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Monday, January 30, 2012

31 Days of Weight Loss Tips: Day 29 Avoid High Glycemic Index Foods

Photo by Nick Saltmarsh on Flickr
Foods that are high on the glycemic index, or GI, such as white bread, white pastas and white rice can hinder fat loss.

As explained in the "The Low GI Handbook," the GI is based on scientific testing of real foods in real people. It measures how fast carbohydrates hit the bloodstream on a scale of 0-100. A high GI food has the greatest effect on blood glucose levels while a low GI food less effect.

In previous posts, I've talked a lot about the importance of avoiding drastic increases and decreases in blood glucose (sugar) levels in order to lose weight.

When a high GI food is eaten, the body breaks it down very quickly and the glucose derived from that food enters the bloodstream rapidly, spiking blood sugar levels. This is problematic because it promotes fat storage in the body.

Let's take potatoes for example. Which is a better choice -- sweet potato or white potato?

According to the GI list, a baked sweet potato has a GI value of 46 which is low and a baked white potato has a GI value of 76 which is high. This tells us that eating a white potato is going to be digested much faster and cause a more rapid increase in blood glucose levels -- which we want to avoid.

How do you know if something is high, medium or low?

  • High GI value is 70 or more
  • Medium GI value is 56-69
  • Low GI value is 55 or less

General guidelines to follow are: opt for whole grain options such as brown rice versus white rice, avoid any high sugar foods and avoid processed foods.

To look at some of the foods you may eat frequently, check out this list.

Resource:
The Low GI Handbook, 2010

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