the Glycemic Index,
& Why It Matters
Use the glycemic index to
keep your carb intake healthy
The Glycemic Index
How Do Carbs Work in the Body?
Let’s talk a little about that donut…
If Benjamin Franklin was correct when he said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” then making better food choices can really tip the scales in your favor. This brief introduction to how carbohydrates work in the body can start you on the road to better health.
What’s in it?
When we eat food that is only carbohydrate and has no fiber, healthy kinds of fat, or protein, it is not helpful in balancing our blood sugar. In general, foods that are closer to the form found in nature tend to have lower glycemic index numbers than refined or processed foods.
Let’s Turn this Knowledge into Know-How
Make the Glycemic Index your co-pilot when you’re flying down the aisles
1. Use nutrition labels to count carbs
First, check out the nutritional value of your selected carbs.
Are they loaded with vitamins and minerals your body can use?
Or, are they empty calories that pack on the pounds and leave your body hungry for “real food”?
2. Use the GI to decide if this carb is for you
Now, decide where your carbs fall on the Glycemic Index, which ranks them according to how they affect blood sugar levels.
More specifically, the number assigned to food indicates how fast our bodies will convert the carbs into glucose.
This is vital information for people with Prediabetes because two foods with the same amount of carbohydrates can have very different glycemic ratings.
3. Consider an exchange
Sometimes it’s helpful to think about your carb options. Perhaps you’re in the mood for a snack, and you want to limit your carb intake to 15 grams. I’d like to make this easy for you, so I created the Food Exchange Chart in my Crash Course on Carbs Booklet!
Every one of the items on the list will cause the same rise in blood sugar and the same potential* insulin response. An even swap! This type of exchange list can simplify the process of comparing carbs.
Are Your Servings Serving You?
Are your carb choices serving you?
I get it. Carbohydrates are tasty and so tempting! But now that you’ve had a brief introduction to what the Glycemic Index means to you, how will you make the most of it?
Sometimes, when we’re just eating on auto-pilot, our food preferences may not be helping us make the best food choices.
If you’re just starting to become aware of how you’re eating, making new decisions can take some mental effort. But do not fear! With some practice – it will become second nature!
Consider your food preferences
Which of the following starchy foods are your favorites?
- Potatoes, both regular and sweet
- Lima Beans
- Legumes (dried beans and peas)
- Grains (wheat, oats, barley, and rice)
- Products made from grains (pasta, bread, rolls, bagels, crackers, cereals, and baked goods)
Which of the following sugary foods are your favorites?
- Fruit and Fruit Juice (also includes foods like jelly and fruit smoothies)
- Sweet Bakery Items (cake, pie, donuts, cookies)
- Sugary Drinks (soda, sweet tea, energy drinks, coffee concoctions)
- Sweet Condiments (ketchup, barbecue sauce, relish, marinades)
- Dairy Items (especially low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, ice cream)
Now ask yourself…
What thoughts comes to mind when you read these lists of Starchy and Sugary foods? Are your favorite foods high on the glycemic index? Will you choose these foods next time? Are there family members or friends you cook for who refuse to eat foods that are low-glycemic?
I know…this is a lot to take in. That’s why I made an easy-to-use booklet about carbohydrates, the Glycemic Index and strategies for building healthier habits for balanced blood sugar levels. It’s called, A Crash Course on Carbs.
Make Food Choices Easier with the Glycemic Index
Take a Crash Course on Carbs to Make Better Food Choices!
Get a List of Carbs with Glycemic Index + Glycemic Load Values
There’s so much to know that it can feel overwhelming. And with all the fad diets and hearsay about nutrition, it’s easy to be misinformed. That’s why I created the Crash Course on Carbs to help people with prediabetes understand the science behind food without needing a biology degree.
It’s important to use a trusted resource to understand food information like the grams of sugar in specific, common foods. Some of my coaching clients used to think they can eat all the pasta they like–as long as they’re not eating a lot of ice cream. They know better now.
I’ve prepared the Crash Course on Carbs booklet to help balance your blood sugar the holistic health way! The easy-to-read content and user-friendly charts will support you as a student in the Solution StarterTM for Prediabetes Program, as well as it’ll support every savvy consumer.
In the Crash Course on Carbs Booklet you’ll learn:
Have a better understanding now?
Carbohydrate is an essential part of your healthy eating, yet not all carbs are wholesome. I offer this resource about food choices to support your healthy blood sugar and thriving lifestyle today!
I hope this introduction to carbohydrates, the glycemic index and what they mean to you, has helped you feel more empowered to take control of your prediabetes or high blood sugar.
If you still have questions about how to get started, we here at Holland Health Coaching are always happy to help you.
Here’s to good health!
Not sure how to start?
*There is a potential insulin response from eating 15 grams of carbs. Some people are insulin resistant and so their insulin release is different. You can learn all about this in Solution StarterTM Prediabetes Program.
[Much of the pioneering work on the GI comes to us from the University of Sydney in Sydney, Australia. Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, Ph.D. and her work are found at the University of Sydney.]