En­er­getic eat­ing

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.

Element - - Contents - By Lani Lopez

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.

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