Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not all Carbs are created equal

I have been following dcyk's progress on his weight loss program and I reckon that he is rather successful. I also reckon that what he is doing is great coz he is on this emergency weight loss program to look very "leng chai" (handsome) during his big wedding day but I would not think that one should go off carbs for ever as it definitely goes against what we've been taught in school about having a balanced diet to keep us well and healthy.

I have been doing a little research of my own on Glycemic Index (GI). Apparently not all carbohydrate foods are created equal and the GI is the ranking of carbohydrates according to how they affect our blood glucose and thus our weight gain.

It seems that choosing low GI carbs - the ones that produce only small fluctuations in our blood glucose and insulin levels - is the secret to long-term health reducing our risk of heart disease and diabetes and is the key to sustainable weight loss.

The following has been extracted from The Glycemic Index site.

What are the Benefits of the Glycemic Index?

Eating a lot of high GI foods can be detrimental to your health because it pushes your body to extremes. This is especially true if you are overweight and sedentary. Switching to eating mainly low GI carbs that slowly trickle glucose into your blood stream keeps your energy levels balanced and means you will feel fuller for longer between meals.

# Low GI diets help people lose and control weight
# Low GI diets increase the body's sensitivity to insulin
# Low GI carbs improve diabetes control
# Low GI carbs reduce the risk of heart disease
# Low GI carbs reduce blood cholesterol levels
# Low GI carbs can help you manage the symptoms of PCOS
# Low GI carbs reduce hunger and keep you fuller for longer
# Low GI carbs prolong physical endurance
# High GI carbs help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise

How to Switch to a Low GI Diet

The basic technique for eating the low GI way is simply a "this for that" approach - ie, swapping high GI carbs for low GI carbs. You don't need to count numbers or do any sort of mental arithmetic to make sure you are eating a healthy, low GI diet.

# Use breakfast cereals based on oats, barley and bran
# Use breads with wholegrains, stone-ground flour, sour dough
# Reduce the amount of potatoes you eat
# Enjoy all other types of fruit and vegetables
# Use Basmati or Doongara rice
# Enjoy pasta, noodles, quinoa
# Eat plenty of salad vegetables with a vinaigrette dressing

This is a list of GI Values of some of the more common foods that I got from a fitness instructor but for a specific GI search, this is quite a useful site, The Glycemic Index.

GI of Breakfast Cereals
Kellogg's Cornflakes 84
Kellogg's Rice Krispies 82
Kellong's Special K 54
Oatmeal 49
Quaker Puffed Wheat 67

GI of Grains
Basmati Rice 58
Brown Rice 55
Long Grain White Rice 56
Short Grain White Rice 72
Noodles (Instant) 46

GI of Fruit
Apple 38
Banana 55
Cantaloupe 65
Cherries 22
Grapefruit 25
Grapes 46
Kiwi 52
Mango 55
Orange 44
Papaya 58
Pear 38
Pineapple 66
Plum 39
Watermelon 103

GI of Vegetables
Beets 69
Broccoli 10
Cabbage 10
Carrots 49
Corn 55
Green Peas 48
Lettuce 10
Mushrooms 10
Onions 10
Parsnips 97
Potato (baked)93
Potato (mashed, instant) 86
Potato (new) 62
Potato (french fries) 75
Red Peppers 10
Sweet Potato 54

GI of Legumes/Beans
Baked Beans 48
Broad Beans 79
Chickpeas 33
Navy Beans 38
Pinto Beans 39
Red Kidney Beans 27
Soy Beans 18
White Beans 31

GI of Breads, Muffins and Cakes
Blueberry Muffin 59
Doughnut 76
Pita Bread 57
Sponge Cake 46
Waffles 76
White Bread 70
Whole Wheat Bread 69

GI of Pasta
Spaghetti 43
Ravoli (Meat) 39
Linguine 46
Macaroni 47
Rice Vermicelli 58

GI of Dairy Foods
Milk (Whole) 22
Milk (Skimmed) 32
Mikl (Chocolate flavoured) 34
Ice Cream (whole) 61
Ice Cream (low fat) 50
Yogurt (low fat) 33

GI of Snack Foods
Cashews 22
Chocolate Bar 49
Corn Chips 72
Jelly Beans 80
Peanuts 14
Popcorn 55
Potato Chips 55
Pretzels 83
Snickers Bar 41
Walnuts 15

GI of Cookies and Crackers
Crackers 74
Crispbread 71
Melba Toast 70
Oatmeal Cookies 55
Rice Cakes 82
Rice Crackers 91
Soda Crackers 74
Water Crackers 78

GI of Sugars
Fructose 23
Glucose 100
Honey 58
Lactose 46
Maltose 105
Sucrose 65

Notes on GI of Foods
- Reference Food is glucose (GI100)
- Glycemic values may vary, hence the above values are approximate
- Foods that score higher than 70 on the GI are considered high GI foods
- We cannot avoid all high GI foods in our diet, but at least we are aware of what they are and we are able to make better choices on the food we eat.

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Babe_KL said...

how to remember so many numbers haha... errr durian not listed means is zero??? yippeee!!!

Unknown said...

morning babe. Ha Ha.. i also hope that durian's GI Index is zero. Then I'll have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner :P

Dc said...

kakaka that's one big reason why i didn't touch potatoes for 1 whole month.

nah i still had carbs coming in, low though, all from vege and fruit sugars.

But 5kg in a month is an achievement for me, my tummy is noticeably smaller :P now i'm using a twister for 200 reps before and after work.

And also maybe badminton once in a week. Lets see if i can go down further to 75...then i would really have to get my new trousers liao.

Aim 70 bwahahah

Unknown said...

Good work dcyk.. keep it up. I have not seen you for a while and it takes ppl like me who dun see you everyday to spot the difference :)

Angie Tan said...

Hey there...

Wow... Cashews have a lower GI than peanuts? Hmmmm... I'm guessing that these are raw cashews and not the roasted ones. ;-)

Love the raw cashews.... (^^)

Unknown said...

Hi angie, i think the GI index of these foods were measured in their natural state. oh yes.. raw cashews are yummmiee :)

Anonymous said...

Great post

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