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6/11/09 11:29 A

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Carb cycling is about varying the total number of carbs you eat per day, per meal over a period a time for optimal weight loss; but did you know that the glycemic index can help with meal planning and keeping your carb cycling program on track. Please read on...


Defining glycemic index

The glycemic index focuses on carbohydrates, a nutrient found in everything from cereals, breads and sweets to fruits, vegetables and grains. Because there is so much variation, there is a big difference in how these carbs are processed in the body. The glycemic index describes this difference by ranking carbohydrates according to their effect on blood sugar levels within two to three hours of a meal.

* Foods that have a high glycemic index tend to be sweeter, more processed and more likely to cause spikes in blood sugar. These include baked goods, white bread, white rice, most crackers and cereals, and processed foods.

* Foods that have a low index include those that are higher in fiber and more nutrient-dense (most vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans). These often have a much slighter effect on blood sugars. But many high-fat foods also have low glycemic indices.

* Carbohydrates are the targeted nutrient because proteins and fats have only a slight effect on blood sugar compared to carbs.


Benefits of the low glycemic diet

Whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans form the base of many low glycemic index diets, along with lean proteins and healthy fats. These foods promote good health by delivering vitamins, minerals, fiber and a host of important phytonutrients. They also help to lower blood sugars in diabetics and cut the risk of heart disease.

In fact, a well-balanced, low glycemic diet may promote healthier eating in general. It should not include junk food and should be low in calories. Both of these factors can promote weight loss, regardless of carb content.


Glycemic index in the real world

Knowing whether a specific food has a low or high glycemic index is a great start. However, several factors can change a food's glycemic index:

* The other foods eaten at the same time
* Other components of a food, such as the amount of protein or fat
* How the food was prepared
* Your own body's reaction to the food

You should not avoid all foods with a high glycemic index. As always, moderation is the key.

GI food ratings:
Low GI: less than 50
Moderate GI: 50 - 70
High GI: 70 or greater

...the list below is divided into the 3 groups, low, medium (moderate) and high GI (Glycemic Index)... the lower the GI the better, but keep in mind that adding a lean protein to a higher GI food, lowers the overall GI... (more about that in another post...)

Desirable Foods: Low GI: less than 50

Coarse European -Style, Whole Grain wheat or Rye Pita Bread, Cracked or Sprouted Whole wheat

Compact noodle-like high bran cereals (All-Bran, Fiber One) Coarse Oatmeal, Porridge, Coarse Whole Grain (Kashi) Cereal mixed with Psyllium (Fiberwise)

Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Pasta (whole wheat) Barley, Bulgur, Buckwheat (kasha) Couscous, Kidney Beans dry, (Lentils, Black-eyed peas, Chick-peas Kidney beans, Lima beans, Peas, Sweet Potato, Yam (soybeans lowest)... fibrous "green" vegetables...most vegetables.

Milk Products:
Skim, 1%, cottage cheese , (lowfat (1%) or regular), Buttermilk, Low-fat plain yogurt, Low-fat fruited yogurt, Low-fat frozen yogurt ( artificial sweetener)

Most fruit and natural fruit juices, including apple, berries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, honeydew, oranges, pears, grapes, peaches, applesauce,strawberries.. (Cherries, plums and grapefruit lowest).

Shellfish, "white" fish (cod, flounder, trout, tuna in water), Chicken, turkey, cornish hen, venison (white meat no skin), Egg substitutes (cholesterol free) cottage cheese (protein)


Moderately desirable: Moderate GI: 50 - 70

100% Stone Ground whole Wheat, Pumpernickel, 100% whole grain Rye Crisp Cracker

Grape-nut cereal, medium-fine grain oatmeal, (5-minute variety)

Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Rice, Boiled Potato, Corn Navy beans, Kidney beans (canned), Baked beans. Beets.

Milk Products:
2% milk, cheese, Regular plain yogurt

Banana, Kiwi, Mango, papaya, orange juice.

Higher fat fish, (salmon, herring, lean cuts of Beef, Pork, Veal. Low-fat imitation luncheon meat,
low-fat. cheese, Eggs.


Less Desirable foods: High GI: 70 or greater

White bread, most commercial whole wheat breads, English muffins, bagel, French bread, most commercial matzoh

Corn flakes, puffed rice, puffed wheat, flaked cereals, instant "Quick" or pre-cooked cereals. Oatbran, rolled oats. Shredded wheat, Muesli.'

White Pasta, Grains and Starchy Vegetables:
Instant rice, Brown rice, instant precooked grains, Baked potato, micro-waved potato, instant potato, Winter squash (acorn, butternut), carrots, parsnips.

Milk Products:
Whole milk, ice milk, ice cream, Yogurt sweetened with sugar, Low-fat frozen desserts with sugar added, Low-fat and regular frozen yogurt with sugar added. Tofu ice cream.

Pineapple, raisins, watermelon, fruit juices sweetened with sugar.

Most cuts of beef, pork, lamb, hot dogs (including "low-fat' versions) cheese, luncheon meats, peanut butter.


Edited by: JAZZID at: 6/11/2009 (13:44)

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