There are so many ways to eat, that it can all be very confusing!
I have found the most success helping individuals understand how foods affect the body through Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load.
GI measures how quickly foods breakdown into sugar in your bloodstream. High glycemic foods (70+) turn into blood sugar very quickly. Starchy foods like potatoes are a good example. Potatoes have such a high GI rating, that it’s almost the same as eating table sugar. Low glycemic (0-55) take longer for your body to break down and will give you sustained energy (broccoli, apples, etc.).
But the GI won’t tell you how much carbohydrate per serving you’re getting. Glycemic Load measures the amount of carbohydrate in each service of food. Foods with a glycemic load under 10 are good choices — these foods should be your first choice for carbs. Foods that fall between 10 and 20 on the glycemic load scale have a moderate effect on your blood sugar. Foods with a glycemic load above 20 will cause blood sugar and insulin spikes. Try to eat those foods sparingly.
What if we just counted calories? Is every calorie equal? Let’s see…
Medium Chocolate Glazed Donut 195 calories
14 Halves of Walnuts 185 calories
If we just went off calories these would be pretty equal. So why do we crash after eating a donut and have sustained energy after consuming walnuts?
It’s how these foods affect our blood sugar, which is based on the glycemic index and glycemic load of that food.
Let’s look at the same chocolate donut and walnuts. It’s a scale of 0-100.
Medium Chocolate Glazed Donut 76 GI (high) 24 GL
Walnuts 0 GI (low) 0 GL
So make sure you graze on low to med GI/GL foods to keep your blood sugar steady throughout the day. Also, adding high-quality protein helps lower the GI of the meal because protein has a 0 on the scale. If you want to search certain foods, go to GlycemicIndex.com.
Feel free to message me with any questions