March 20, 2013 by Johanna Burani
Good – Better – Best!
Here are three breakfast meals. The Cheerios breakfast is good : it contains no saturated or trans fats and provides some protein, vitamins and minerals. The Raisin Bran breakfast is better: in addition to the nutrients in the Cheerios meal, it adds a wider variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as more fiber. The scrambled egg with rye toast breakfast is the best: it is naturally nutrient-dense and produces a naturally low glycemic response.
Calorically these meals are equal to each other. GI-wise they are not: 60 (moderate) for the Cheerios meal, 52 (low) for the Raisin Bran meal, 49 (low) for the egg and rye toast meal.
The most dramatic difference is in the glycemic loads: 30 (high) for the Cheerios meal, 25 (high) for the Raisin Bran meal and 16 (low) for the eggs and rye toast meal. Glycemic load (GL) measures how high glucose will rise in our blood after eating a specific amount of a specific type of carbohydrate. In these three breakfasts, the amount of carbohydrate was identical; it was the type of carbohydrate that made the difference.
What does “glycemic load” actually mean in day-to-day living terms?
1 GL unit = 1 gram of glucose entering the bloodstream.
So, in day-to-day living terms, the amounts of sugar released into the blood after eating these three breakfasts are:
CHEERIOS 30 grams or 7 1/2 teaspoons
RAISIN BRAN 25 grams or 6 1/4 teaspoons
EGGS + RYE TOAST 16 grams or 4 teaspoons
Good. Better. Best!
Some other good carb breakfast ideas:
- old fashioned/steel cut oats cooked in low fat/fat free milk, sliced peaches or berries, with a sprinkle of chopped nuts and cinnamon
- rye toast with natural peanut butter and all-fruit jam
- melted low fat cheese and low salt ham sandwich on pumpernickel
- 0% fat Greek yogurt, Bran Buds, sliced pears or blueberries, with a sprinkle of chopped nuts and cardamom
- fruit smoothie made with fat free yogurt and/or fat free milk, frozen cherries or berries, vanilla, cocoa powder
Tomorrow’s breakfast – will it be good, better, or best?