Thursday, 17 August 2017

It's time to get to grips with your glycaemic index...

DO you know your glycemic index? I follow the glycaemic index with my energy balance. I find that by balancing my sugar levels, keeping my blood sugars low and constant throughout the day gives me more energy.

I don’t suffer hunger pangs. Seven years ago I detoxed for 12 months, cutting out sugar, yeast, and processed foods. In return I found my energy levels bounced back, I lost my excess baby weight body fat and felt amazing. I haven’t looked back.

I eat a very balanced (un-faddy) healthy diet, I exercise regularly and look after my wellbeing, my soul and my lifestyle.

The glycaemic index (GI) is a method of classification which simply ranks foods based on how quickly the carbohydrate they contain is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream, and their overall effect on blood glucose levels.

It is a good approach to managing energy levels and weight management if it is used accurately. The GI value of a food ranks how quickly sugar is seen in the bloodstream following the eating of that food, compared to glucose, the most easily digested and absorbed carbohydrate.

Foods are given a GI number according to their effect on blood glucose levels. For example, a bowl of porridge has a GI of 55, which is at the upper end of the low range (1 to 55). Medium is 56 to 69 and high is 70 to 100.

Carbohydrates that take longer to digest and be absorbed will show a more gradual rise and fall in blood sugar levels and have a lower GI value, which is much better for us. By contrast, carbohydrates that are easily digested and absorbed will produce a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and have a high GI value.

However, I must stress that GI is purely a measure of how this blood sugar response is seen. It is not necessarily a measure of how healthy a carbohydrate is! For example, certain foods such as cheeses have a low GI but are high in fat, so cheese is not a good choice.

Also, chocolate cake (30-40 on the GI scale) and chips (lower than 55) all have low GI values but are high in fat, especially saturated fats.

GI must therefore be used in line with sensible healthy eating options and plans.

Choosing lower GI foods at breakfast will help you feel fuller and more satisfied and will keep you from avoiding the high-calorie high-sugar snacks mid- morning. Choose wholegrain starchy carbohydrates like oats and granary bread to lift serotonin levels and provide you with a great source of vitamin B (essential for energy).

An overnight fast (12 hours) will lift your mood, after which the brain needs a carbohydrate injection to alleviate tiredness and raise concentration — but keep it low GI. Having breakfast gives the metabolism the encouragement to get going. (Never skip breakfast!)

Keep moving, keep focused on your energy levels, and contact me with any queries either via NutritiousWorks’ Facebook page or by emailing nutritiousworks@gmail.com

Emma-Jane Taylor

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