Everyone is always chatting about a low carb diets.  We push the breadbasket away, we order burgers without the bun, and we avoid bowls of spaghetti like the plague.  Now some of that self-restraint is a good motto to live by, but it’s by no means comprehensive.

For diabetics looking to control their blood sugar, ladies (or gents!) looking to lose weight or maintain their beach figure, it’s important to pay attention to the Glycemic Index List of Food.  You may have heard people tossing around the phrase “low GL rank” before and never known for sure what they were talking about.

The way it works is simple. The scale goes from 1 to 100, and just like calories, the lower the GL, the better. The Glycemic Index measures the effects of carbohydrates on blood sugar. In low GL foods, the carbohydrates break down slowly and release glucose gradually into the bloodstream. This helps our body more aptly process the food we consume, which in turn helps us lose weight, and avoid a sugar spike and crash.  You know that feeling- you’re groggy, grumpy, and feel like taking a mid-afternoon siesta.

Some of the rankings are pretty shocking.  A piece of whole wheat bread has a GL Value of 77.  Pretty bad, and it’s what you’d likely expect from such a dreaded carb, but a piece of Sourdough, 53.  Pineapple has a 66.  A standard chocolate chip cookie, a 44.  Now this isn’t an excuse to start eating cookies and sourdough toast.  Hardly.  Some low GL foods are high in sodium or trans fats, so it is important to note other nutritional factors.  But anything under 55 is considered a Low Glycemic Index food.

So, check out a list today and kick those high GL foods to the curb.

-Arianna Schioldager

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