I have talked about sugar and the importance of limiting your intake of it to prevent an undesirable insulin response by the panreas because, as we know, chronic elevated levels of insulin and blood sugar can cause high blood triglycerides, increased fat deposits, increased tendency for the blood to clot, a rapid return of hunger after a meal, and increased fat synthesis from the liver. These conditions in turn cause heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions. This blog is going to basically be a guide of the glycemic index (GI) and the glycemic load (GL) of foods.

The GI is a measurement of how much your blood sugar spikes after eating a carbohydrate compared to a standard carb like sugar. There are numerous factors that go into creating a GI of a food that we won’t get into, like how it was processed or prepared, what other nutrients are in the meal, and fiber content. The biggest thing to remember is that you should always try to eat a balanced meal, even a snack. The GI has its fallbacks and can’t be your only source when deciding on what carbs to eat. This is due to the fact that it is based on 50 grams of a carbohydrate. You will not eat 50g of carbs in a serving (I hope not anyway). So when you look at the GI of a food you should also look at the Glycemic Load (GL). The GL is the GI multiplied by the grams of the carb you are consuming divided by 100. IF I ate 20g of baked potato, it would look like this:

GI (85) x 20g / 100= 17

So a standard baked potato is not something you would want to consume based on a high GI of 85 (you want a GI of 55 or less) and a high GL (you want a GL of less than 15). This potato will spike my blood sugar, causing me to realease a high amount of insulin wreaking havoc on my body and I will be craving carbs again within the hour (give or take). Not to mention for those of you who are overweight already, you are causing high amounts of excess fat to be created and deposited and high amounts of triglycerides to circulate in the blood, possibly causing clotting.

Now that you have some basic information on the GI and the GL, here is a list of some foods and their GI:

white rice: GI= 56- 1 cup, GL = 25

spaghetti:GI= 41- 1 cup, GL= 16

carrots (boiled, better to eat raw): GI=49- 1 cup, GL= 8

sweet corn: GI=55- 1 cup, GL= 21

Cows Milk (skim): GI= 32- 1 cup, GL= 4

Kidney Beans: GI= 27- 1 cup, GL= 10

Honey: GI=73- 1 tsp, GL=4

Bagel: GI= 72 (small bagel), GL= 22

Whole Wheat bread: GI= 69- 1 slice, GL=9

banana: GI= 55, GL= 16

Potato chips: GI= 54- 1oz, GL= 8

These are just a few examples. You might think to yourself “Oh milk isn’t that bad but Ken said not to drink it.” This is why you can’t use only one tool to plan your diet. The GI and GL is great and I use it but you have to take into account other factors like what else milk does. It is loaded with fat and sugar. Milk can cause intestinal problems, ear infections, asthma, allergies, and it flat out will make most Americans fat because of our sedentary lifestyles. Also, the whole wheat bread. Most whole wheat bread in the store is filled with preservatives and alternative sweeteners. Look in the ingredients of a loaf of bread you normally buy. How many ingredients are things you don’t understand? How many list high fructose corn syrup? Sucrose? Sucralose? It is amazing! I am not against bread at all if you buy organic, stone ground whole wheat or whole grain and the ingredients are truly clean. But even then I would only eat it 3 times a week max! There are plenty of healthier ways to get your grains, like quinoa or oatmeal. In parting I will give you a list of healthy snacks:

apple, GL=6

orange,GL= 6

Nuts- walnuts, almonds, pecans (most nuts hover around GL of 2)

Berries: most are low GL but also offer great anti-oxidants.