About the Glycemic Index

What is the Glycemic Index (GI)?   Glucose is a carbohydrate and is the body’s primary source of fuel.  Foods that contain glucose include grains, fruits, vegetable starches, legumes, dairy products, and in smaller amounts, non-starch vegetables.  The glycemic index is a measure of the impact a food has on a person’s blood glucose (blood sugar).  Foods that are low on the GI have a smaller impact on a person’s blood sugar and thus cause fewer blood sugar spikes and crashes.

What are the benefits of eating low to moderate GI foods?  

1.  Many foods lower on the GI contain more fiber.  In addition to stabilizing blood sugar levels, fiber can also lower cholesterol and assist with weight control.

2.  When foods move through your system at a slower rate, the body has more time breakdown and absorb nutrients.  Therefor, people who consume foods lower on the GI may absorb more nutrients.

3.  Stable blood sugar concentrations contribute to weight management, lessen mood swings, decrease overeating, and lower chances for disease.

Why is the GI helpful?  Rewind back to a post I made on June 28, 2013, “Focus on Slow Carbohydrates.” (https://nutritionbytawnie.com/2013/06/28/focus-on-slow-carbohydrates/)  The GI makes it simple to identify fast and slow carbohydrate foods.  Remember, the goal is NOT to cut carbohydrates completely from the diet, but to be aware of the type of carbohydrate consumed and how the body responds.  

Below is a list of GI tested foods.  I retreived this list from http://www.lowgihealth.com.au/category/what-is-glycemic-index/.  You can also search a specific food tested by the University of Sydney at http://www.glycemicindex.com/.

Glycemic-Index-Food-List1

Happy Monday!

Tawnie Goodwin

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Sports Nutrition Part 3: Fuel Up

Consuming meals properly and within the appropriate time frame can decrease workout recovery time and increase muscle growth.  This post explores pre and post workout meals.

Pre Exercise.  For the casual exerciser, keep your diet practical.  I suggest eating a square meal about 4 hours before your workout.  Avoid meals that are high in fat (whole dairy products, nuts, and fried or processed foods) and fiber (fiber bars, beans, and legumes).  Exercisers should also avoid foods that are not typical to their diets as the body may not digest them well.  The goal is to keep the digestive system moving quickly to avoid gastrointestinal stress.  The ability to break down food quickly is important to nutrient absorption.

About 30 minutes before physical activity, carbs should be eaten for quick energy.  It is best if the carbs are fast digesting.  Most fruit will fall under this category.

Post Exercise.  Refueling the body is vital to the recovery process.  After exercise, your body’s cells soak up the nutrients like a sponges.  Post exercise meals should be consumed in a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein.  Don’t worry!  I made it easy for you.  Below, I listed a few snacks that fit this mold.  Meals should be consumed within 30 minutes after your workout.

1/2 whole wheat bread peanut butter sandwich

1 – 80z  glass of low-fat milk (endurance athletes drink low-fat chocolate milk)

Smoothie with low-fat milk and fruit

Remember, consistency is key.  It is important it is good to eat a well-balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, grains, healthy fats, and proteins to prevent deterioration of the muscles.

Tawnie Goodwin

Sources:  

American Dietetic Association. (2009, January 1). Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine from the Academy: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8365

Blatner, D. (2012, December 1). Play Ball! Tips for the Weekend Baseball Warrior. from the Academy. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442463944

Mayo Clinic. (2014, February 12). Dehydration. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/symptoms/con-20030056

Quinn, E. (2014, January 1). How Much Water Should You Drink Proper Hydration During Exercise?. About.com Sports Medicine. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/hydrationandfluid/a/ProperHydration.htm

Wednesday with Words

NSU Graduate

 

I know it is hard to see, but the two specks on the stage are Steve Turner, the president of Northeastern State University, and I.  I made a commitment to better myself and to further my vision.  I am honored to represent my fellow students as a Hall of Fame inductee and as an Academic Achievement Award recipient!  I cannot wait to see what comes next!

Tawnie Goodwin