low GI (GI=0-55) are complex carbs--low in sugar and high in fiber. They are also known as “slow release” foods since your body breaks down complex carbs more slowly, providing a slow, steady release of energy.
This results in a feeling of fullness which controls blood sugar fluctuations, food cravings and the mid-day energy crash and burn.
GI Graph
The chart on the right shows the effects high blood sugar has on your body. Foods with high GI like potatoes, most breads, candy and white rice cause blood sugar levels to rise sharply.
This causes the body to produce more insulin and that in turn causes the body to store fat.
Too much insulin then brings your blood sugar down too low resulting in a sudden crash! A rollercoaster pattern emerges because you feel just as hungry and tired as you were before you ate.
Following a low GI diet promotes normal blood sugar levels and helps your body stay in the fat burning zone. This will keep you feeling more energized and alert.

Getting Started

Below are some common basic selections I like to use. It’s also a great starting point for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. 
GI Graph

Follow A Glycemic Impact Diet For Real Results

Follow A Glycemic Impact Diet
For Real Results

Weight loss plans come and go, but certain programs like the glycemic impact diet actually stand up to the test of time. This is generally because they have proven results and don’t impact healthy negatively.
Glycemic Impact Diet
This diet relies on good old fashion common sense coupled with scientific facts to make it work. Calling for eating a low carbohydrate along with other healthy foods in modest portions, this diet produces results.
Similar in scope to a gestational diabetes diet and other similar medically advised plans, this program monitors glycemic load numbers to ensure a steadier maintenance of blood glucose levels. This can promote weight loss and result in better overall health

Understanding Load And Index Numbers

What is glycemic load is a question anyone who is considering this weight loss plan needs to understand the answer to. The load number of a food relates to the carbohydrate contents and the impact they have on blood sugar levels. The higher the number happens to be the greater the impact a food will have on glucose levels.

Why Controlling Levels Matters

Keeping sugar levels under control isn’t just an issue for diabetics. When sugar levels spike from eating the wrong foods, an overload of insulin can be released. This, in turn, can cause the body to go into its fat-storing mode. The end result is a propensity to gain weight rather than lose it.
For diabetics keeping the numbers under control is even more important. When sugar levels rise too high, internal organs can suffer long-term damage.

How The Diet Works

When glycemic index weight loss plans are followed the basic premise is simple. The idea is to keep sugar levels under fairly tight control to promote weight loss rather than gain. This is achieved by eating items off the low glycemic food list. When foods low in carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates are consumed they have a minor impact on sugar levels. This promotes energy consumption and even fat burning.
Foods that fit into a low glycemic index eating plan include most fruits and vegetables. Low-carbohydrate dairy, lean meats, legumes and other healthful choices can also come into play. Watching portion control is also an important facet. Overeating of even healthy foods can still have an impact on weight loss or gain.
A glycemic impact diet tends to work for people because it takes the science of digestion into account. When a carbohydrate overload is avoided weight loss is promoted. This type of diet doesn’t call for cutting out carbohydrates entirely either. It follows basic common sense eating recommendations for a healthy, well-rounded meal plan.

Why Eating Off The Low Glycemic Food List Is Smart

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. Eating items off the low glycemic food list is important when your health matters, you're controlling diabetes or you're trying to lose weight.
Foods that fall into the low glycemic category can assist with weight loss while promoting better overall health. When they are coupled with other smart food choices and portion control the body benefits significantly.
Paying attention to glycemic load in everyday consumption is much easier than many people realize. While a glycemic index diet might call for extreme discipline in monitoring intake and the numbers represented, common sense can serve as an overall guide.

What Is Glycemic Load And How Does It Affect The Body?

Glycemic load is simply a number assigned to a particular food based on its carbohydrate content and how it affects blood glucose levels in the body. The higher the number, the greater the negative impact on the body.
Generally, simple carbohydrates, such as processed snacks and white bread, tend to have a greater influence in raising blood sugar levels. This can cause problems for diabetics that need to keep sugar levels under control to maintain better health.
It also impacts those who are trying to lose weight by triggering the release of insulin. When glucose levels are too high and too much insulin is released,the body will go into fat storing mode.
But not all snacking is bad. With a low GI plan, snacking is actually encouraged. Here are 5 low glycemic snacks that promote weight loss.

