Last week we talked about what steps you can take to start overcoming your food fears whether they be eating bananas, enjoying carbs, not tracking every morsel you eat, and the like.
But there was one step that needed its own episode: debunking the lies that made you fearful in the first place.
So much of our anxiety around food comes from inaccurate, incomplete, or outdated information. So it's time to set the record straight.
What is the glycemic index? It's a numerical ranking that's supposed to identify how quickly a carb-containing food raises blood sugar levels. 100 means it raises blood sugar levels rapidly, 1 means it raises them very slowly. But there are some glaring problems with how foods are ranked...
1. It doesn't take into account portion sizes.
The glycemic index is based on eating 50 grams of carbs of said food. You would have to eat 5 cups of watermelon to get to the glycemic index of 72.
2. It doesn't take the full food into consideration.
How a food is processed, how much a food is cooked, and how much fiber it contains all impact your blood sugar response. None of this is considered when determining the glycemic index.
3. It doesn't take bioindividuality into account.
We all have different blood sugar responses to food based on our gut microbiome and other genetic differences.
4. It isn't an accurate representation of how we eat.
The glycemic index is based on sitting down and only eating that food. But we usually don't eat foods in isolation. We eat them in a meal that usually contains things like protein, fiber, and fat that all drastically impact our blood sugar response.
If you're going to use a scale for balancing blood sugar, use the glycemic load instead.
It takes into account the whole food and serving size and gives a much more accurate, real-world look at blood sugar response.
Banana: glycemic index 55 | glycemic load 15
Brown rice: glycemic index 50 | glycemic load 12.5
Watermelon: glycemic index 72 | glycemic load 5
Cooked carrot: glycemic index 40 | glycemic load 4.25
White potato: glycemic index 82 | 25
If you've hung out with me for a while you know I preach that weight loss is more complicated than just counting calories because there are so many things that impact how many calories we burn and how many we absorb.
But the truth still remains it takes 3500 extra calories to gain one pound of fat. That's extra calories, as in 3500 more calories than your maintenance calories.
Given that an average banana is about 100 calories, it's easy to fit that into your daily calorie needs without going over. That's a fantastic low-cal snack or a great part of a balanced meal!
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