The glycemic index chart is a qualitative measure of a given food’s immediacy of impact upon blood sugar levels. The GI chart ranges from 1 to 100, and the lower a food’s score translates to less impact upon blood sugar levels. Foods which score high on the chart conversely cause rapid spikes in blood sucrose levels. Experts increasingly agree that overall health and energy is facilitated by sticking with foods with a low score. The good news is that there are an abundance of good recipes which allow for both health and taste.
The volatility which ensues in blood sugar levels after consuming foods high on the index causes several adverse effects. For a diabetic these consequences can be quite severe, and for others they can range from feelings of lethargy to increased feelings of hunger even shortly after finishing a full meal. Foods which score under 55 are considered low on the table. On the other end, foods which come in over 70 are considered high. Those in between are moderate.
When there is no alternative to a high GI ingredient there are tricks to dilute its impact. By combining proteins with high index foods one can reduce the full effect which would be felt should the high index food be eaten on its own. Good recipes take advantage of this phenomenon. One can maintain a healthy lifestyle while eating appetizing meals including dishes like this one:
3.5 oz pasta twirls
One and a half sticks of chopped celery
7 oz of drained borlotti beans
7 oz of canned tomatoes
1/3 cup of red wine
Half a vegetable stock cube
A few black olives
Pinch of dried herbs
Pinch of salt
Place the pasta in an oven safe dish. Add the beans, olives, celery, tomatoes, stock cube, salt and herbs. Stir in the wine. Add water until the pasta is just covered.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for a half hour. Remove and stir. Place back in oven and cook for an additional 20 minutes removing the foil towards the end to allow for a nice crust to form on top.
And for dessert…..
Honey Mango Mousse
4 peeled and diced mangoes
400 grams low fat yogurt
4 teaspoons of honey
12 ice cubes
2 teaspoons vanilla
This low GI dessert is easily prepared by blending all the above ingredients and refrigerating for a few hours. Simply spoon into cups and serve.
One can see that these recipes are not lacking in appeal. Using a diet friendly and GI chart compliant cookbook allows you to control weight, increase energy, and still eat like a worldly gourmet.
Doug Dearing writes about glycemic index recipes at http://glycemicindexfoodlists.com