FOOD CHOICES & THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
By Sophie Laycock, RD and Aurum Medicine and Wellness Clinic
CARBOHYDRATES AND THE GLYCEMIC INDEX
Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, but not all carbohydrates are of equal nutritional value. Some keep us fuller for longer and provide fibre & micronutrients. Others may spike our blood sugar briefly, then leave us feeling unsatisfied, low energy, and hungry.
Carbohydrate-rich foods can be processed in the body differently, depending on what they’re made up of. Every time we eat carbohydrates, our blood sugar rises. The food that you eat will dictate how much and how quickly your blood sugar rises. The measure of how much a food spikes the blood sugar is called the glycemic index (GI). When foods have high GI ratings, blood sugar (and insulin) spikes and drops quickly, whereas low GI foods spread out this increase in blood sugar and insulin.
Benefits of a Low Glycemic Index Diet:
- Decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and its
- Decreased risk of heart disease
- Decreased risk of stroke
- Increased satiety (feeling fuller for longer)
Low GI Snack Ideas with Protein & Carbohydrates
Pair a source of carbohydrates with a source of protein at each snack. Include a variety of foods in your go-to snacks. Find snacks that satisfy YOU!
- Whole-grain toast topped with nut butter and apple slices
- Whole-wheat Triscuit crackers with cheddar cheese
- Air-popped popcorn with a small handful of almonds
- As mall handful of dried apricots with greek yogurt or cottage cheese
- Sliced pear with a small handful of mixed nuts
- 1 small whole-grain chapati with cheddar cheese
- 1-2 hard-boiled eggs with a slice of whole-grain toast
- Carrot stick with hummus
- 85 g can of tuna with whole wheat Triscuit crackers
- Greek yogurt with frozen or fresh berries
- Whole-grain toast with cottage cheese, raspberries, and a drizzle of honey
Glycemic Index Tips
- Choose whole grains most often.
- Choose carbohydrate foods that are also a source of fibre (nuts, oats, fruit).
- Include a source of protein in your snacks- helps to slow down the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar and controls the rise in blood sugars after eating