Well, we know that not all carbohydrate foods are created equal. In fact, they behave quite differently in our bodies.
The glycemic index or GI describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on our blood glucose levels. Choosing low GI carbs – the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels – is the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.
Switching to eating mainly low GI carbs that slowly trickle glucose into your blood stream keeps your energy levels balanced and means you will feel fuller for longer between meals.
Low GI diets help people lose and control weight; it increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Low GI carbs improve diabetes control; they reduce the risk of heart disease and reduce blood cholesterol levels. They help you manage the symptoms of PCOS, they prolong physical endurance and help re-fuel carbohydrates stores after exercise.
The glycemic load of a food is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate in grams provided by a food and dividing the total by 100. The concept of glycemic load was developed by scientists to simultaneously describe the quality (glycemic index) and quantity of carbohydrate in a meal or diet.
The basic technique for eating the low GI way is a simple “this for that” approach—swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs.
Here are just some reminders: use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran; use breads with whole grains, stone-ground flour, sour dough; reduce the amount of white potatoes you eat; enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables; use Basmati rice; enjoy quinoa; eat plenty of salad vegetables with vinaigrette dressing!