How Glycemic Index Weight Loss Works

When glycemic index is taken into account during a diet, the basic premise is to maintain sugar levels to promote fat burning or immediate energy use rather than storage. This is a healthier option for people who want to lose weight, control diabetes or just maintain their current weight.
Eating with glycemic numbers in mind essentially mirrors what a gestational diabetes diet looks like. In regard to carbohydrates, people who want to follow this path will need to keep consumption low, but not eliminate carb-containing foods entirely. Instead of white bread, a sandwich might be made on whole grain bread instead.
Some of the foods that fit well with the low glycemic food list include:
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh fruits with the exception of watermelons
  • Fresh vegetables with the exception of potatoes

Common Sense Considerations

When trying to follow a low glycemic plan, make sure to include other healthy choices. Overall, a diet with lean meats, legumes, low-carbohydrate dairy and other healthful choices is important. Also pay attention to portion size to gain the maximum benefits. Even low glycemic foods can boost blood sugar if they are eaten in overabundance.
Following a diet that includes low glycemic food list items can help keep weight and sugar levels under control. Common sense is a good guide for following this type of diet.

6 Low Glycemic Index Foods that Burn Fat

Focusing on nutrition instead of calories with low glycemic index foods and exercise is the best way to burn fat and build muscle.
Overall calorie counts per day do matter, but by focusing on nutrition, your daily calories will naturally be reduced simply by eating healthier foods.
Add these low glycemic foods to your diet to help burn the fat.

1. Chicken

Your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does digesting fat. Low glycemic index foods like chicken contain few to no carbs and keep your blood sugar levels steady.
The key is to select lean cuts of meat like chicken breast.
Avoid buying pre-marinated chicken, so you can be in control of the fat, seasonings, sodium and preservatives. Be cautious of low fat poultry food labels because it can often be high in saturated fats if it includes dark meat and skin.

2. Salmon

Salmon is a great choice to boost your metabolism and health since it contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids lower the hormone leptin in your body which is associated with a higher caloric burn. This essential fatty acid has many health benefits from reducing inflammation to reducing cholesterol and apoproteins in people with diabetes. So consume fish at least three times a week!

3. Eggs

An egg is another one of those great low glycemic index foods. Eggs are super high in protein and contain vitamin B12, which your body needs to break down fat cells.
Be careful of consuming too many eggs though since it can put you over the recommended daily amount of cholesterol. Instead, remove the yolk and eat the egg whites which are still high in protein with no fat or cholesterol.

4. Beans

Beans are a great “no meat” source of protein, fiber and iron. Keep a variety of beans like black, soy, red, navy, kidney, white, and lima as an alternative or addition to your dishes.
A cup of these low glycemic index foods can replace a two ounce serving of meat or fish.
If using canned beans, be sure to rinse the beans well to remove any sodium added during processing. Avoid refried and baked beans. Refried beans contain tons of saturated fats while baked beans are loaded with sugar.

5. Whole Grains

Every body needs carbohydrates to function, just be sure that you’re choosing the right kind of carbs.
whole grain
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, whole grain oats, and whole grain bread are excellent sources of complex carbs, fiber, and nutrients to help keep your metabolism up and insulin levels low. High levels of insulin in your blood is what causes your body to store fat.
Avoid processed carbs like white bread, white rice, bagels, and english muffins. It contains little nutrients and are loaded with starch which causes your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike.
Also, color is not an indication of a whole grain since molasses is added to give it a brown color. So don’t be fooled.
Here’s a tip! Look at the daily percent value of fiber on the food label. The higher the %DV, the better indication of whole grains contained in that item.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the best low glycemic index foods available. It’s great to eat at breakfast and it’s loaded with soluble fiber which keeps you full, your blood levels steady and reduces cholesterol by flushing bad digestive acids out of your system.
The best type of oatmeal to consume is unsweetened coarse oats rather than instant ones since instant is made from smashed oat grains, it is digested quicker. 

5 Low Glycemic Snacks That Help Promote Weight Loss

For anyone wanting to lose weight, low glycemic snacks should be included in a healthy diet. You just need to learn how to snack wisely, which is quite simple with the ideas listed here.
What happens to our body when food is scarce is it will store energy in the form of fat as a survival mechanism to protect ourselves from starvation.
This is exactly what we don’t want, but happens when we don’t snack between meals. That’s because your body doesn’t know when its next meal is going to be, so it’s afraid to shed the extra pounds.
What’s worse is you end up eating more than you need at each meal which is the culprit for weight gain and blood sugar fluctuations.
So for diabetics and dieters, start incorporating two low glycemic snacks daily. A snack between breakfast and lunch, and another between lunch and dinner. This will help keep blood sugar levels normal and shed those unwanted pounds!
The key is to look for snacks that are low in sugar and high in protein and fiber. These five our my favorites:
  1. Yogurt

    (2% plain Greek yogurt or low, non-fat American yogurt)
    Yogurt is full of calcium which promotes muscle growth and probiotic bacteria which supports your immune system. Plus! Greek yogurt has more than double the protein of standard American style yogurt and less sugar.
    Helpful tip: For a tastier low glycemic snack, add berries with some nuts or seeds to your yogurt or make a delicious smoothie using Greek yogurt.

