What is the glycemic index? Why is it important?
These are great questions to ask and very important for us to know especially in matters of maintaining a healthy weight, or losing weight.
There are many amazing things our bodies do and sometimes we only know…well, they’re just very important. In order to help our bodies perform and maintain optimal health we need to have all the facts!
Our bodies must maintain blood glucose within a very narrow range to function optimally. Any time glucose levels are too high or too low it can effect fat mass, energy, performance and overall health. It’s a very delicate balancing act.
Unfortunately, North America is the land of plenty…plenty of highly processed and unhealthy foods that have become staples of the North American diet. These foods we think we love and crave so often are the very things throwing off the balance we’re trying to maintain.
What to look out for and keep in mind…
As often as you can, choose foods that are lower than 55 on the Glycemic Index (GI) scale.
Here’s a helpful list of foods to embrace!
Fruits: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, orange, peach, pear, pineapple, plums
Vegetables: artichokes, avocado, beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, peas, leafy vegetables, squash, yams
Dairy: low fat yogurt, soy milk, skim milk
Nuts (raw): almonds, cashew nuts, hazlenuts, macadamia, pecans, peanuts and walnuts
Sweetners: granulated fructose, stevia
Protein/Fat: salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, sardines, flaxseed, herring, olives, virgin olive oil, avocado, pumpkin seeds, eggs (range free hens), peas, beans, lentils, tofu, soymilk, turkey bacon, turkey (skinless), turkey burgers, hummus, buffalo meat, wild game meat (deer, elk, pheasant, quail)
Our goal when picking low glycemic foods is to stabilize our sugars throughout the day. This will prevent us from indulging in unhealthy cravings throughout the day, the dreaded 3 p.m. energy crash and allow us to stabilize our blood glucose levels.
Click here for a low glycemic shopping list!