Choose Your Carbs Wisely

Choose Your Carbs Wisely.jpeg

Carbs are not the enemy. Say it with me, “It's the type and amount of carb you eat that makes it good or bad.” What does that mean?

Enter the Glycemic Index (GI).

The GI of a food can be thought of as the impact it makes on the amount of sugar in our blood, circulating to all our organs, altering the level of inflammation in our system. “White stuff” - white sugar, white bread, pasta, potatoes – have a high GI. Sugar's GI is 100.

Here's a list of other high GI foods (the “bad” carbs) and their GI values:

  • Russet potato: 111
  • French baguette, white: 95
  • Corn flakes: 93
  • White rice: 89
  • Instant oatmeal: 83
  • Pretzels: 83
  • Puffed wheat cereal: 80
  • Rice cakes: 82
  • Waffles, made from a mix: 76

High GI foods often lead to emotional and physiological roller coasters, often associated with mood swings, skin flare-ups, and sleep disturbances.

Foods with a moderate-to-low GI have lots of fiber, or they are fat and protein-rich foods. Fiber, fat and protein all promote even-keel blood sugar levels via different mechanisms. Fiber expands in the digestive tract, slowing the entry of sugar from a carbohydrate source into the bloodstream.

Here's a short list of foods with a moderate-to-low GI (the “good” carbs):

  • Quinoa: 53
  • Parsnips: 52
  • Green peas: 51
  • Brown rice: 50
  • Macaroni: 47
  • Spaghetti: 42
  • Dates: 42
  • Apple: 39
  • Carrots: 35
  • Fettuccini: 32
  • Black beans: 30
  • Pearled barley: 28
  • Chickpeas: 10
  • Peanuts: 7

Choose foods that have a lower GI more often and limit and/or avoid foods that have a high GI. This will help balance blood sugar, stabilize energy levels and mood, reduce inflammation, and will help maintain a healthy weight.

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