Understanding the Gycemic Index
High glycemic index (GI) foods release sugar into the bloodstream quickly, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. Low GI foods release sugar into the bloodstream slowly and do not cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. High GI foods tend to lead to weight gain and are low in fiber. These foods are easy to overeat and encourage a rapid return of hunger.
Low GI foods are less likely to store as fat and maintains more stable energy levels. Low GI foods:
- reduce the hunger urges by delaying the rate of absorption.
- cause lower insulin levels that make fat easier to burn
- reduce the risks of diabetes and heart disease
Interesting research is appearing on low glycemic diets as a way to manage pediatric obesity. A study from the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine found that children on a low GI diet did better than children on a low-fat diet. Those on the low GI diet had better weight loss results and what was most striking was that this group did not need a reduction in serving sizes. They were able to eat until fullness and still lose weight.
Here are some guidelines for finding foods with a low or moderate GI:
- Most fruits and vegetables have a low GI. Bananas and potatoes have a high GI and should be limited
- Choose beans, legumes, soybeans.
- Choose lean meats, poultry and seafood. Make sure that they are not getting too big a proportion of these foods.
- Look for whole grain breads, other whole grains, and pastas with more protein content.
Low-Glycemic Food Choices
- 100% whole grain breads
- whole wheat pita bread
- Cream of Wheat
- muesli (watch for those with added fat)
- Multi-Bran Chex
- Quaker Oats Oat Bran
- old-fashioned oatmeal (better than quick or instant)
- Post Shredded Wheat
- Rice Bran
- Special K
- pearled barley
- buckwheat (kasha)
- oat bran and rice bran (sprinkle on cereal; add to baked goods recipes)
- basmati rice
- brown rice
- long-grain white rice
- star pastina
- ravioli, meat filled
- yogurt, nonfat
- fruit cocktail (in "light" syrup or "natural" without the added sugar)
- green grapes
- black beans
- blackeyed peas
- chick peas
- kidney beans
- lima beans
- navy beans
- peas (dried, split, yellow or green)
Snacks and Desserts Pick:
- oatmeal cookie
- air-popped popcorn
- pudding, sugar-free
- USANA Fibergy Lemon Bar
- USANA Peanut Crunch Bar
- USANA Berry Bar
- USANA Fibergy Drinks
- USANA Nutrimeal Drinks
- USANA Soyamax
To order the USANA drinks and bars, please click here.