Tag Archives: Glycemic index

HOW TO HANDLE CRAVINGS

1. Plan for a snack attack

Many of us use low blood sugar as an excuse for a mid-afternoon chocolate snack. There are plenty of alternative foods that will boost your blood sugar and energy levels. A peanut butter sandwich or a banana is much better, as it increases blood sugar gradually, rather than the quick fix hit of chocolate. Learn to anticipate your weak moments and have healthy alternatives, such as nuts or fruit.

You could even try getting your chocolate fix with a juice plus pancake or ice cream or whip some into greek yoghurt (total 0%). 

What is GI and GL?

Glycaemic index (GI) and glycaemic load (GL) provide information about how foods affect blood sugar and insulin.

The lower a food’s GI or GL, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.
GI measures the effect of your food on blood glucose levels. It’s a rank list index for foods based on how quickly your blood sugar levels will increase after ingestion.

The GL is different as it is based on the active carbohydrate content of a normal serving of food, or around 100 grammes. So in other words, the GL tells you how much carbohydrate is in a standard serving size of food.

2. Take up exercise

It may not be as immediately satisfying as munching on a bar of chocolate, but exercise creates serotonin, a neurotransmitter which promotes feelings of happiness.

It also releases endorphins in the same way that a bar of chocolate will, only exercise is far better for you in the long run.

After a good workout, you won’t have as much need for sugar, and the same goes for sex!

3. Blood glucose levels

A low glycaemic load (GL) diet will help keep your blood sugar level balanced. The glycaemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrates according to their effect on blood glucose levels. Juice Plus shakes are Low GI. 

Low GL carbohydrates produce only small fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

Eating quality lean proteins and the right fats with low GL carbohydrates, such as wholemeal bread, will make you feel full and you won’t be as likely to crave a sugar rush.

Are rice cakes making you fat?

Rice cakes – the dieters nightmare.

You may see rice cakes as a staple diet snack but don’t be fooled. Rice cakes can have a glycemic index rating as high as 91 (pure glucose has a rating of 100), making it the kind of carbohydrate that will send your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride. This is bad for weight loss and for your health!

GLYCEMIC INDEX

Although rice cakes are low in calories, it is easy to eat too many because they don’t make you feel full and can’t fully satiate your craving for more food.

The glycemic index of a food is a measurement of how fast the carbohydrate it contains raises blood glucose levels and insulin secretion as it’s digested.
Rice cakes have a high carbohydrate content at 21 g per serving, and three cakes have a very high glycemic index of up to 95. High-glycemic foods rapidly raise blood glucose levels and create a high insulin demand, which could lead to irreversible diabetes and cause cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and weight gain, warns Oregon State University. J. B. Miller and colleagues at the University of Sydney’s Department of Biochemistry conducted a study to determine the glycemic insulin-index values of various rice products, including rice cakes. The conclusion, as published in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” in 1992, was that rice products are classified as high GI food.

Basically you won’t be satisfied or full- Not a good way to stick to the diet, as you’ll be reaching for a more filling (and more fattening) snack in no time. Swap the rice cake, which has a GI of 87, for a Ryvita, which has a GI of 63.

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‘Empty’ calories and the glycaemic index

 Please see the links at the bottom of this article for more information as I am not a nutritionist/professional.

If you are trying to loose weight the media has likely drawn to those low fat rice cakes, drinks, chocolate, crisps…..be warned! These are empty calories… What do I mean?

“Food and drinks provide fuel for our body in the form of fat, protein, carbohydrates and alcohol. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred fuel source. The glycaemic index (GI) is a way to rate carbohydrates according to how quickly they are absorbed and raise the glucose level of the blood. It has replaced classifying carbohydrates as either ‘simple’ or ‘complex’. Foods that contain carbohydrates include bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, legumes, corn, potato, fruit, milk, yoghurt, sugar, biscuits, cakes and lollies.  ” *

CULPRIT- RICE CAKES Well think about it, after one rice cake do you feel full? No, because they are low in fiber fat and protein and *high GI- give it two hours and you’ll probably be craving again!

So you’ve eaten more calories than one slice of wholegrain bread and probably the same as a small portion of brown rice/half a tortilla etc…but you are more hungry and will then go and eat more.. You get the idea!

 

Don’t get me started on the flavoured ones – chocolate etc- the amount of sugar they put in (because they are low fat) is ridiculous. You’d be better off satisfying your craving with two small squares of dark chocolate (even healthier some nuts / banana / apple/  cinnamon etc). **

 

I am personally gaining weight at the moment, so if you are too – or you are happy the way you are!- then the plain ones are fine as long as you eat with a good source of protein (they are great with avocado or nut butter or mashed bananas). And some source of veg/fruit, eg sliced apple with nut butter and cinnamon.

For me they are perfect when I know I need to eat (been exercising or walking around london a lot that day) but I am not hungry, I can easily have them with some nut butter (good fats and protein).

I still would never advice eating the flavoured ones though. They are processed and not good or beneficial to your body at all. They have no food nutrients. If you need something sweet, try one plain one with a teaspoon of nut butter/apple/cinnamon/banana/cream cheese (DF) etc.

CULPRIT- FIZZY DRINKS (diet too) Another example is drinks! Cola, alcohol, lattes etc. however, if you are following a diet to help IBS you should be avoiding fizzy drinks and alcohol when possible anyway. Opt for de-caff as well. And don’t think diet fizzy drinks are any better. They are full of sweeteners and aspartame (this is in a lot of low fat/sugar products). There is evidence*** that artificial sweeteners (in low sugar/fat products) and diet coke causes you to be MORE hungry! Research shows “diet soft drink consumption is associated with increased waist circumference in humans, and a second study that found aspartame raised fasting glucose (blood sugar) in diabetes-prone mice.”****

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If you don’t like reading, watch this http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=P5tpCpqABhM&feature=related.

There are of course many other foods. But you get the idea! Be careful with low fat yoghurts- they have double the amount of sugar and many sweeteners. Instead go for Greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt / bio live yoghurt and then add frozen berries, berries, cinnamon , honey or some syrup (gluten free).

Some important info on GI which you will find helpful

*

“Carbohydrate-containing foods can be rated on a scale called the glycaemic index (GI). This scale ranks carbohydrate-containing foods based on their effect on blood sugar levels over a period of time – usually two hours. The GI compares foods that have gram-for-gram the same amount of carbohydrate.

A low GI rating of a food does not mean you can eat a larger serve of that food – the total amount of carbohydrate and kilojoules consumed are still important.

Choose a diet containing plenty of fruits, vegetables and legumes, but with smaller helpings of potatoes and less highly refined grain products and concentrated sugar.

LINKS TO WEBSITES FOR MORE INFORMATION

 

*GI- http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Carbohydrates_and_the_glycaemic_index

**http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/50-seemingly-healthy-foods-are-bad-you

***diet soda http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/29/diet-soda-weight-gain_n_886409.html

asparteme/sweeteners http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/t/story?id=4271246&page=1&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2011%2F06%2F29%2Fdiet-soda-weight-gain_n_886409.html

****evidence http://www.uthscsa.edu/hscnews/singleformat2.asp?newID=3861