Needless to say, if you want to lose weight or maintain the healthy weight you already have, there are sound scientific reasons to avoid the wrong carbohydrates—those highly refined, quickly digested Great White Hazards. Aside from their white color, how can you tell which carbohydrates are quickly digested and which are slowly digested? Once again, science comes to the rescue with an excellent concept called the glycemic index (GI).
The glycemic index is a measure of how various foods affect your blood sugar level. Foods are ranked on a scale from 0 to 100, according to the extent that they will raise blood sugar levels. Foods that are quickly digested, or rapidly converted into sugar, have a high GI, while foods that are slowly digested have a low glycemic index. Glucose (pure sugar) ranks 100, a baked Russet potato ranks 95, while apples are 38, and lentils 30. Here’s a brief list of some common foods and how they rank on the GI.
Baked potato 95
White bread 95
Milk Chocolate bar 70
White rice 70
Brown rice 50
Whole grain pasta 40
Lentils/dried beans 30
It is pretty clear after a good look at this list that the white carbs and the sweetest foods are at the top. To Eat Right for Life, you are going to eat carbohydrates with a low to moderate GI – the right carbs Your system will digest these carbs more slowly, thereby ensuring that your energy and blood sugar levels remain steady. Furthermore, foods with a lower GI ranking will not flood your system with insulin, so the cycle of blood sugar peaks and valleys will not be activated.
It is impractical and unnecessary to feel compelled to memorize the GI of each and every food you eat. Simply remember that the White Hazards all have a high glycemic index and that the right carbs – beans, whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, and fruits, for the most part have a low to moderate glycemic index.