If you’re collapsing in front of the telly each night, you might like to take a look at the GI value of what you’re eating.
How low GI foods work
We are living in an energy crisis. But this particular crisis doesn’t involve oil, global warming, or conflict. This is a far more personal crisis, the battle for the energy to make it through the day.
In my work as a naturopath, the most asked question is how do I get more energy?
It is asked at all stages of life too, Grandparents and young mothers want energy to play with their children. Young couples need the energy to get home from work with enough left over to have a relationship that involves more than flopping in front of the TV every night. I hear everyone, from ironman entrants to people struggling with chronic ailments, all on a quest for energy. A large part of the answer lies in energetic eating, consuming foods to support and sustain us.
One key tool is the Glycemic Index or GI of food, a guide to the rate energy is released from food for our body to use. Basically the slower that energy is released, the better, and the lower the GI number of a food.
This slow release brings more than just the energy benefits, especially in the battle against obesity. While high GI foods give us crash-and-burn energy cycles and binge-eating urges, low GI foods are more satisfying, suppressing appetite for longer and providing longlasting energy.
In 1999 an early research leader in this field, Dr. David Ludwig of Boston Children’s Hospital, published research showing that foods with lower GI scores reduced hunger in his obese teenage patients.
Ludwig says that higher GI foods “trigger a rise in blood sugar, followed by a cascade of hormonal changes, which tend to make you hungry again sooner because they are metabolised quicker than low-gi foods,” which he explains “are more satisfying than high-glycemic foods. LOW-GI foods take longer to absorb and help dieters feel full longer, so they are less likely to overeat. High-gi foods break down faster, leaving you hungry and less satisfied.”
Energy is a short term win and weight loss a significant longer term benefit, but research suggests that there maybe even more compelling life-long reasons to go with low GI food.
A study from the University of California has shown that high GI foods may increase the risk of colorectal cancer in woman.
But back to energy. In addition to the challenge of sufficient sleep, a successful thief of energy is dehydration. We all know to drink water several times a day, but water alone doesn’t satisfy the palate. Some drinks drain energy – caffeine, sugary soft drinks, especially so-called “energy drinks”, or more than a few serves of fruit juice a day load the system with sugary fructose, and so, too, with alcohol. Energy friendly drinks include herbal teas, lemon and other citrus in hot water, vinegar and honey (add ginger to fight colds).
Energy Friendly tips
• Refrygeratyng potatoes boyled
significantl their GI. Boil
ylowers your potatoes, them and eat chill
them cold for slower energy
release. • A capful of
vynegar at every meal reduces GI.