I am sure many of you have heard of the term low GI/ low Glycaemic Index foods. Many people know that they are good for you but most don’t know what foods they include or why they are good for you. I will explain the reason below, but if you just want to skip all the jargon and find out what you should and shouldn’t be eating I have attached a table at the end!
The term Glycaemic Index is a ranking system which shows how quickly glucose (sugar) is released into the blood stream. It was originally devised to help diabetics regulate their blood glucose levels, but since then we have discovered that it is incredibly productive in helping with weight management and regular training.
When we eat any type of carbohydrate our body breaks it down into simple sugars. These simple sugars are essential to our bodies function, but the problem today is the type and amount of carbs we are consuming. When these simple sugars are released, Insulin is secreted to regulate the blood sugar levels by helping transport them to various parts of the body, such as organs, muscles and the brain where they are needed. When these reserves are full the remaining simple sugars are stored as fat and as I have mentioned before we have an unlimited number of fat cells, so these never get to capacity! When a large meal or a sugary food is eaten this causes a large influx of insulin to be released at once.
The only problem with the GI is that is does not take into consideration the amount of Carbohydrate is in the food. So for example watermelon and a bagel have the same GI of 72, but the bagel contains much more carbohydrate per 100g than the watermelon, so Glycaemic load is introduced. Glycaemic load is the amount of carbohydrate contained in the food, and therefore is a better indicator of how much insulin and at what rate it is released. The two tables below are a good indication of the GI and GL of foods, and the ideal is to consume low GI and low GL foods.
The other thing to take into consideration is how you are eating these carbohydrates?? Are you eating them the same time as fats? Protein? Fibre? How has the food been prepared/ cooked?
All these factors also affect the GI and GL of a food. If you want some more information please ask me at your next session and I will be happy to talk you through the details to take it to the next step, but for the time being the table below is a good start.
|Gylcamic Index Range||Gylcamic Load Range|
|High||Above 85||High||20 and above|
|Low||Below 60||Low||10 and below|
|Sugars||Grains and Grain products|
|Sucrose (sugar)||68||7||White Bread||73||11|
|Honey||55||10||Wholegrain rye bread||50||6|
|Kiwi Fruit||53||6||Rice Noodles||61||23|
|Orange||42||5||Puffed Rice Cakes||82||17|
|Pear||33||4||Long Grain White Rice||56||24|
|Unsweetened Apple Juice||40||11||White Rice With Miso Soup||61||17|
|Unsweetened Orange Juice||52||12||Plain Sponge Cake||46||17|
|Unsweetened Pineapple Juice||46||15||Banana Cake||47||18|
|Puffed Rice||67||13||Baked Beans||48||7|
|Alpen Muesli||55||10||Chick Peas||28||8|
|Kellog's Special K||84||20||Blackeye Beans||42||13|
|Shredded Wheat||67||13||Haricot Beans||38||12|
|Porridge Wheat||58||12||Kidney Beans||28||7|
|Diary Products||Soya Beans||18||1|
|Low Fat Fruit Yoghurt||33||10||Potato (baked)||85||26|
|Whole Milk||27||3||French Fries||75||22|
|Skimmed Milk||32||4||Potato (new)||57||12|
|Coca Cola||63||16||Sweet Corn||54||9|
|Orange Fanta||68||23||Sweet Potato||61||17|
|Sweets and Snacks||Carrot||74||3|
|Corn Chips/ Nachos||63||17||Ready Meals and Snacks|
|Potato Crisps||54||11||Margerita Pizza||80||22|
|Milk Chocolate||43||12||Spaghetti Bolognaise||52||19|
|Popcorn||72||8||Crunchy Nut Cornflakes Bar||72||19|
|Peanuts||14||1||Kellog's Just Right Bar||72||17|