Friday, January 16, 2009

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is a system that was originally developed for diabetics in an effort to help manage glucose levels. It rates the speed at which carbohydrates are converted to glucose. As a general rule complex carbohydrates are converted slower and provide consistent absorption of glucose which corresponds to more stable energy levels. Refined or simple carbs are broken down and absorbed faster and can cause spikes in energy levels.

The index categorizes foods within in a range that goes up to 100 with pure glucose being rated at 100. Foods that have a lower number on this index provide more stable energy for longer periods of time. I have listed some foods below and it may surprise you to see where some of them fall within the index.

green beans-15
skim milk-32
frozen peas-39
baked beans-44
orange juice-46
chocolate bar-49
brown rice-59
ice cream-61
white sugar-68
white bread-70
rice cakes-78
jelly beans-80
corn flakes-84
baked potato-85
white rice-88

After seeing these numbers some people jump to conclusions and start labeling foods as "good and bad" according to their number. Some healthy foods have a high score and some foods not known for their health benefits might be lower. Ice cream and candy bars are lower than oatmeal and bananas but that doesn't they obviously aren't better for you.

There are many other factors to take into account when discussing the glycemic index such as calorie content, your current health condition, the combination of foods, the actual glycemic load, and much more. I'm not a registered dietitian and I don't play one on TV either, I'm just a guy who is excited about getting healthier and encouraging others to do so too. My point is if you are trying to eat less and are snacking on things like rice cakes, jelly beans, and watermelon you will get tired and hungrier faster than if you ate foods with lower scores.

By the way what does it take to get someone to comment on this blog? I know it's not as entertaining as Facebook or Youtube but there must be someone reading. Maybe I just need to be more controversial.

1 comment:

russell jack said...

guess i'm gonna go on an "all broccoli" diet - we'll see how that goes....