Saturday, January 21, 2012

Which Vegetables Have A Low Glycemic Index? by Andrew Mason

Vegetables are the food of choice if you're trying to prepare a diet based on the glycemic index. Many people just focus on fruit and vegetables alone and avoid starches altogether, when calculating their carbohydrate intake.

Much of the goodness associated with vegetables comes from eating them in their natural state. A lot of the nutritional value can be found in the stalks and leaves, where much of the fiber is contained. Don't avoid juicing your fruits and vegetables altogether though, and if this is something you enjoy, try and retain the pulp and use it in the creation of some other food dishes, later on.

Almost all vegetables are found at the bottom of the glycemic index and have high levels of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. It's not surprising at all that many people opt to change their eating habits to conform to a strictly vegetarian diet. Once they do, they never want to go back to their diet of old.

All of the following vegetables can be found at the bottom end of the GI scale -- all colors of pepper, tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, cucumber, cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, celery and asparagus. Each of these vegetables is classified with a glycemic index of only 15, right at the bottom of the scale. Remember what you were once told about all these colorful fruits and vegetables?

We can regulate the amount of time that it takes our body to digest foods by focusing on those to be found at the bottom of the glycemic index. If we do so, we will avoid an unnecessary production of glucose and make sure that our pancreas is not overly tested. Furthermore, excessive fat buildup, a byproduct of this overworking regime, can be avoided. Health experts tell us that we can avoid type II diabetes in this way.

Also, vegetables have a large number of phytonutrients and other properties that are known to help fight nasty diseases and conditions such as cancer. Undoubtedly though, one of the greatest assets is their ability to control and regulate diet. Focus on these foods and you won't be running for a sugary snack in the middle of the day or at bedtime.

Not all vegetables are the same, however. A carrot can be classified within the midrange of the index, as it has a score of 39 when cooked. This is not to say that you should avoid it, as it happens to be a particularly palatable food when paired with your favorite protein. It is infinitely more preferable compared to one of those simple carbohydrates, such as a potato, for example.

Of all the vegetables, broccoli and spinach may be the best. Spinach is available at your food store all the year round and handles the freezer pretty well without losing its nutritional value. Both of these should be contained within a diet often. Spinach, in particular, can be sprinkled on a salad or worked into other dishes in a variety of ways, while broccoli retains its valuable properties no matter how you prepare it.