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Posts Tagged ‘GI value’

  1. Meal Planning with Good Carbs: Breakfast

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    March 20, 2013 by Johanna Burani

    Breakfast1

    Breakfast2

    Breakfast3

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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 bestit 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?


  2. The Glycemic Index Tells Us What the Body Already Knows

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    September 10, 2012 by Johanna Burani

    Today NPR highlighted a recent study conducted by David Ludwig, MD of Children’s Hospital in Boston that illustrated the appetite-suppressing benefits of a well balanced low glycemic index (GI) diet.  As one of the study’s participants explained, high GI carbs just did not sustain him and he was hungry soon after polishing off a large bowl of mashed potatoes.  This is because high GI carbs (like mashed potatoes) are quickly digested in the gut.  This causes first a surge of sugar to be released into the blood followed by a rapid drop in sugar levels from all the insulin the pancreas released in response to the mashed potatoes.  This roller coaster results in hunger, low energy and causes the body to more readily store calories as fat.

    Not all nutrition professionals look kindly on the concept of the glycemic index.  As the dietitian who was interviewed for this segment mentioned, there are many variables that may impact on a food’s GI value: the ripeness of a fruit, the under- or overcooking of starches like pasta or rice, the presence or absence of other nutrients in the gut along with the carb (fat, protein, soluble fiber).  Thanks to decades of valid GI testing by researchers in many parts of the world, we know these facts to be true.  However, this is indeed how we eat.  Our pasta at dinner tonight was cooked.  The length of time it stayed in the water, the fat-protein-fiber content of the other foods on that same dish are factors that influenced the rate at which our gut is turning that pasta into glucose and releasing it into our blood supply.  The glycemic index is telling us what the body already knows!


Gushers vs Tricklers


"Gushers" are quickly-digested carbohydrates that cause a rapid rise in blood glucose and fuel appetite.

"Tricklers" are slowly-digested carbohydrates that are gradually released into the bloodstream and sustain satiety. These are the good carbs.


Johanna Burani
MS, RD, CDE
Nutrition Works LLC
Morristown, NJ, USA

Expert in individualized, low-glycemic index (low GI) meal planning.

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