Eating Low GI and the Glycemic Index and Load

Why is it important to understand about the GI index?

We at Cloud 9 often see clients  who suffer from daily headaches and unable to find the cause or cure for them. Often these headaches are as a result of blood sugar being our of balance.
Foods that create a rush of blood sugar because of the speed that their carbohydrates break down, cause the body to respond by producing a spike of insulin. This caused a fast and dramatic drop in the body’s blood sugar level. This sudden drop can lead to daily headaches, cravings, weight problems, lack of energy. Understanding what foods do this can prevent these headaches and other symptoms altogether.

What is the Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates based on their immediate effect on blood glucose (blood sugar) levels. Carbohydrates that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. The blood glucose response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that break down slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes. To avoid the side effects of these sudden spurts of high blood sugar followed by sudden dips, foods with a GI index of 50 or less should be the basis of your diet, especially for meals taken at the beginning of the day.

What is the Significance of Glycemic Index?

  • Low GI means a smaller rise in blood glucose levels after meals
  • Low GI diets can help people lose weight
  • Low GI diets can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin
  • High GI foods help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise
  • Low GI can improve diabetes control
  • Low GI foods keep you fuller for longer
  • Low GI can prolong physical endurance
  • How to Switch to a Low GI Diet
  • Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
  • Use “grainy” breads made with whole seeds
  • Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
  • Enjoy all types of fruit and vegetables (except potatoes)
  • Eat plenty of salad vegetables with vinaigrette dressing

For a GI and GL index of South African products, as well as their Gluten content, I highly recommend :

The South African
The Glycemic Index & Load Guide
2013 – 2015
ISBN 9780620291798
Authors : Gabi Steenkamp & Liesbet Delport registered dietitians

 

In the mean time, here is a very simple list:

The glycemic index range is as follows:

Low GI = 55 or less
Medium GI = 56 – 69
High GI = 70 or more

Breakfast Cereal

Low GI
All-bran (UK/Aus) 30
All-bran (US) 50
Oat bran 50
Rolled Oats 51
Special K (UK/Aus) 54
Natural Muesli 40
Porridge 58

 

Medium GI
Bran Buds 58
Mini Wheats 58
Nutrigrain 66
Shredded Wheat 67
Porridge Oats 63
Special K (US) 69

 

High GI
Cornflakes 80
Sultana Bran 73
Branflakes 74
Coco Pops 77
Puffed Wheat 80
Oats in Honey Bake 77
Team 82
Total 76
Cheerios 74
Rice Krispies 82
Weetabix 74

Staples

Low GI
Wheat Pasta Shapes 54
New Potatoes 54
Meat Ravioli 39
Spaghetti 32
Tortellini (Cheese) 50
Egg Fettuccini 32
Brown Rice 50
Buckwheat 51
White long grain rice 50
Pearled Barley 22
Yam 35
Sweet Potatoes 48
Instant Noodles 47
Wheat tortilla 30

 

Medium GI
Basmati Rice 58
Couscous 61
Cornmeal 68
Taco Shells 68
Gnocchi 68
Canned Potatoes 61
Chinese (Rice) Vermicelli 58
Baked Potatoes 60
Wild Rice 57

 

High GI
Instant White Rice 87
Glutinous Rice 86
Short Grain White Rice 83
Tapioca 70
Fresh Mashed Potatoes 73
French Fries 75
Instant Mashed Potatoes 80

 

Bread

Low GI
Soya and Linseed 36
Wholegrain Pumpernickel 46
Heavy Mixed Grain 45
Whole Wheat 49
Sourdough Rye 48
Sourdough Wheat 54

 

Medium GI
Croissant 67
Hamburger bun 61
Pita, white 57
Wholemeal Rye 62

 

High GI
White 71
Bagel 72
French Baguette 95

Snacks & Sweet Foods

Low GI
Slim-Fast meal replacement 27
Snickers Bar (high fat) 41
Nut & Seed Muesli Bar 49
Sponge Cake 46
Nutella 33
Milk Chocolate 42
Hummus 6
Peanuts 13
Walnuts 15
Cashew Nuts 25
Nuts and Raisins 21
Jam 51
Corn Chips 42
Oatmeal Crackers 55

 

Medium GI
Ryvita 63
Digestives 59
Blueberry muffin 59
Honey 58

 

High GI
Pretzels 83
Water Crackers 78
Rice cakes 87
Puffed Crispbread 81
Donuts 76
Scones 92
Maple flavoured syrup 68

 

Legumes (Beans)

Low GI
Kidney Beans (canned) 52
Butter Beans 36
Chick Peas 42
Haricot/Navy Beans 31
Lentils, Red 21
Lentils, Green 30
 Pinto Beans 45
Blackeyed Beans 50
Yellow Split Peas 32

 

Medium GI
Beans in Tomato Sauce 56

 

Vegetables

Low GI
Frozen Green Peas 39
Frozen Sweet Corn 47
Raw Carrots 16
Boiled Carrots 41
Eggplant/Aubergine 15
Broccoli 10
Cauliflower 15
Cabbage 10
Mushrooms 10
Tomatoes 15
Chillies 10
Lettuce 10
Green Beans 15
Red Peppers 10
Onions 10

 

Medium GI
Beetroot 64

 

High GI
Pumkin 75
Parsnips 97

Fruits

Low GI
Cherries 22
Plums 24
Grapefruit 25
Peaches 28
Peach, canned in natural juice 30
Apples 34
Pears 41
Dried Apricots 32
Grapes 43
Coconut 45
Coconut Milk 41
Kiwi Fruit 47
Oranges 40
Strawberries 40
Prunes 29

 

Medium GI
Mango 60
Sultanas 56
Bananas 58
Raisins 64
Papaya 60
Figs 61
Pineapple 66

 

High GI
Watermelon 80
Dates 103

Dairy

Low GI
Whole milk 31
Skimmed milk 32
Chocolate milk 42
Sweetened yoghurt 33
Artificially Sweetened Yoghurt 23
Custard 35
Soy Milk 44

 

Medium GI
Icecream 62

 

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