Glycemic Index Foods

Low glycemic index foods keep you balanced

Is your energy like a yo-yo going up and down? If so, you’ll want to look at what you’re eating.  Believe it or not, the glycemic index foods are not another fad diet.  In his book, Prime Time Health, Dr. Sears explains that low glycemic index foods are slowly absorbed into the bloodstream and don’t trigger an erratic insulin cycle as do high glycemic index foods that rush quickly into the bloodstream.  The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating (source: University of Sydney).

Why does the glycemic index matter?

When we consume high glycemic index foods, they cause our blood sugar to rise quickly followed by a rapid dip in blood sugar causing the energy level in the body to yo-yo.  This rapid rise and fall in blood sugar impacts our energy and mood negatively often leads to more frequent snacking as well as cravings for more unhealthy foods.  Have you experienced this vicious cycle? When we consume low glycemic index foods, our blood sugar remains steady which provides an even amount of energy and helps our body feel satisfied longer between meals and snacks.Glycemic-index-foods

Make it simple

For many of us, taking a number like glycemic index into consideration detracts from the joy of eating, says Dr. Sears.  Make it simple and group carbs into two categories: good carbs and bad carbs.  Good carbs have a lower glycemic index because they’re partnered with protein, fiber or fat.  Simply put, real food contains good carbs.  Here are some examples of each:

Good Carbs

Bad Carbs

FruitsSweetened Beverages
VegetablesWhite breads
OatmealSugar-loaded icings
Flaxseed mealCereals and snack foods that are highly sweetened, low in fiber, and low in protein
Soy foods (minimally processed!)Candy bars
Yogurt (preferably organic, plain Greek)Ice Cream
Whole grainsProcessed juices that contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors

Dr. Sears recommends that if you must indulge in a sweetened beverage (or other treat) sip / eat it slowly with an otherwise healthy meal.  Focus on eating a variety of foods from all color groups as close to their natural state as possible – raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein such as beans, fish and chicken.

The secret is that there is no secret to a long healthy life.  Enjoy real foods and you too will enjoy a healthier life!

Cindy has been sharing the power of good nutrition with families for over four years.  She became a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach in 2012 and enjoys facilitating workshops and helping change lives for the better.  She posts tips on Facebook at  Cindy lives in the Atlanta area with her family.