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Throughout the Holidays with the Glycemic Index
Shank, aka "Fiberlady"
And what do you want for Christmas this year, asks Fiberlady? GI? GI Joe?
Sorry, but I cannot consciously support the military-industrial complex by
purchasing idols of warmongers for children to reenact their misplaced
power. Okay, go ahead. Tell Santa.
The only GI that I can conscientiously promote is the
otherwise known as the GI. Originally used to manage diabetes, the theory
behind the Glycemic Index is simply to reduce insulin-related problems by
identifying and monitoring foods that have the greatest effect on your
If you want to learn (it's as easy as buttering a
carrot bran muffin),
here's how it works. The Glycemic Index system ranks foods from 0 (good)
to 100 (not so good) according to the effect on blood sugar levels after
eating. Low-GI foods (less than 55) produce a gradual rise in blood sugar
that's easy on the body, keeping blood sugar levels fairly tame. Foods
between 55 and 70 are intermediate-GI foods. Foods with high-GI numbers
(more than 70) make blood sugar as well as insulin levels quickly surge.
A GI value tells you only how rapidly a particular carbohydrate turns into
glucose. It doesn't tell you how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving
of a particular food. Adding protein and/or fat or increasing acidity may
alter the GI of any given carbohydrate-laden food.
Here's a simple comparison. White bread (GI=70), not a high fiber food by
any means, is digested almost immediately to glucose, causing blood sugar
to spike rapidly. Brown rice (GI=59), however, is digested more slowly,
causing a lower and more subtle change in blood sugar. Once more. By
eating a cup of All Bran cereal (GI=51), your blood sugar level will
sustain you longer than a cup of corn flakes (GI=83). The numbers say it
all. Corn Flakes brings up your blood sugar faster than All Bran. When
blood sugar rises and falls rapidly, the body is stimulated to eat again.
What? Never during the holidays.
During the holiday season you need to be particularly aware of a high
fiber diet of which many are low to intermediate-GI foods. Otherwise you
will be seeking a serious weigh loss plan in the new year from overeating
refined and processed foods, i.e. cakes, pies, cookies.
To stave off the indulgences, eat low-GI foods such as beans, vegetables,
fruits and certain whole-grains. These choices also effect the amount of
fat absorbed in the body, and less calories to burn off. You stay full and
away from that beckoning buffet! Fiberlady reminds you that they don't
call it the holiday spread for nothing.
High fiber foods are crucial when balancing a low glycemic diet. Your
blood sugar will maintain a slow, even rate so you can ease your way
through holiday gatherings without too many ups and downs. You really
can't fumble this balancing act because high fiber foods provide the
perfect safety net on the
Glycemic Index. It might be enough reason to
bring GI Joe home for the holidays.
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Stephanie Shank aka "Fiberlady" has studied nutrition for many healthy years
which prompted her commitment to a high fiber lifestyle and the
development of her informative website
High Fiber Health.
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