Are you looking to lower your sugar, eat low sugar foods, and lose weight? Do you think that all fruit is created equal? Trying to make healthier choices in your diet? Consider looking at the glycemic index.
The glycemic index ranks foods according to their potential to raise blood sugar and insulin levels. The higher your blood sugar the higher your risk for diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain around the middle. The index takes 50 grams of a certain food and measures how quickly it is turned into glucose as compared to 50 grams of white bread which has a score of 100. The lower the score, the lower the blood sugar spike in your system.
A low glycemic index food has a score below 55. A moderate score is between 56-69 and anything 70 and above is considered high.
Generally speaking, nutritional counselors would suggest that you should choose low glycemic foods, however not all foods are created equal. Some "low glycemic" foods are high in sodium, fat, carbohydrates, or are just generally unhealthy. I suggest to patient that they choose the whole foods full of nutrition over the options such as peanut M&Ms.
Options off the low glycemic index include: artichokes, asparagus, avocados, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, green beans, lettuce, peppers, snow peas, spinach, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, cherries, peas, plums, grapefruit, peaches, fat free milk, apples, pears, chickpeas, oranges, and grapes.
High glycemic food examples include: bagels, corn chips, watermelon, honey, mashed potatoes, Cheerios, cream of wheat, graham crackers, doughnuts, French fries, waffles, pretzels, rice cakes, Corn Chex, Rice Chex, French bread, white bread, dates, Life Savers, melba toast, and jelly beans.
If you are eliminating sugar from your diet then it’s very important you read labels. Sugar is hidden in almost everything including spaghetti sauce, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, boxed foods, and microwave food. Choose low glycemic fruit for desserts and skip out on fancy coffee drinks such as mochas, lattes, frappuccinos and such. Don’t put extra sugar in your coffee or iced tea at all. Opt for low sugar, whole grain, high fiber, and high protein cereals or eat eggs with turkey sausage instead. Monitor your daily snacking because you would be surprised how often you reach for sugary goods such as candy, cookies, bars, or snacks.
If it helps, write down everything you eat for a full seven to ten days. If anything, it will make you choose healthier options because you won’t want to write down the naughty things.