One small step for some, one GIANT LEAP for America…

That’s right. The topic here?

Making better eating choices.

But where to start….eating more vegetables, yes that’s good-
Drinking more water…. that’s good too.
But what about bread? And sweets? And aren’t fruits high in SUGARS?????
I have found that understanding the GLYCEMIC INDEX can help a lot here…. don’t stop reading yet- I know those words are probably not what you were hoping for, but really- hear me out on this. 🙂
Here is the laymen’s (sp?) explanation of this thing we call “the GI value”:
Basically there are a few labs in the world, mostly in Australia, that have taken thousands of people and had them eat every conceivable food they could and monitored their body’s ability to break it down and use it. They see how fast the stomach can pull it apart and how the digestive tract utilizes the carbs, sugar, fat, etc. SOOOO- each food is then given a glycemic value- the median is around 61. The longer it takes for the food to digest, the more steady the stream of energy from that food and these are the foods with LOW GI values.

THUS: Foods that have a value over 70 are considered HIGH GI, and foods with lower than 55 GI are considered LOW GI, in the middle are the MEDIUM GI foods. So the importance of all this is that foods that are LOWER GI last longer in the tummy and offer a longer amount of energy. Here are three examples of GI value:

White Rice vs. Brown Rice
*Now, if you look at the nutritional labels on a package of white rice vs. brown rice you will notice that the Brown Rice has higher fat and fiber than the white rice. HOWEVER, there is a difference in GI values. White rices can range from 60-80 GI, and Brown rices range from 38-55 GI. So the brown rice lasts longer in the tummy than white rice, so you will feel fuller and eat less than you will the white rice. Gettin’ it?

Apple vs. Pineapple (FRESH)
Nutritionally, these two delicious fruits offer fiber, vitamin c and on and on. BUT their GI values are tremendously different. An apple hovers around 35-40 GI and the pineapple hovers around 75! So that apple will last 3 times as long energy wise than the pineapple which will easily break down and enter your bloodstream almost instantly offering an energy boost, but beware it won’t last long and you’ll be hungry within 30 minutes!

White Potato vs. Sweet Potato or YAM
White potatoes do offer vit c and fiber, and sweet potatoes offer HUGE amounts of vit a and fiber also- however- yep here it comes—- White potatoes have a GI value of 85-100! So not only will you feel like you can eat MORE of those darn french fries/baked potatoes, but you will feel hungry within the hour of your meal! Sweet potatoes and yams on the other hand offer a great starchy side dish with a GI value of 50-70. Yes, they are still on the higher end, but WAY lower than the regular white ones.

SOOOO- by choosing mostly lower GI foods, you will eat less, feel fuller longer, and probably lose weight and feel better all around.