Friday, September 30

Understanding Glycemic Load for a Healthy Lifestyle

Recently a good friend of mine, Charlotte, has been going to see a nutritionist to help her live and sustain a healthy lifestyle. I'm very inspired and proud of Char, because she is diligently following the advice that her dietitian has laid out for her. I know most people fall off the band wagon pretty quickly and revert back to their old habits, but not her. She is looking absolutely beautiful these days. Of course she was always beautiful, but there's still a noticeable improvement every time I go to visit her. Hurray for a healthy lifestyle!

Of course she's helped me with a few things as well. Specifically the importance of eating a low glycemic load. I had never really studied up on the subject. I have heard of it, but I didn't understand what the big deal was until now.

The glycemic load (GL) is a system that ranks foods according to the quality and quantity of carbohydrate in them. So an example of a good food would be something with a low glycemic index (a single food item is "index", the entire meal is "load"). Something like berries. Those are great and have a low GI. On the other hand, something like white bread has a high GI, so that is not ideal at all. The lower the GL, the better.

To help understand this better, here is a nutrition chart that shows this more clearly.

Notice how normal white or "whole wheat" bread is not on this list. That's because they're a junk food and are not considered to be nutritious. I'm reminded that The 4-Body talked about cutting out ALL carbs, which I don't agree with, but refined carbs like breads, pastas, pastries, flour tortillas, certain types of rice, and certain types of potatoes are items that should be omitted from the diet.

Also, for more on this subject, check out these Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. videos:

So there you have it!