Have you ever eaten a meal and all of a sudden you feel inflamed, swollen, or bloated? This may be because of what you just ate might of spiked your insulin levels which causes the blood sugars to rise. Insulin is usually discussed with people with diabetes but it plays a crucial role in our everyday diet.

Sugar is an essential source of food energy. During digestion, all food carbohydrates (starches and sugars) break down into single molecule sugars. They are then absorbed from the intestine into the blood stream and travel to the cells, where they are used to provide energy for cellular functions.

SUGARS that naturally occurs in fruits, vegetables, and dairy are good but sugars that are removed from their original source and ADDED to foods, are something we need to be conscious of.  

Added sugars are sugars that are removed from their original source and ADDED to foods usually as a sweetener or as a preservative for longer shelf life. The carbohydrates that we eat are converted into glucose during digestion. Glucose is the form of sugar that is used in our bodies. 

 

The glycemic index or glycemic index (GI) is a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food's effect on a person's blood glucose (also called blood sugar) level. Simply put, it tells you how quickly foods containing carbohydrate affect your blood sugar level when eaten by themselves.

Foods that are in a glycemic index diet are scored on a scale of 0 to 100. Scoring is based on how much they raise your blood sugar level.

•    High-GI foods (70 or higher): white rice, white bread, sugar-sweetened beverages, white baked potatoes, crackers
•    Medium-GI foods (56-69): grapes, bananas, ice cream, spaghetti, raisins, corn
•    Low-GI foods (55 and under): oatmeal,  peas, peanuts, carrots, hummus, skim milk

Some fruits with low glycemic index include: 

 

 Photo from optimalfoods.org

Photo from optimalfoods.org

If you want to stick on a low glycemic index diet, you may think twice before eating these foods: 

·         Nachos

·         Coffee Drinks

·         Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

·         Fruit Juice Beverages

·         Deep-Fried Chinese Entrees

·         Cinnamon Rolls

·         Restaurant French Fries

·         Purchased Cookies

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NOTE: There's always exceptions. Especially if you prepare the above treats yourself! You may want to check the article for Paleo Recipes.

Here are some better low glycemic index choices:

·         Oatmeal

·         Whole Wheat Whole Grain Breads

·         Whole Wheat Pasta

·         Sweet Potato

·         Brown Rice

·         Quinoa

·         Beans

·         Sourdough Breads

Rule of thumb: Sugar is a healthy part of our diet. 

Carbs, including sugar, are the primary source of the body’s muscle energy, brain functioning all process that goes on in every functioning cell. 

Sugars are not uniquely fattening, replacing sugar with other caloric or artificial sweeteners is not a workable solution to weight management but it does help.

Weight loss occurs by reducing the total amount of calories consumed or increasing caloric expenditure through regular physical activity. Common sense says that a combination of reduced calorie intake and increased calorie burning will be more successful than either single strategy!

Don't think that you have to cut off sugar completely! As mentioned above, SUGAR IS ESSENTIAL. So be kind to yourself. Some products may have a little bit of sugar in them but that’s okay. Just try to avoid being extreme if you can, especially now that you have a guide. 

Anything under 5 grams of sugar per 100 grams is good to store in the pantry.

So the question is....whats in your pantry? Don't forget to like, comment, and subscribe below with your email address for my weekly newsletter! :)

 

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