Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An Introduction To Low Glycemic Index Foods by Andrew Mason

We have long suspected that fruits and vegetables are really good for our health and thanks to the glycemic index, we know that they have the properties necessary to help us regulate our blood sugar levels. Fundamentally, this type of carbohydrate helps us to avoid the peaks and troughs that we can commonly experience and that are unfortunately linked to incorrect insulin levels and the threat of diabetes. You might decide that you should opt to compose a shopping list made up of foods found toward the bottom of the glycemic index, fruits and vegetables at the expense of anything else. Always remember not to make sweeping changes though and analyze the content of each individual food. You might find that some have a much higher GI rating than you might otherwise have expected.

The glycemic index ranks foods on a scale between zero and 100. Those foods found toward the bottom of the index are much better at regulating weight control and insulin. The rating scale was developed to show us how long it takes our bodies to process each individual type of food. There are some surprises on the list, as certain foods that we think are inherently healthy for us, may not be so advantageous. Take the case of a watermelon, one of our natural and refreshing diversions during the summer, which actually has a high glycemic index of 72.

When we are composing a perfect dietary plan, consider how we prepare and cook our food. A potato has long been a staple part of our diet. When it is prepared in one way it can be seen as "moderate" on the index, but in another way it can register toward the top of the list. If you like to steam your potatoes, you are better off, but baking them will push you up to the top of the index.

How often have we heard how good those green, leafy vegetables are? All the fruits that we can picture are also classified toward the bottom of the index. While these foods could make up the basis of a daily diet, we shouldn't completely avoid those toward the higher end of the index, either. Variety is the spice of life after all, especially if we are to be successful with a particular diet approach.

We sometimes wonder why the Surgeon General tells us to base a lot of our diet on the consumption of bread and cereals. We need to refer to the glycemic index to narrow down this generalization if we are to be healthier. This would tell us to avoid refined wheat whenever possible and focus on whole grains, especially as these are very high in essential fiber and a critical part of our digestive process.

Add to any diet centered on fruits and vegetables by including appropriate servings of lean protein. Protein is known to regulate some of the adverse effects of high glycemic index foods. Of all the proteins, fish is your best option, especially as it has a number of important nutrients, together with recommended levels of Omega-3 fatty acids.

When choosing protein, regulate fat content at all times and maintain a good balance. With a little bit of effort, you can create a tasty and nutritional diet without reverting to the use of those potentially damaging, simple carbs.