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Posts Tagged ‘low GI’

  1. From the Mouths of Babes


    May 28, 2014 by Johanna Burani

    In case you haven’t heard, earlier this month the New York State Senate passed a bill declaring yogurt the State’s official snack.  And in case you didn’t know, the proposal originated in a fourth-grade classroom!

    I guess it makes sense from an economic perspective.  New York has a very robust dairy industry and has become the nation’s #1 manufacturer of yogurt.

    Image courtesy of

    Image courtesy of

    It surely makes sense from a nutritional standpoint.  Yogurt is made from fresh milk to which have been added active beneficial bacteria (probiotics).  It is a good source of animal protein and contains vitamins and minerals (calcium, B2, B12, potassium, magnesium and possibly vitamin D).

    Yogurt comes in all sizes and shapes: with fruit or without, with added sugar or without, with artificial sweeteners or without.  While whatever is or isn’t added in may impact on the nutrient density (nutrients for the calories) of the yogurt, the glycemic index property of yogurt remains the same: LOW.

    So those nine year-old school children have shown to all interested adults how to connect the win-win dots.  Yogurt is a low calorie, nutrient dense snack that helps regulate blood glucose levels to provide energy and satiety between meals.

  2. Meal Planning with Good Carbs: Breakfast


    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 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?

  3. Bad News – Good News – Very Good News!


    February 25, 2013 by Johanna Burani

    On February 21, 2013 the New York Times reported on a recent study about obesity in the United States.  It was conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.  The time frame under scrutiny was from 1999 to 2010.  The results of this study are the most current numbers we can put to the obesity crisis in America.

    The bad news is that one third of American adults are obese and 15% of American children and adolescents are too.

    The good news is that the adult obesity stats are plateauing and adults are consuming fewer fast food calories.  eating breakfastMore good news is that kids are eating fewer calories every day (75-150) than 10 years ago.  This is a good match given the general physical inactivity of the average American young person.

    We still have a long way to go to improve our nation’s weight status statistics but seeing even some improvements is a cause to cheer.  At least we’re pointed in the right direction.  We just need to stay focused and unwavering in our collective desire to feel good – better – best.

    And here comes the very good news:  Including low glycemic  (GI) carbs in our daily diet helps keep us feeling full longer and having more sustained energy throughout the day.  This is the perfect metabolic set-up to eat fewer calories and enjoy wholesome foods while working on those extra pounds.

    So what are some low GI carbs to try right away?  What do you think about rye or sourdough bread, old fashioned oats, a homemade strawberry smoothie, or al dente pasta, maybe some lentil soup or a bean salad, apples, pears, cherries or berries?  All of these are low GI carbs that will keep you feeling full and energetic for hours after your meal.  You can also click on the “Recipes” tab on this website for some great-tasting, wholesome low GI dishes.  You may be surprised at what you find there!

  4. A Low GI Success Story: Barbara


    January 28, 2013 by Johanna Burani

    Barbara is an up-beat, energetic, retired hairdresser, tireless hand crafter, and devoted mother and grandmother.  She enjoys taking long walks and recently started ice skating again. She is also a fabulous cook and an outstanding baker!  Although of German descent, Barbara learned to make her husband’s favorite Hungarian recipes, which she quickly learned to love herself!  Close your eyes and start eating some of Barbara’s specialties and you’ll feel like you’re eating in a prestigious Hungarian restaurant or pastry shop in a central square in Budapest.

    Hungarian cuisine is built on lots of butter, sour cream and fatty meats.  What was a pleasure for her palate became a nightmare for her health, especially when her family physician informed her that, weighing 213 pounds,  she was obese and had pre-diabetes.  Barbara is a take-charge kind of person and it took her only a short time to develop a game plan: she would eliminate all her sausages, breads, noodles, rice, ice cream and sweet desserts.  She was sure this approach would drop her weight and her blood sugar levels.

    Indeed Barbara started to lose weight but she didn’t lose her desire for her ethnic dishes.  She lost 15 pounds in that first month after her doctor’s office visit.  She became frustrated and, either enjoyed her foods and then felt guilty for eating them, or just didn’t savor the tasteless foods she thought she should be eating.  Her changes weren’t going to work long-term. She had to find another way around the problem. 

    At her doctor’s suggestion, Barbara sought nutrition counseling.  She learned how to prepare well-balanced meals.  She practiced modifying her traditional recipes to reduce the fat.  She also learned about something totally new to her.  She discovered that she didn’t need to eliminate carbohydrates, she just needed to understand which ones worked best for weight loss and blood sugar control.  This “something” was called the Glycemic Index.  The more she learned about this idea, the more it made sense to her and the more invigorated she was to try it out.  She perfected some of the low GI recipes she earmarked in her copy of Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, 2nd ed. and this confident lady was on her way!

    Four years have passed since Barbara started her low GI way of life.  Her blood sugar status has normalized without any medication.  She has lost and continues to maintain a 40-pound weight loss.  She smiles broadly when she says that she now weighs 15 pounds less than she did on her wedding day, 48 years ago!

    Fruit TrayBarbara’s words:  “I’m so confident that this way of eating is for life that every piece of clothing that gets too big for me goes out my door and into a new home.  This was never about dieting to be thin.  I wanted to eat to be healthy.  It’s been fun to finally know that I can be thinner and not feel like I’m on a diet.  When an apple is more appealing to me than a brownie, I know I have really changed!”

  5. Low GI Recipe: Mushroom-Thyme Orzotto


    July 5, 2011 by Johanna Burani

    Low GI Recipe: Mushroom-Thyme Orzotto

    I’ve just returned from our summer visit to our home in Friuli, Italy.  As always, I spent loads of time with my friend, Vanda.  When we are together we inevitably start talking about food – new recipes, seasonal ingredients and things like that.  This time was no different.  Since Vanda is not a pasta enthusiast (silly girl!), we discussed the different ways we use barley in our homes.  She uses it in place of arborio rice because, being diabetic, she’s found that her blood glucose levels are much better with barley consumption.  On the plane ride home, I started thinking about this recipe.  I made it for dinner the other night and we liked it.  I hope you will too. keep reading »

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
Nutrition Works LLC
Morristown, NJ, USA

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

This book tells the complete story


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