Thursday, February 16, 2012

Reasons To Look At Foods With A Low Glycemic Index by Andrew Mason

We have enough evidence to tell us that if we are trying to look after our heart condition we should eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. These foods have the properties that we are looking for, if we are trying to control blood sugar levels. This type of carbohydrate will help us to steer clear of the peaks and valleys, which occur during internal processing and are typically associated with elevated insulin levels and the onset of diabetes. Should you aim for foods that are found at the lower end of the glycemic index, exclusively? Should you focus just on fruits and vegetables and avoid everything else? As always, sweeping generalizations are not a good idea and we need to look at each individual food, as some surprises are in store when you least expect.

Foods that are found toward the bottom end of the glycemic index, a scale which runs between zero and 100, are generally felt to be much better at controlling weight and regulating insulin. These foods are categorized according to the amount of time that it takes for your body to process them. However, we cannot classify foods of one category as being "favorable," while others are not. For example, watermelon, one of the most refreshing and theoretically "beneficial" foods that we enjoy during the summer months, has a relatively high glycemic index of 72.

We are all looking for the perfect diet and should take some time to study the way that the index is put together. While we are looking for the best foods, we will come across the potato, one of the common staples of our diet. Depending on how this is prepared, it can either fall within the "moderate" classification, or toward the high end of the scale. By baking a potato you will push it to the top of the index, but if you steam it, you will be in the middle.

Most of the green, leafy vegetables promoted by health experts around the world are to be found, with the majority of fruits, at the bottom of the index. We can certainly focus on eating these every day, but we don't necessarily want to avoid those at the top end of the index, either. There has to be a certain amount of variety in the diet, if we are to make it work.

The Surgeon General is quick to tell us that we should focus our daily diets on the consumption of breads and cereals. The glycemic index tells us to narrow this down, though. Avoid that refined wheat whenever you can, but focus on whole grains instead. These grains have a lot of essential fiber, which helps us to process everything, steadily.

A good diet would be composed of fruits and vegetables together with appropriately sized servings of lean protein. Protein is good as it can regulate the otherwise negative effects of some high glycemic index foods. Narrow this down even more by focusing on fish, which has a lot of those Omega-3 fatty acids and valuable nutrients.

Protein is beneficial, but must be regulated by itself. Beware of the fat content and ensure that you strike a good balance as you compose a nutritional and tasty diet. You don't need many of those potentially damaging simple carbs, after all.