The Highs And Lows Of The Glycemic Index
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how quickly (and significantly) a certain food can raise our blood sugar levels.
Who includes/removes foods in their diet according to the GI?
It was pretty big a few years ago, and there are still people that follow the GI when making food choices,
Do you avoid things like watermelon, baked potatoes or onions as a result?
Using the GI, you would be persuaded to cut out such things as high GI foods are bad, right?
The problem is, that when used alone, the GI isn't a wholly accurate measurement of how good our food is for us.
I mean pizza has a lower GI score than green peas... PIZZA better for you than GREEN PEAS?
Go home Glycemic Index, you're drunk!
The problem with the GI is that it calculates the affect of 50g of carbohydrates from a food source - as you may be able to work out you'd have to eat more peas than you would pizza to get 50g of carbs (555g ish of peas vs 2.5 slices of a medium cheese and tomato pizza)
If it was just 50g of a food source, peas would easily come out with a better score than pizza.
Other things that make GI inaccurate?
The fact we eat many types of foods as part of a meal - when do you just eat a plate of onions?
The protein, fat and fibre content of your meals will all change the GI of a food included as part of a meal.
Our ability to breakdown food and get it into the bloodstream depends on a lot of factors such as time of meal or whether we've been active as well as other things. Therefore this can vary from person to person and meal to meal.
So, what should you do instead now that your low GI world has been crushed?
The phrase 'eat a balanced diet' gets thrown around too often, and there's a reason, the main one being is that it's the best way to eat...
#1 - Look to reduce your intake of processed foods and replace them with less processed alternatives - switch your bagels for some seeded wholemeal instead.
#2 - When it comes to carbs, keep them as complex as you can
#3 - Pay attention to portion sizes (if you wan't a free portion control PDF, drop us an email)
and Get Lifting - exercise will help to increase your body's ability utilise the fuel that's in your food, particularly carbohydrates!