So here’s the thing. If you’re following the food suggestions in the Jorge Cruise plan, you’re doing something about the Glycemic Index thing without much knowing it. If you’re on South Beach, same thing. Atkins, yes, but in a weird indirect way. It’s about blood sugar.
I won’t go *super* into detail, but a fairly not bad site is The Glycemic Index Site . I prefer the way Dr. Weil explains it in Eating Well for Optimum Health, but lots of people get scared by that book because it’s kind of…well… sciency.
Basically, our bloodstream needs a certain amount of glucose flowing through it to our brain. We use this for general functioning. We need this in a form that burns slowly and steadily over time. Our body likes this much more than spiked fast doses of pure stuff. Let me explain it another way.
If your energy level is a fire at a campground, you need to keep that fire going with good wood. If you put a big fat hardwood log on an already-going fire, it’ll burn slowly and evenly, and dispense heat for warmth, cooking, and overall well-being. If you squeeze a can of lighter fluid onto that fire, it will blaze really big really fast, throw lots of light, some heat, and look very impressive. And then nothing else will happen. Our body is the same way.
So, the shortest way to look at it is that things with a high Glycemic Index rating (71-100) are “bad;” things with a moderate GI rating (51-70) are “good”, and things with a low rating (30-50) are “excellent”.
Diabetics need to follow this, because glucose is part of the mix for maintaining their health. EVERYONE should be more aware of how it works because it affects your hunger level, your energy level, and your emotions, to a degree as well.
A short sampling of “bad” foods:
*corn products of any kind (corn, corn chips, corn flour, etc.)
*processed white flour products (white bread, chips, yada yada)
*processed wheat flour products (most wheat breads, etc)
*sugars, and for god’s sake, least of all “high fructose corn syrup,” satan’s own topping.
Some “good” foods:
*green veggies (broccoli, spinach, asparagus)
*sweet potatoes (50 on the index compared to 75 or so for white potatoes), and no, not like your mama made for you with all the butter and sugar. Try them grilled with just a drizzle of olive oil.
*whole grain products (multigrain bread- the good kind not Wonder, long grain rice, whole oatmeal – not instant).
Now, obviously the terms “good” and ‘bad” are judgmental sounding. I’m using the scale as a reference. Here’s what I’m saying: If you eat the foods that the index shows as “good,” you’ll have a steady blood sugar level throughout the day, and have less sense of crashing energy, hunger pangs, and overall mood wonkiness. If you eat the occasional “bad” thing, you *might* run into situations where your energy drops. You hear this a lot when people talk about eating sweets.
Are you still reading along?
It’s something that everyone should know a little more about. I find that by paying better attention to what I’m eating with regards to its GI rating, I reach even more success.
Now, want to talk about fats?