I eat low carb because high glycemic carbs cause me to binge. They cause my blood sugars to rise quickly, and then crash, making me hungry 7-8 times a day. So by manipulating blood sugar with GI, I control my hunger. That is about the only reason I pay attention to GI.
So I choose 1/2 an apple, or berries for fruit, instead of a banana.
Another trade-off you could make here is a yam ( 54 ) or sweet potato ( 70 )instead of a potato ( 82 ). Another option is pasta.. Fettucine is a 32, macaroni a 47.
Personally I avoid all of them, but if you do choose to eat a higher GI food, just mix it with other food. A serving of fettucini, cooked in olive oil, 4 ozs of chicken, and with 3-4 servings of veggies, will not be as big of a problem. Just like with the potato, you can add stuff to each meal.
Unless you plan on just eating a plain potato and nothing else, then you have to consider the whole meal. That being said, if the potato causes you to binge, or become hungry, then you have the EXTRA food to consider, especially if it leads to Taco Bell for 4th meal.
In the end, the Glycemic Index is a tool. You should stop and look at the fact that a raw potato has a GI of 111 or that a bagel is at 95, as well as that by boiling, you drop the GI, and what you can add to bring the average GI down. Fat and protein can be added.
Meanwhile Coca-Cola sits at 63, but if you try to add fat and protein, you will not be happy..lol, not to mention that there is no nutritional benefit to pop, while there is in a potato.
So there are multiple factors that should go into choosing foods you eat, as well as how you eat them, but don't turn your kitchen into a laboratory.
Eat a potato, and see how you feel in 2 hours. Are you hungry? If you are full till your next scheduled meal, I doubt potatoes are a problem.
The Glycemic Index is a great tool to look for culprits, when you are having binges, or suffering from cravings. Rising blood sugars, and Insulin releases dropping it rapidly again, is just your body working correctly. This is a reason to eat balanced meals. The fettucini in my example dish, will still be digested, and turned into glucose, and burned up quickly, but the veggies will digest a bit slower, and when the fettucini glucose is gone, you will still have glucose from the veggies, so your blood sugar won't crash, causing hunger, and protein will digest eventually, giving you some too. Fat doesn't really cause a glucose response, but does help us feel full. This all happens at the same time, so it isn't like you are using individual glucose from different foods, one at a time, and then the next, but it does mean that you will keep blood sugars from dropping too low, by eating a mixture of foods with differing digestion rates. Fiber will also have an effect.
The goal isn't to eat low GI foods, it is to feel full, so we eat the proper amount of calories. Eating low GI foods is a much easier way to maintain control, with little work, which is why I do so, but you can eat some higher GI foods, and make it work, it just takes more planning.
I try to avoid most foods that can be made into alcohols. These also tend to be sugary, starchy, high glycemic foods. Potato, carrots, beets, rice, milk, honey, and grapes. I do have apples every so often, but we are going to have some starch, and some sugar in our diets. So just know how the food will affect you, and them make choices, and see how they affect you personally, and then make final decisions.
Here is the list I use. www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Glycemic_i
As a diabetic, I need to be a bit more strict than the average person, but each of us needs to find a balance between health benefit, and restriction, so while this may be a good tool to use, if it is used too much, it may just make you diet a chore. Just like choosing to run 3 hours a day, if used too much, it can do more harm than good.
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