Each month, more than 165 000 searches are done for the term “glycemic index”. This means that there are a lot of people who have heard about it and want to learn more, but it also means that there are people that don’t understand what “glycemic index” is all about and they should. This article is written to give you a more clear view on the glycemic index menu plan and to help you understand how it affects your health in a positive way.
Let’s start with explaining the Glycemic Index Menu Plan or Diet. First of all, you should know that the glycemic index isn’t really a diet, but you can use it to plan your diet and show which foods will work best for you and which won’t. The glycemic index will help you choose your foods wisely, because it tells you how big the impact of the food will be on your blood sugar.
You can use the chart to help you find the foods with the lowest glycemic index (or GI). If you want to get the best results you should choose the foods that have a GI that is lower than 50. Sometimes you will eat foods that have a higher index number, but because you mostly eat foods under 50 the impact will not be that big.
If you are already using the GI food list, you will probably have noticed that something is missing. There is almost no meats or protein foods on the list. When I noticed it I thought the glycemic food index wasn’t fully finished yet. That there were still foods that could be added, but I was wrong. The real reason lies in the fact that the GI of foods talks about carbohydrates. Meats and proteins aren’t listed because they don’t have a big impact on your blood sugar over the first hour or two after eating. When you use the glycemic index list you have another way to plan your meals and snacks. You only have to remember two facts: don’t forget to include proteins and choose low GI carbohydrates.
Another important to know about the glycemic index is how what you do affects the GI of the foods that you eat. The way you prepare your food may affect the glycemic index, the more you modify your food, the higher it’s GI will be. To give you an example, if you would eat a handful wheat heads directly from the field, or you would a tablespoon of flour, the impact on your blood sugar will be different. Because of the act of turning the wheat into flour removes almost all the fibers and because of that the flour will raise your blood sugar much faster than the wheat will. The same happens when you cook your food: the GI raises. If you want to maximize the fiber in your foods so you can keep the GI as low as possible you could try to use these tips:
- Cook pasta for the minimum possible time. It shouldn’t be mushy, but still firm.
- Try to each your vegetables raw as much as possible (lots of salads)
- Use the skin or peel when preparing vegetables or fruits if you can.
- Retain a little of the crunch when you are cooking vegetables, this will help you to keep some of the fiber.
It’s not because the carbohydrates you eat have a number on the GI, that you can’t have any control over how quickly or slowly they turn into sugar. If you adapt your way of preparing your food, you will keep that control and keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.
If you have heard of the glycemic index, you most probably heard of the glycemic load too. This concept is a response to the concern that large amounts of low GI foods, still causes your blood sugar to increase. The glycemic load index helps you to link the serving size to the GI, so you could use it more easily.