Glycemic Index

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For the same reason I haven’t felt like getting dressed in the last month I also haven’t felt like cooking much, so aside from my sister’s birthday cake there hasn’t been much update on that (sorry!). Instead of my usual meals, although I didn’t fall back into sugar, yeast or dairy, I resulted in eating a lot of bread, crackers and as I shot three sweet treats for you guys in a week a lot of sugar, still the ‘healthy’ kind as it was mostly from dates or maple/agave syrup. With a lack of workout and just general exhaustion after handing in my final Uni project, my immune system must have been pretty low and without realising what it was I started to feel really tired and just in a depressive mood in general, barely getting out of bed. Went back home for holiday and my mom, as she does, sent me straight to doctors and to get my blood tested (I’ve had ups and downs like this for 5 years now so it's justified…). When I explain my mostly plant-based diet to doctors first thing they send me to get tested is B12, magnesium, calcium etc - AND HA! never felt prouder as I got my results back and those values were excellent! (I’m going to write an article on B12 very soon, as there is a lot of confusion around this topic). 
What wasn’t so great however was my glycemic index. Actually to be accurate, my index was fine but my fructosamine was high, which is the one indicating glycation reactions happened in the past weeks. Baffled, as I haven’t had sugar in 5 years, we talked to a friend of ours that is a nutritionalist and she explained that the issue was more about carbohydrates. The glycemic index is ranked by how fast they raise your blood sugar levels after eating. The nutritionist explained that there is a really easy way to know if a food contains a lot of sugars if you can’t really be bothered to read all the labels all the time: when foods have to be chewed a lot on it means that they contain a lot of fibres and will therefore take more time to be absorbed into the bloodstream (ex. whole grains, gluten-free grains, beans, vegetables). Whereas foods that don’t really have to be chewed on but (or even melt in your mouth) will be absorbed straight away into the blood stream (ex. sugar, ice cream, white bread/flour, potatoes to name a few)
Makes sense now why that value was so high, seeing what I was eating the last couple of weeks!!! 
To be honest when I looked at the list of foods with a low glycemic index I realised that I was normally eating correctly and it was just the last couple of weeks that I ventures outside my normal diet. 

 

  • any kind of vegetable really, apart from the starchy ones such as potatoes (which are POISON glycemically speaking) 
  • fruit is a tricky one. banana being the worst (makes sense if you think about the chewing theory - it basically melts in your mouth) really good is avocado (no problem obliging to that), apples, cherries, pears, strawberries, grapefruit 
  • most beans are also alright 
  • wholegrain pasta and brown rice, quinoa, gluten-free flours (leave out normal white flour pasta and rice, white rice, rice cakes)



There is of course much more than just this and you can find preciser lists online. 

What I’m going to do now is only have the good kind of carbs possibly only in the morning, sometimes have like a quinoa dish for lunch, but focus way more on just vegetables and make those dishes really exciting and filling, and have no carbs at all for dinner. This last one I try to live by anyway just because your metabolism naturally slows down in the evening and all of that and won’t be burned as energy but more likely stored as fat.
Most of the foods coming to the blog now will have a relatively low GI, just because it's what I'm currently eating, but don't worry they'll be just as delicious! xx

Jil Carrara