  2. Almonds

    Almonds are an excellent source of heart healthy monosaturated fats and protein. Just be sure to eat them whole (with skin) to double the antioxidant dose and limit yourself to just a serving (a handful).Helpful tip: When buying nuts, look for dry roasted (no oil added), unsalted.

  3. Dips

    (Guacamole, Hummus, Tomato salsa)h3 These are great low glycemic snacks with a serving of plain chips. Hummus for example is composed of chickpeas or garbanzo beans, which have been shown to help regulate blood sugar.
    One study found people who added chickpeas to their diet ended up taking in fewer total calories.
    Helpful tip: Enjoy hummus with baby carrots for added benefits for vision and skin soothing beta carotene.

  4. Cheese

    Select low fat varieties with skim milk as the first ingredient. Non-fat or 1% cottage cheese are great too.
    Helpful tip: Add fresh berries to your cottage cheese for an even healthier snack or black pepper for flavor.

  5. Fruit

    Fresh whole fruits like berries, cherries, apples, grapes, oranges and grapefruit are great low glycemic snacks. They have the most fiber and fewest grams of carbohydrates per serving.
    Helpful tip: Be cautious of over ripen fruits. The more ripe a fruit is the higher its sugar content.

Getting Started with Low Glycemic Diets is Easy!

Why is everyone still talking about low Glycemic diets even though they were introduced over 20 years ago?

It’s for these reasons: They are the best way to attain normal blood sugar levels, achieve healthy body weight and they make an excellent diabetes meal plan.
But what exactly are these diets? And how easy is it to create your own diets?

What are Low Glycemic Diets?

The are diets based on the selection of foods from the low end of the Glycemic Index scale. The Glycemic Index (GI) scale was created by scientists as a way of comparing foods according to the type of carbohydrates found in them.
Before the Glycemic Index was used to create diabetes meal plans, dietitians compared carbohydrate foods by placing them into two categories: simple sugars and complex sugars.
Scientists soon realized that this was far too simple of a way of looking at them, and it didn’t help those with high blood sugar levels attain normal blood sugar levels either. And frankly a diabetes meal plan based on this method failed frequently and normal blood sugar levels were rarely achieved.
Once researchers tested foods for the rise in blood sugar after the food was eaten, a whole new world of science opened up to them. One-half of a grapefruit raised the blood sugar level half as much as a slice of whole grain bread! A baked potato raised the blood sugar twice as high as a piece of chocolate! And ice cream and yogurt had Glycemic indexes about half that of jasmine rice!
The scientists were on to something big here! As they kept testing foods, they began creating a Glycemic Index list, which became separated into three different levels: low GI foods, medium GI foods, and high GI foods.
The higher the GI of a food, the greater the rise in the blood sugar level after that food was eaten. The lower the GI of a food, the lower the rise in the blood sugar level after that food was eaten.

By concentrating on building a diet based around foods that were low on the GI list, you could create Low Glycemic Diets, and not only feel better, but possibly show significant improvement in your health and blood sugar levels if you were diabetic.

What To Know about the GI

One of the first things to learn about Low Glycemic Diets and the GI is how to categorize foods.
Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Only foods with carbohydrates are rated on the Glycemic Index. This includes breads, pasta, fruits, beans, starchy vegetables, milk and dairy products, candy, chocolates, pastries, pies, cookies and other desserts.

  2. Because foods that are fats or proteins usually don’t contain even a smidgeon of carbohydrate, they are rated 0 on the Glycemic Index.

  3. Some foods may contain fat and carbohydrate like peanuts and cashews. Any food that contains carbohydrate is rated on the Glycemic Index.
Scientists also came up with Glycemic Load Indexes for the carbohydrate foods.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Healthy Eating: Ten Nutrition Tips for Eating Right

Healthy Eating: Ten Nutrition Tips for Eating Right

CarbohydratesChoose good carbs, not no carbs. Whole grains are your
best bet.
 ProteinPay attention to the protein package. Fish, poultry, nuts,
and beans are the best choices.
 FatsChoose healthy fats, limit saturated fat, and avoid trans
fat. Plant oils, nuts, and fish are the healthiest sources.
 FiberChoose a fiber-filled diet, rich in whole grains, vegetables,
and fruits.
 Vegetables and FruitsEat more vegetables and fruits. Go for color and variety
—dark green, yellow, orange, and red.
 MilkCalcium is important. But milk isn't the only, or even
best, source.
 Healthier Drinks (healthier-drinks-new.jpg)Water is best to quench your thirst. Skip the sugary
drinks, and go easy on the milk and juice.
 Lower Salt & Sodium (salt-new-icon.jpg)Eating less salt is good for everyone's health. Choose
more fresh foods and fewer processed foods.
 AlcoholModerate drinking can be healthy—but not for everyone.
You must weigh the benefits and risks.
 VitaminsA daily multivitamin is a great nutrition insurance policy.
Some extra vitamin D may add an extra health boost.